In Star Wars movies some characters get light sabered and their body parts are replaced with human made machine parts. I going the other direction with my machine made carbon paddle being repaired and replaced with sun and earth grown plants.
Dedicated foil board and a high speed foil on some end of season juice. A few video clips from a few swells in March. I am realizing first hand how purposely designed foils and boards ride radically different than converted gear. Jeff Clark made me a foil board matched with an F4 hydrofoil, really digging the design as I have had some breakthrough progressions on this setup.
Video log from day one on a foil through session number 150. Crashes and all in hopes of giving a realistic account of what learning to foil surf looks like. When struggling I take comfort in knowing I am not alone. Learning to foil surf I felt like a total “kook” failure, flailing and crashing hard for many months. Also I beat myself up because I couldn’t come close to foil surfing like the people in the videos.
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:
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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:
I hope this helps! Also here is the digital protractor I use in this video to measure the angle of my foil.