I learn how to KITEFOIL
BEGINNERS GUIDE FOR HYDROFOIL
Learning to kitefoil has been in my mind since many years. But it took me some years to actually try it.
And it was for the better because it gave me time to fine-tune my kite control and my strapless board skills
before starting this exciting but also kind of scary discipline.
The right moment came around two years ago.
I have been lucky. My friend in Cabarete had a short beginner mast and big foil. So I was able to try for the first time on a proper beginner setup.
It was super rewarding because I managed to fly on my very first attempt in both directions.
“Yes, I can do this!” I thought proudly.
And yes, I could until I came back to Italy and tried with my other friend's foil …
Well, what can I say, he was not a beginner and neither was his setup. ;-)
I struggled for two hours and kind of abounded foiling again from my mind after that.
Learning of the day: The right equipment is the key in learning to hydrofoils.
Another year has passed since then. But now I finally found the right setup to start and learn.
And what can I say, it is challenging but so much fun too. The feeling of flying is undescribable.
The speed is remarkable and to be honest, pretty scary too.
You love the freedom you feel while kiting, well, try foiling, and you really know what freedom means.
This sport allows you to cruise around, you choose direction and speed.
Do you play with the thought of getting into kitefoiling?
3 tips for you before you try kitefoiling:
⚀ Learn to fly your kite in low wind and practice relaunch techniques for low wind.
⚁ Go strapless. Learn how to ride a strapless surfboard before foiling.
It will help you to get rid of the "twin-tip riding style" that is hard on the edges. A hydrofoil does not have edges. Therefore you have to learn a complete new and different way to balance your weight on the board. Practice first put weight on both legs equally and stand more up ride on the board with your weight over the board rather than behind it.
⚂ Organize proper beginner set up and an easy and safe spot.
You have done all these steps?
Cool. Let's start with a short definition, for better understanding about the parts of any hydrofoil.
There are many water sports you can do on the hydrofoil. Kiteboarding is only one of many.
You may find it a bit confusing when you first start to research about kitefoiling.
You will probably find a lot of information about Wing Foiling first.
If you practice surffoiling, wingfoiling or kitefoiling or hydrofoil with a sailboat, the principle is the same.
☞ The parts of a hydrofoil
Let's first see some definitions, in order to better understand what are the parts
that make up a hydrofoil.
A hydrofoil is made up of:
- The Mast or tree
- The front wing
- The back wing or stabilizer wing
- The fuselage that connects the two wings
In order to safe you from a lot of frustration dangerous situations, make sure to
use a proper beginner set-up when you start kitefoiling.
Kitefoil beginner set up:
- Big Board (125cm and more) that floats and make sure to choose a board that
has the possibility of having foot straps as they are strongly recommended for learning.
- Short mast (45-60cm)
- Large front wing that helps you to get out of the water and fly.
The front wing size is the key element.
Its shape, its size and consequently, its bearing capacity directly influence the behavior of the foil.
The front wing is measured in sq cm and AR (aspect ratio) the bigger the wing, the slower and more stable it is.
A bigger front wing will help you to get out flying without needing too much speed. You won't get too fast, and riding as well as maneuvering is much more
Later, when you are seeking for a faster foil, you will want to downsize to a
front wing under 1.000 sq cm.
- Good wind conditions.
Decent and stable wind will help you to learn faster and safer. In the beginning go out in rather stronger wind.
You will have to focus enough on your board, you won't have time to pay attention too much to your kite.
Make sure he flies perfectly.
“Must I be able to kite strapless before I get into foiling?”
You do not have to, but it will make things a lot easier and safer.
The better you control your kite and balance your body weight, the safer and faster you will learn.
I highly recommend learning to ride strapless before trying to foil.
Kitefoiling safety tips
You approach hydrofoil kitesurfing for the first time? We highly recommend taking a few hours of lessons with an experienced foil teacher.
Not only to approach kitefoiling safely, but also to significantly speed up your learning curve.
A few hours may be enough to spare yourself many of the classic beginner mistakes and even a few accidents.
Always wear helmet and impact jacket. As you with no doubt know, kitefoiling can be dangerous,
the wings are sharp and it is not difficult to get hurt.
Helmet and jacket are not optional.
The third tip is to wear a long sleeve and leg wetsuit, at least at the beginning. It will spare you from small cuts and bruises.