Zero to Foil

This forum is for new kiters/beginners to share info and experiences and to get answers to kiting questions. All questions are valid.

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This forum is for new kiters/beginners to share info and experiences and to get answers to kiting questions. All questions are valid. Please provide proper answers (no sarcasm/joke replies, etc.) as we'd like to avoid any confusion or misinformation.

Zero to Foil

Postby sd9000 » Mon May 22, 2017 4:10 am

I am planning to make the switch from windsurfing to kite boarding and need some help understanding the progression from no skill to foiling.

1. Lessons + trainer kite seem like a no brainer
2. Can I go straight from lessons to a directional board? Is this too ambitious?
3. Liquid force offers a directional board that works with and without a foil (Happy Foil). Is this board going to be too hard for a novice (I live in a small condo and am trying to reduce the amount of equipment/cost of equipment)? Any thoughts on equipment for this progression will be helpful.
4. What are good foils to learn on once I become proficient at kitting?
5. Any other thoughts on the transition are greatly appreciated?

Thank you,

Scott
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Re: Zero to Foil

Postby BayAreaKite » Mon May 22, 2017 7:35 am

Hey Scott, welcome.

Definitely start with lessons. Either in the bay or I would recommend a week long trip to a cheaper place like Mexico. Nothing like 3-4 days of lessons in a row to help your body learn.

You can go from lessons to a directional, but I don't think there's really any reason to. You can get a cheap twin tip board after lessons, and get some time on the water without needing to gybe your board. If you go straight to a directional, you'll have to stop every time you want change directions and waste time body dragging or potentially losing the board.

The happy foil would be a good setup if you want a basic directional board for learning. It's very high volume, and would be good for light winds. But once you start foiling, you will never ride the board alone again. If you wanted to surf waves at the ocean, you'd probably get a more surf-specific directional. But the happy pill is fine for light wind learning, and comes with fins.

I think LF makes a great all around foil. You can start with the low aspect (bigger wings) and then progress to the medium. It is reasonably priced, and the board is very light weight. Lighter weight setups are easier to maneuver on and off the water.

Some people do start with the shorter masts, but it's not necessary. I personally hate buying gear that I know I'm not going to use very much, but they are quite effective for learning.

Have fun!
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Re: Zero to Foil

Postby sd9000 » Mon May 22, 2017 12:04 pm

Thank you, this helps a lot.

-Scott
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Re: Zero to Foil

Postby opie » Mon May 22, 2017 4:05 pm

Using your trainer kite for at least ten hours total will help you avoid wasting time during your expensive lessons.
My other beginner tip is get a Go Joe. I lost a board on my fourth solo session, they are hard to see upwind in the chop and sun. The Go Joe means you'll be able to see it, and it also catches the wind so that it blows down wind to you. This is especially important at Sherman where an ebb tide will have your board flowing upwind away from you.

I took lessons on a directional from Bruce Sheldon at Sherman, but bought a twin tip for learning for the reasons bayareakite gave. After 15 sessions I could stay upwind and switched to strapless foil board. It took another 10 sessions to foil well, because of my non existent kite skills. An experienced kiter could get to that point in one to four sessions. Just riding the foil board on the water, not foiling yet, and even body dragging with the foil (once you get used to it), it is super easy to get upwind, which is a big plus for a beginner. Before the foil, I ended many sessions with a self rescue, climb up the levy and walk back upwind. With the foil every session ended back at the launch, much easier.
It took about 150 sessions before I could jibe consistently.
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Re: Zero to Foil

Postby le noun » Tue May 23, 2017 8:51 am

Agreed with all the above:
lessons, then get a super cheap used twin tip and put a go-joe on it.
learn to go upwind and then grab a surfboard.

frankly, I love what I ride right now: F-One Mitu convertible surfboard: great surfboard that you can use for foiling.
https://bayareakitesurf.com/products/?item=50376

Their 800 wing is beginner friendly (I learned on the 600 though, so it's not impossible).
https://bayareakitesurf.com/products/?item=39285

Cheers.
Kites: 2018 F-One Bandit: 8m and 11m.
Board: 2018 F-One Mitu 5'10 Surf/Foil convertible
Harness: Manera Exoharness.
Wetsuit: Manera 5/4/3 X10D
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Re: Zero to Foil

Postby sd9000 » Wed May 24, 2017 3:40 pm

Thank you,

I appreciate the advice. This will help a lot in learning and selecting gear.

-Scott
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