Forums > Kitesurfing Foiling

Getting into Foiling (Melb)

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Created by random101 > 9 months ago, 30 Dec 2017
random101
VIC, 90 posts
30 Dec 2017 6:28PM
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Well I think the bug has bit me, I'd love to get into foiling. I currently mostly ride a TT out of Altona (started in 2012~) but had a season or two off to focus on other sports. Anyhow, I would love to know the best way to progress into kite racing (strong sailing racing background). Gear -
*Can I use my existing LF NRG 8 & 10m kites to learn on (when and if I start racing I'd head down the R1 path) but I'll worry about that later.

*Board - I understand riding a race board would be a huge progression and possibly much more difficult to learn how to foil, so is it worth buying a 'beginner board and larger more forgiving foils' or go down the race board path and just spend a bit more on foils?

Lessons -
*Are there any yacht clubs, groups or lessons that are recommended to get into foiling and progress into racing (what is the racing scene like in PPB for foiling)?

Location -
*Altona can get very shallow unless you spend a bit of time walking out, would St.Kilda - Brighton be recommended? (I'm spoilt as I live near altona and it's my local so I have spent very little time on the other side of the bay).

Safety-
Helmet and impact vest of course.

Anything else that I've missed? Just for my own info - how do Foilers go if they get caught out by change in wind strength in a race/long run? How much depower do the R1 foiling kites ect have? Thanks again!

dafish
NSW, 1361 posts
30 Dec 2017 6:39PM
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ha, ha....as you get into it you will push yourself to get out in lighter and lighter winds because the experience is so nice. And you will get caught out, and you will swim. Don't ever go further than you are prepared to swim in light and changing conditions. Being able to reverse launch is a handy skill to have wired. That alone has saved me from swimming a few times.
Have fun....it's crazy addictive. Light wind days have a whole new meaning.

Plummet
4517 posts
31 Dec 2017 12:39AM
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For racing you will ultimately want a high aspect carbon race foil and high aspect foil race kites (lei's are not competitive.

I would say set a plan to learn foil on medium aspect foil. Then progress to high aspect once you have the basics down. Learning to fly high aspect foil kites is another learning curve you need to plan for. Allow 1 year to 18 month to get to a point of being able to compete with any sort of competitiveness. Of yeah, foil racing is a pricey business. You probably need to drop $10k to get a serious set up.

ice
VIC, 215 posts
31 Dec 2017 9:09AM
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St Kilda is a great spot to learn foiling . Once you are up and going you will probably launch at closer deep water spots, Williamstown or sand ridge. You can foil to st Kilda from there in a matter of minutes if you want.

DukeSilver
WA, 259 posts
31 Dec 2017 8:19AM
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I guess your budget will be a major factor in which road you decide go down. If you have the money to burn, I would learn, as Plummet suggests, on a mid-aspect wing like a Zeeko Carver or Hoverglide. Once you are comfortable with the basics, get your race setup. This way, if you find you don't really like foiling (doubtful), these types of foils sell like hotcakes and you won't lose as much as trying to unload a high end carbon race foil.

If your budget is tighter, just get the race foil and hope you have the extra persistence required to see it through to the end. People do learn on these foils but it is a tougher road to take. I was talking to a local foiler who has been foiling for maybe a year longer than me. He learnt on, and is still riding, a 110cm carbon race foil (Levitaz I think). He told me he is still struggling with transitions on his foil. After seeing the progress I was making with transitions, he had a go of his friends Hoverglide and was immediately pulling off gybes and is now considering getting an intermediate foil as well.

I know our local racing club has a division catering for people using inflatable kites and free-ride foils who want to give racing a go. Maybe see if your local racing club has a similar option. That would be a nice compromise I would think.

RAL INN
VIC, 2753 posts
31 Dec 2017 1:30PM
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I have often thought that if there was a fun class for foil racing that allowed for free ride foils and lei kites that was run on a course that wasn't all up or down wind but highlighted the freeride style turns and transitions.
then maybe there would be a lot more foilers getting together for a lot more fun.

Gorgo
VIC, 4246 posts
31 Dec 2017 2:13PM
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Personally I think competition takes all the fun out of freeride sports like kiting. Instead of being out riding you're stuck waiting for things to start and finish and your fun level is dictated by your placing. Racing is only fun if you're into competitions.

There are plenty of foilers riding at St Kilda and Brighton so you can form a bunch and chase each other round for fun if you want.

Almost everybody who started foiling and stayed with it started on something cheap and cheerful. A board and foil costing about $1500 total. That lets you get through the initial learning phase without risking damage to your beautiful expensive race gear. Once you have the basic skills in place you can buy something you really want and be able to use it straight away.

There's also a touch less risk to yourself because race foils are stupid sharp.

You can usually sell your beginner foil and not lose too much money. Race and high performance gear immediately loses more than half it's value as soon as you buy it.

You can foil out of Altona if you want. One of the most important skills to learn early on is body dragging. You should be able to walk and drag out to deeper water without too much effort. It's fun if you approach it with the right attitude.

TomW059
175 posts
31 Dec 2017 11:48PM
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Cheapest way is going to be to get a used or new liquid force or Hoverglide or Zeeko, or other recreational foil. Ride your LEI.

Once you've learned to tack, gybe, all the racing moves ( I'm 60 hrs in -1 year- and can gybe in air on one side only.) then you can get a racing foil you feel is competitive and the foil kites. Gonna cost a fortune. ( well, way less than a boat).

In the beginning, if you have any rocks or gravelly bottoms, you are going to mangle a racing wing. And after a year that set up will be superseded by a faster wing.

If you are a fast learner, you could get a alpine or moses foil with longer mast, beginner wing and upgrade to racing wings later.
with moses for example: get the Vorace 101 mast with 590 /330 wings, then upgrade to their race wings later. But you'll still be 10cm short of a full race mast: the comet 110.
Can't imagine anyone starting on a 110 mast.

wdric
NSW, 1622 posts
1 Jan 2018 11:01AM
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just go buy a second hand race foil, that way as you progress you can actually participate and then the progress will be heaps more.If you can get out a few times a week you should be tacking and gybing on the foil in 1 to 3 months, do it while the water is warm ;)With that sort of progression dont worry about starting out with a freestyle foil unless you wanna keep it and buy another real soon, you will learn on waht you use!there are some guys racing out of brighten yatchclub so I guess you will find them foiling around thereYou sure can learn with your LEI, but they just dont cut it for racing, they simply do not perform as good on the race course.But be prepared to have at least three kites in your quiver for racing, 4 kites if your serious ;)Unlike freestyle if you turn up with not quite the right gear you can still get wet and have fun, when racing you wont be at the pointy end if your trying to make doThe race scene is going a bit slow in OZ, which is a shame as from a sailing point of view it's just unreal the speed you can get, you can fly to the other side of the country or world with your gear. I was looking at a few foiling A class yesterday and they are just so complicated, its laughable what you can achive with a simple kite and a board compared to all other boats!The only downside to kite racing compared to normal boats is the fact we need a good large launch with preferably onshore wind and lots of sailing clubs dont have that.

Lambie
QLD, 726 posts
1 Jan 2018 11:29AM
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wdric- this vid highlights exactly what you said !!

C000pers
VIC, 25 posts
1 Jan 2018 7:06PM
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There are a few guys foiling out of altona on a regular basis. Usually at the pier end. Low tide is easier to walk the kite out to deeper water past yellow bouy. Personnaly im about 7 sessions in and can glide 200m on a zeeko spitfire. Just need to get the body draging with foil to get out deep as you hit every sand bar along the beach while learning to water start. There is a messenger group *altona foilers*. Small group but good guys and girls and you probably know their faces if your down that end kiting.

Kraut
VIC, 477 posts
3 Jan 2018 3:04PM
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Select to expand quote
ice said..
St Kilda is a great spot to learn foiling . Once you are up and going you will probably launch at closer deep water spots, Williamstown or sand ridge. You can foil to st Kilda from there in a matter of minutes if you want.



Except Williamstown Beach has "no kiting" sign up everywhere.
Altona, like others said, can work, if you are dragging out (high tide) or walking out (low tide) or both, which I hate as I don't want to step on a ray. Also, it is mostly onshore which makes the dragging a bit of a pain. Driving to St. Kilda makes a lot of sense, and will be way more enjoyable in your first season anyway. Sideshore, flat water even outside kiddie pool, heaps of space.

random101
VIC, 90 posts
16 Jan 2018 5:53PM
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I've ordered a foil :)

I'd love to learn from Willi beach as it's just down the road (deep water as well). Not sure how that would go down though - obviously when the beach is dead empty is is very common on a southerly. Altona isn't a bad option just a real PITA to walk out. Driving to St.Kilda - Brighton really does make sense.


Note to self; www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Kitesurfing/Foiling/Newbie-foil-locations-Vic?page=1#19

DukeSilver
WA, 259 posts
16 Jan 2018 7:48PM
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random101 said..
I've ordered a foil :)

I'd love to learn from Willi beach as it's just down the road (deep water as well). Not sure how that would go down though - obviously when the beach is dead empty is is very common on a southerly. Altona isn't a bad option just a real PITA to walk out. Driving to St.Kilda - Brighton really does make sense.


Note to self; www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Kitesurfing/Foiling/Newbie-foil-locations-Vic?page=1#19


What foil have you ordered?

random101
VIC, 90 posts
23 Jan 2018 11:56AM
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Select to expand quote
DukeSilver said..

random101 said..
I've ordered a foil :)

I'd love to learn from Willi beach as it's just down the road (deep water as well). Not sure how that would go down though - obviously when the beach is dead empty is is very common on a southerly. Altona isn't a bad option just a real PITA to walk out. Driving to St.Kilda - Brighton really does make sense.


Note to self; www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Kitesurfing/Foiling/Newbie-foil-locations-Vic?page=1#19



What foil have you ordered?


I decided to learn the hard way...













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"Getting into Foiling (Melb)" started by random101