Retro fitting a board

Retro fitting your board to attach a foil can be a cheaper way to get into foiling. It will ideally have a wide tail and have a good amount of volume, this will help you catch the smallest of bumps. Boards with excess tail rocker will make setting the foil plumb with the bottom of the board an additional headache. The use of shims or spacers is just annoying and will add hours to getting your board set up properly a board with flatter tail rocker is ideal.

Once you’ve decided on a board 

Essentially a square hole is cut and a block of high density foam is set into the board for strength. This box is then laminated into the board using glass fibre and carbon with Longboard US boxes installed for attachment to the foil.This is called a plate mount. Remember the force a foil generates on the board will mean lots of reinforcement using glass fibre or carbon.

Once mounted on the board the foil will aid in the boards stability.

Use the chart opposite to help gauge where the box of high density foam should be installed. Being able to move the foil forward and back in these boxes will give you a good understanding of how the foil reacts to your balance on the board.

Practice Practice Practice

Point 1

Get some practice time behind a boat or find a straight line cable tow willing to give you some tow time , you don’t need much speed if the cable is already helping you up !

Keep your weight centered over the foil (front and back foot) and look forward, slowly start to increase back foot pressure over the foil (back foot) to pop the foil up and brake the board free of the surface.

It will not take you long to feel the sensitive weight adjustments the foil needs for stable parallel flight. Those that have snowboarded will have a connection with the feeling of floating through deep powder and how foiling can be similar.

Weight should always be centred by this we mean any application of weight onto toes or heels with cause the wing to tip and you will fall.

To turn the foil rotate your shoulders and look where you are going

We would not recommend to anyone heading out for a session longer than an hour to start off with – as soon as you become tired in your Kinesthetic mind it’s time to head in.You need to be aware of sensitive changes to your balance on the foil for safe flight.

Get out there and focus on flying

Once you are up on the Foil, It will react to small adjustments in weight, so try and increase weight slowly over (your back foot) this will change the angle of attack.(AOA) 

Level off….remember the board will always have to remain parallel with the waters surface for successful flight. 

Stay low on the foil mast and you will feel in control and as you gain in confidence you can adjust your weight and fly high at the top of the mast, where the wing is close to the surface, this is the most exhilarating but also the most testing to master.

Learn to fall safely

So whats the worst thing which can happen ! You either hurt yourself or you could hurt others.

Learn away from the crowd, search and find a spot which is suitable and let people know where your going or bring a friend along to monitor your progress.

When you’ve lost control try and bail away from the board and cover your head.

Tips

Remember to maintain your equipment properly.

Moving the foil on its track mount ( if possible) can make a huge difference.

Use this rule – Bigger Winged foils generate more lift so should therefore be positioned more forward in the tracks towards the nose , smaller winged foils are better positioned further back.

Check your leash regulary 

Technique

As you improve your technique of foiling you should find the ability to generate speed from a start gets easier. A shorter board will be easier to manoevre and getting into the slightest of ocean bump or lump and flying gets addictive.

In the words of Dave Kalama – ‘‘The playing field just got ten times bigger”