Forums > Kitesurfing Foiling

J Shapes

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Created by snalberski > 9 months ago, 27 Oct 2016
snalberski
WA, 576 posts
27 Oct 2016 8:15PM
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Anyone got a J Shapes foilboard? If so whats the verdict. Its a really nice looking design...

Gorgo
VIC, 4014 posts
27 Oct 2016 10:59PM
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snalberski said..
Anyone got a J Shapes foilboard? If so whats the verdict. Its a really nice looking design...


Best value foil board you can get. Just over $3000 gets you a lovely board, foil, foil covers, custom bag for the board and shipping to Australia. Antoine is really helpful and knowledgeable.

West Oz Kite
WA, 212 posts
2 Dec 2016 9:01AM
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We have these boards on order and will have a demo if anyone is keen to check them out? product looks awesome and came highly recommended from some reputable riders in the industry.

kiteboy dave
QLD, 6525 posts
2 Dec 2016 7:39PM
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They look sweet. Like the lines on the pocket board too..

Milesp
NSW, 18 posts
3 Dec 2016 12:51PM
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I bought one of the first J shapes foils that Kitepower imported Back in Sept. I was in the market for a foil that I could learn on and then progress without having to upgrade. The J shapes foil impressed me as to its build quality and is dramatically lighter than some of the other foils I've looked at. But what clinched the deal for me was that they offered me, on loan, a 1/2 mast. I must say, that I'm still on the short mast trying to work the darn thing out. It takes persistence to nail it and I've only managed four sessions so far (work and unfavouable wind conditions).

In hindsight, I wonder other foils are easier to lean on as the J shapes looks pretty high performance and is pretty slippery when it gets going. Or prehaps I'm just crap and should stick to kiting on a surfboard?

Plummet
4231 posts
4 Dec 2016 2:47PM
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Fooling is just freaked hard to learn man. A lot harder than you expect!

RussKraut
VIC, 450 posts
4 Dec 2016 7:05PM
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Milesp said..
I bought one of the first J shapes foils that Kitepower imported Back in Sept. I was in the market for a foil that I could learn on and then progress without having to upgrade. The J shapes foil impressed me as to its build quality and is dramatically lighter than some of the other foils I've looked at. But what clinched the deal for me was that they offered me, on loan, a 1/2 mast. I must say, that I'm still on the short mast trying to work the darn thing out. It takes persistence to nail it and I've only managed four sessions so far (work and unfavouable wind conditions).

In hindsight, I wonder other foils are easier to lean on as the J shapes looks pretty high performance and is pretty slippery when it gets going. Or prehaps I'm just crap and should stick to kiting on a surfboard?


Most say that in average it takes 7-10 sessions to actually ride the foil. That does not include gybes tacks etc.
So just be patient.

Gorgo
VIC, 4014 posts
4 Dec 2016 7:54PM
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Milesp said..
...
In hindsight, I wonder other foils are easier to lean on as the J shapes looks pretty high performance and is pretty slippery when it gets going. Or prehaps I'm just crap and should stick to kiting on a surfboard?


Our experience is that it takes about 6 hours to get up and reliably riding on the foil. For us that was 12 half hour sessions. We took it fairly easy and tried to avoid getting smacked and damaging gear.

For us, it was important to ride with the board down as much as possible. When you're starting you ride the board a lot and your muscle memory is thinking board, board, board. Over time you get past that and you can feel the wing under your feet. Once you can do that you're off and foiling. It's an almost instant transition.

Everybody thinks they're crap at first, and everybody thinks about giving up. With persistence you will get it and wonder why you found it difficult.

The J Shapes, like most higher performance foils, takes a bit more water flow over the wings to get up and foiling. Getting it wrong means you kangaroo hop fairly violently. Once up it is more stable at speed than a low aspect foil. You can slow it down just as much as a low aspect foil but you need that water flow to start with.

I always tell people to start with a cheap beginner foil, not because they're easier (they are a bit), but because you will probably damage your gear (mainly from trying to ride in too light wind). It's heart breaking to damage your beautiful, expensive foil. A bit less heart breaking to damage a cheaper foil.

Plummet
4231 posts
5 Dec 2016 5:45AM
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Gorgo said..

Milesp said..
...
In hindsight, I wonder other foils are easier to lean on as the J shapes looks pretty high performance and is pretty slippery when it gets going. Or prehaps I'm just crap and should stick to kiting on a surfboard?



Our experience is that it takes about 6 hours to get up and reliably riding on the foil. For us that was 12 half hour sessions. We took it fairly easy and tried to avoid getting smacked and damaging gear.




Maybe it would take 6 hrs if you had pristine foiling conditions. But if you don't, it could be a lot longer.

I was way longer than 6hrs. But I made my own foil, which longer progression due to bad set up, but also i have also sorts of silly wind and swell to content with and that made it a lot harder to learn.

Yeah hold in there. Your progression is relatively standard!




Gorgo
VIC, 4014 posts
5 Dec 2016 11:17AM
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I made two mistakes to start with. The main one was to only go out in ideal conditions. I didn't want to get spanked and I didn't want to waste a good riding session. Things progressed a lot once I committed to riding the foil all the time.

The second mistake was to only go out in lighter conditions. I thought that that was what foils were for, and didn't want to get knocked around by chop and strong winds. Problem with that is once you drop the kite your day is over. You have to swim in, or self rescue. The other problem is you're trying to fly a bigger kite in lighter winds. It can be very difficult to do that, especially if you can't control the board well enough to keep the lines tensioned.

I made my biggest progress once I went out with a 7m kite in stronger winds. I didn't have to think about the kite, and chop and waves were not the problem I thought they would be. It was almost an overnight thing. One day I am slogging around and doing a bit of foiling. Next day I am carving the foil to toeside and playing with chop waves.


The other big progress skill is learning to body drag with the foil. For a start you can get off the beach to go foiling. Possibly even more important, is you can go out and do whatever you like on the board/foil. When you get tired or scared then you can just body drag back to the beach. Foils by default go upwind, and riding downwind on an out of control foil is hard. Lying on the board and cruising with your kite is easy, and kind of fun.

Milesp
NSW, 18 posts
5 Dec 2016 7:52PM
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Thanks for the encouragement and advice. It has occurred to me that light winds = hard work, with the constant distraction of trying not to stall the kite. The dilemma I have, is that if conditions are good I'd prefer to ditch fafling around on the foil and flat water, and go kite waves. And that urge gets stronger as so far this spring/summer in N Illawarra we have not had many decent days ........ yet?

But, I have a 7m kite so I will give that a go in stronger winds.

Incidentally, I have tried, unsuccessfully and briefly, the long mast and it felt a completely different. So much so that I couldn't even get going at all without the foil rounding up on me. At which point I went in and swapped over to the short mast again.

Gorgo
VIC, 4014 posts
5 Dec 2016 9:27PM
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Rounding up is caused by having your back foot too far back and too much pressure on it.

Move your back foot forward to the front of the mast, or even in front of it, and it won't round up. If you have your back foot in the strap take it out and put it on the deck. Also put a bit more weight on your front foot.

This is all part of the muscle memory you have to develop. TT and surfboards are much less responsive than a foil. If you push too hard on any part of the board the pressure gets transferred straight to the foil and it will react, often vigorously, whether you want it to or not.

snalberski
WA, 576 posts
10 Dec 2016 1:17PM
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J Shapes, remember?

jamesperth
WA, 533 posts
14 Dec 2016 12:10PM
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Which one you looking at snalberski ? First time I've heard of them and looking at their site now. Nice looking boards for sure

RussKraut
VIC, 450 posts
14 Dec 2016 3:48PM
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jamesperth said...
Which one you looking at snalberski ? First time I've heard of them and looking at their site now. Nice looking boards for sure


There is only one isn't it. Two mast lengths though and UV protection options. Mine has arrived and I am picking it up from WestOz tomorrow

Hope to be able to comment on it in a few weeks or months. As I will have to make the painfull switch from the LF to a proper foil first.

RussKraut
VIC, 450 posts
15 Dec 2016 12:39PM
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Here she is. I will just admire her for a while (I have a few hours until the wind kicks in haha) and then get her wet

If I manage to make a smooth transition from my LF to this one, I'll comment. But it may take a few sessions.

I went for the 135 board. Beauty. The mast looks long but is 95cm up to the fuselage.
As the front wing bends downwards, you will need more like 105cm width in your car.
Front to rear wing (total) is 65cm.
It is a very light set up which is great.











Milesp
NSW, 18 posts
15 Dec 2016 6:46PM
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Isn't the wing a beautiful looking thing. Going strapless? Let us know how you go today?

Gorgo
VIC, 4014 posts
15 Dec 2016 10:23PM
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Did you get the matching board bag? There's only 4 bolts to undo for a full pack down and it all fits neatly in the back seat of the car.

RussKraut
VIC, 450 posts
16 Dec 2016 12:02AM
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@ Milesp. Absolutely, it is a piece of art. And extremely light indeed. Only took it out for a short session as I was too curious to wait. I was surprised how light and buoyant it is. The LF Fish was glued to the water surface compared to the Jshapes which just wants to fly over the water even before you foil up. Amazing. Also, the foil sinks into the water so slowly. With the LF you had to be so fast when water starting so that you don't miss the moment before it sunk. As the Jshapes is so light, it continuous riding without the kiter for longer than the LF lol. I better put my number on the board quickly. It took me only a few minutes to get up and running. So this is good. Not too hard core and advanced, just like advertised. Clearly it will take me a few more sessions to really get used to it. I could not ride toeside properly while I was fine on the LF. But good to see that I could make it happen at least to some extend. It is certainly more sensitive and less forgiving than the LF. So I get your point of thinking you'd advance faster on a real beginner foil. But I don't think this one is too hard. You will get there. Just perhaps it will take a few sessions longer. But you'll be able to enjoy it longer than a beginner foil.
The other thing is I could feel it can go way faster than the LF, but I was able to control the speed which is what I was initially worried about.
So I am stoked, and it was only a half an hour session.
And yes strapless. That's how I learned and I feel more comfortable as I don't risk any ankle injuries. It comes with some disadvantages too though but so far I am very happy with strapless foiling.

@ Gorgo. True, only 2 screws to get the mast with foil off the board which should be enough. And another 2 to take the foil/fuselage bit off the mast. So easy enough to take apart. Say, do I better leave the screws tight but not very tight. So that I don't damage them? If I intend to take the foil apart frequently? Any risk with that? As in micro movements?
No, did not buy the board bag neither foil protectors. May do it later as it would be pretty handy I recon.

Gorgo
VIC, 4014 posts
16 Dec 2016 7:19AM
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The screws don't need to be super tight. Just fingers on the allen key is fine. Go for snug but don't put a lot of muscle into it.

The strength of the connection comes from the taper fit of the tuttle boxes. They actually settle in while you're riding, which makes the screws quite easy to undo.

There's a bit of a technique for removing the mast. You need to brace the board with your foot and apply a little leverage to break the friction then wiggle it back and forth to get it out. It's quite easy with practice. Applying too much leverage (lots!!!) without the screws in place can crack the deep tuttle box.

I've got about 50 hours on mine and it's going great. I have started jumping and it's standing up very nicely.

I use the board bag and protectors mainly to protect the interior of my car. It all works very well. I made a mast bag with a pocket for the allen key so it all stays together and it's easy to manage.

Milesp
NSW, 18 posts
16 Dec 2016 9:44AM
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Covers do make good sense to prevent 'hanger rash'

I made covers for the foil from an old wetsuit (Steamer) + added a bit of sticky back velco and a few runs on a sewing machine. Nothing fancy, but does the job.

On the other hand, my DIY board cover is pretty useless as fleece fabric offers absolutely no protection. Will swap it over for a surfboard bag.

I also keep a spare allen key stashed in the car - too easy to loose - or get one with a coloured handle.


RussKraut
VIC, 450 posts
16 Dec 2016 10:06AM
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Thanks guys. Thanks Gorgo will keep this in mind and not overtighten the screws. And if I take it apart to figure out the right technique to not break the grear. Whole set up fits into the Prado ok (sits up a bit on the side i.e. Foil side but is ok), while I struggled sliding it into the Kluger. All due to the wings bending downwards. Perhaps I'll upgrade to the tiny board once I am capable of riding the foil properly. Currently on the 135 but the short one just looks to awesome (and I don't intend to use straps anyway).

Have you tried the tiny strapless 1m board yet Gorgo? How much harder is it? Assume it is more agile but more difficult to ride stable at speed?

Gorgo
VIC, 4014 posts
16 Dec 2016 10:25AM
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I have a Subaru. All the gear fits neatly in its bags across the back seat. That leaves the back free for kites and wet stuff. The car is quite new with leather upholstery so I am happy to have the bags to protect the car. It works very well.

My board is the 155. It's all they had when I bought my kit, and I am happy with it. I keep an eye on what is happening and will upgrade or buy more gear as my skills get better or anything vastly superior appears.

I am at the stage where I can get out and ride and have fun and try stuff. I no longer worry so much about damaging gear, and worry a bit less about damaging myself,so it's all fun. The sooner I wear out my gear the sooner I can buy new stuff.

I don't think the strapless board would be much harder to ride. I ride strapless all the time but I'm working on being able to ride fully in the straps. That lets me hold more power and go faster upwind and do jumps and stuff. I find with my feet well set into the straps and riding well powered up I have a bit more authority over the mast. I can bank over and crank upwind. Riding strapless and banked hard for long reaches the board can fall down into the water. It feels really weird when it does that and recovers (imagine a massive speed wobble on a bike and it's a similar feeling).

The harder thing about strapless is you have to put the board on its edge to water start. It's much easier dealing with the board while setting up to water start if you have straps to hang on to.

Livit
WA, 385 posts
16 Dec 2016 8:36AM
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Gorgo said..

The harder thing about strapless is you have to put the board on its edge to water start. It's much easier dealing with the board while setting up to water start if you have straps to hang on to.



That's true with a heavy set up.

Try with a lighter one with small and thin board. Easy to put in place and remains on its edge for long enough to do your water start.

Most production boards are between 3.5-4kg, I am talking about using a 2 to 2.5kg board.

RussKraut
VIC, 450 posts
16 Dec 2016 11:27AM
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It's funny I find the new Jshapes board almost too buoyant and light so it makes it harder to position for water start for me anyway as I am coming straight off the LF Fish. As it sits on the water and does not dive at all. While the LF was always halfway under water. Meaning while you had to be fast doing the water start (before the foil sinks and board is flat on the water), it was also somewhat more stable being ankered in the water. So I got away with more power coming from the kite. With the Jshapes, I need way less power and the board is more agile being on the water as opposed to half under the water hence requiring a slightly more gentle approach. But I will get used to that within a few sessions. The good thing is as you say livit, it sits on its edge for ages, before the foil sinks. I even have a hard time pushing it down sometimes if I want it oriented the other way. 1st world problems

Thankf Gorgo. Not sure I understand those speed bump issues yet as I am going slow but I guess when powered up and hammering with speed, the straps will help having a solid connection to the board, controlling both the board at speed better, and handling those artefacts better without falling off? I'll keep it in mind for once I have left the snail speed level

Gorgo
VIC, 4014 posts
16 Dec 2016 1:01PM
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Sometimes when cranked over the board drops down onto the water, then bounces up again, or not. Think back to being a kid on a bike and having the handlebars to a full 90 degree whack as you ride. On the foil it feels like the board has dropped down sideways for about half a metre (which it has) then popped back up again. "Oh ****! I've fallen off! Oh no I haven't! Oh yes I did! Splat!"

The other scary thing is blasting downwind at speed. You're catching up to waves and have to pressure the front foot to keep the foil down in the water. Eventually you catch up to a wave, and get the timing wrong, and the foil pops out the face of the wave, and you face plant, fast. It's like being smacked in the face.

RussKraut
VIC, 450 posts
16 Dec 2016 2:09PM
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Sounds like a lot of fun and water up my nostrils coming. The endless punishment sports

RussKraut
VIC, 450 posts
22 Dec 2016 2:54PM
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Just an update as I had another session on it. This time in 10-12 knots with flat water. Got up immediately and turning into toeside and back and forth easily. So I'd call the transition from the LF Fish easy and effortless. Probably a newbie could get onto this foil also straight away. But being on a real beginner foil may help and accelerate the learning curve. It is a tiny bit more sensitive and perhaps harder to position especially strapless for water start when choppy. But once up and riding it is very stable and pretty forgiving.

I am stoked and looking forward to developing my skills further on a foil which should not limit my progress.

snalberski
WA, 576 posts
22 Dec 2016 1:53PM
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RussKraut said..
Just an update as I had another session on it. This time in 10-12 knots with flat water. Got up immediately and turning into toeside and back and forth easily. So I'd call the transition from the LF Fish easy and effortless. Probably a newbie could get onto this foil also straight away. But being on a real beginner foil may help and accelerate the learning curve. It is a tiny bit more sensitive and perhaps harder to position especially strapless for water start when choppy. But once up and riding it is very stable and pretty forgiving.

I am stoked and looking forward to developing my skills further on a foil which should not limit my progress.


Awesome ....sounds like the goods

snalberski
WA, 576 posts
20 Jan 2017 9:20PM
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Had my second session in ideal conditions today on my new J Shapes foil. The transition from my Sroka was pretty much instantaneous, possibly because the J Shapes and Sroka seem to be quite similar in design- the aspect ratio/shape of the front wings seems to about the same but the J Shapes is approx 6-8% larger in total area. I'm not quite sure what difference this actually makes but it would seem to make sense that works the same way as a kites size...bigger area wing =more lift with a given wing profile and given speed. I'm sure its not so simple and there will be hundreds of other factors but either way it was still very similar to my Sroka.
The lighter weight, taller mast and more compact board (1550mm) all make the J Shapes a joy. I need a probably a couple more sessions to fine tune tight carving technique for duck tacks and the like but I did a few good height boosts today and managed to ride out of about half of them.
Its beautifully crafted and designed and outstanding in every way. Big ups for Antoine

RussKraut
VIC, 450 posts
21 Jan 2017 10:38AM
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Awesome. Love mine too. Got the 135 board. Do you have your feet in the position they suggest or further forward? I tend to be on the mast or slightly back, and the front foot is quite a bit forward from where the straps would be. But this can be due to the fact that I am still at an early stage. Duck tacks are on the list, but this will take a while I recon. Not much use being able to do them on the sb as it is 100x harder on the foil. Did you see the 1m strapless board? Looks just beautiful.



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"J Shapes" started by snalberski