Above photo taken by Steve Domjan at the Bowl. Thank you Steve, you could have been sailing you

  • Above photo taken by Steve Domjan at the Bowl. Thank you Steve, you could have been sailing yourself instead of taking photos of me.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

I am fascinated by the idea of windsurfing a foil

I am fascinated by the idea of windsurfing a foil

Using a kite board with a foil is more popular. I have never actually seen someone use a foil on a windsurfer. The only place they seem available to buy, is in France. Moth Class sailboats have been using foils for over a decade; and we saw the power, speed, and practicality of foils in the last America’s Cup. I still have never seen one up close.

So what kind of additional stress does a foil add to your fin box? I have "power-boxes" on my larger boards; it looks like foils are designed for a Tuttle-box. Do I need a special purpose board with additional reinforcement around the tail? Do I need to move my foot-straps?

One of these videos shows a board planing with an old windsurfer one design sail. Does that imply that the foils are forgiving?

I have also seen footage from AHD [I believe it was back in 2009, and they were actually marketing a Foil-Board]; it looked very efficient; planing on a small sail, as other boards with bigger sails slogged.

So, I don’t know…yesterday I sat in my van for 3 hours watching my friends do the slog thing, then sail way overpowered on 8 point somethings, and race gear; as the wind went from 8 to 20, then 20 to 8.

I’ve sailed that gear. And I sold the last of it this year. I found it fast in light air, jarring on my joints, expensive, and fragile. I guess I have evolved what I want out of windsurfing. All my boards have the straps inboard, and forward. No more heals on the rail. I have downsized to wave sails, wave, and free-ride boards.

So on light air days, do I take up kiting? Or buy a light air sailboat?

I don’t know… but this looks intriguing. I want to try one; I just don't know how.


McPhilly said...

In wonder if it will turn out to be a "I wish I'd tried it 10 times before I bought it" thing.

Will it "get old fast"? ... is my question. Many of those light air pass-times have that "get old fast" factor for me. Very equipment intensive, very expensive. I'd sooner ride a bike to get some exercise in sub 5.8 wind.

Speeds of 22 mph / 35 kmh are frequently attainable, with more a nice hill-climbing workouts than I can shake a carbon fiber front fork at.

But if you have room in the van, and the willingness to shell ou for a whole new bunch of light air carbon fiber equipment, and the patience to rig it, we do at lest know the light air gear is lighter and less cumbersome to schlep than it was when we first began using it.

In the Windfoil Petole video Bruno gets up to an impressive 31kmh/19 mph in scant wind, but he's using an 7.5 to 8.5 sail by the looks of it, and once again, another large board, another large boom, etc etc.

One thing, I do like the "liquid"surfing sensation flowing through my feet of the board/water connection of a well designed board in the right conditions — even small waves, and boards with some rocker, flowing rails and outline. Maybe even some vee. (As opposed to overpowered beat to heck in choppy water on raceboads at high speed).

I wonder where the foil sensation fits into all of this?

drysuit2 said...

Well McPhilly, You are going to have to help me translate all this foil sales material. Since it's all in French.