Introducing our Bungee 2.0 hydrofoil launching - pulling - towing system. Lot's of fun, and enough towing power to get us all up on a prone foil board, I weigh about 200 pounds and there was enough pull for me to fly. The two big additions to our bungee are the hand crank winch for pulling back the bungee and a quick release attachment.
We used a 16 pound anchor I found on craigslist. Some of the recommendations are at minimum a 25 pound Danforth anchor. Our bungee in this video ended up being 100 feet, we made our own braiding three lengths of 3/8" thick 100 foot bungee cords. We winched the bungee back far enough that the anchor gave way a few times. When it did the anchor would move through the water relatively slowly, maybe 20 feet or so and then settle on the bottom, we still had tension on the bungee but not a very much. Our setup has enough weight to it that there is little chance of the bungee or anchor from flying back towards us, we felt safe even when the bungee was really tight and we could barely crank it back any further.
We also had an inflatable buoy to let us know where the anchor was and hopefully serve as a barrier if the anchor came loose. The other function of the buoy was to keep the bungee up and mostly out of the water. My thinking was that a raised straighter pull would help us lift the foil, whereas a downward underwater pull might make it harder. The buoy also helped other folks on the water see us and our bungee line and go around it. Using a longer rope (100 feet) between our buoy and the anchor helped the anchor stay put, so the anchor had a more horizontal pull rather than being pulled slightly up.
The trickiest part of our first Bungee test was getting up on the board and staying balanced in he first few seconds while launching the bungee. Water starting seemed to difficult, so we set a 2x4 board in between two ladders and used this as our "dock" starting platform. I suspect some kind of floating "dock" would work, maybe an inflatable inter-tube or raft.
One of my motivations for this is to find a human powered affordable way to practice and have fun foil surfing.
These sessions were on a smaller wing (around 120), prior to the winch addition on a bigger wing (160) lift was much easier. So I suspect a bigger wing on this bungee setup would enable some long rides, and give newbies another way to try foiling.
I hope this helps!
And below is a members only longer version of this how to video, 10 minutes and 10 seconds:
Also available for members are more video tips and info on our setup and some details that allowed us to have more pulls faster and easier:
A video showing how to setup foil Angle of Attack for surfing, and where I put my feet and why. Since adjusting the angle of attack and being very precise with my feet placement my foil surfing has improved big time. I have much more control and I know how to setup my hydrofoil and foot hooks for the conditions - bigger or smaller waves.
I have been having really long rides and breaching way less since setting up my boards this way. Also getting my cutbacks and bottom turns dialed and pumping more. With this improved control I also feel way more confident in a more crowded surf spot.
I am so stoked on foiling and eagerly looking forward to the next swell!
Here is the shorter version of this how to video:
And below is the longer video, 16 minutes and 53 seconds:
I made a foil surfing tutorial series for SUP The Magazine. Designed for newbies and beginners. I made it now when I am still learning myself. I have found that after I have progressed and developed advanced skills it is challenging to remember how difficult being a beginner was.
Also I suspect down the road will be fun to have a video record of where I was and my thinking about foil surfing. I wish I had this from my early prone surfing days. Now it’s hard to imagine not being able to paddle out and catch a bunch of waves and do whatever turns I want…
The past week I tried downwind foiling in the San Francisco Bay with wind in the teens. Not enough wind for me to get the foil to lift. Yet I had the thought that if only I had just a little boost, enough to get the foil to lift and then with less drag I could ride those little bumps.
I got off my board and tried pushing the board into the little waves with my hand and after about 5 feet the foil was flying! It took very little energy to lift. I was like wow there has to be some simple way to get a little extra juice and launch us into these waves?!?
I have found that folks who are willing to try new types of surfing are very welcoming and I enjoy being with them. Foil surfing has demonstrated to me again that those who see value in the weird or different seem to see value and good in everyone. For me Sitting in a crowded lineup feels similar to being in a office for 12 hours a day, I feel trapped and want to burst out running into the forest. With SUP and foil people, doing our own thing and welcoming everyone to join us, I feel welcome and at home.
On my twelfth day of learning to foil surf it all came together. I caught a wave, lifted up on the foil and flew down the line, opened my eyes to a new world of flying…