Learning to dockstart Axis advice

First of all, I notice there is no category for dockstart / flat water pumping, is this a good place for this discussion? Does anyone know a better forum with a section devoted to dockstart / pumpfoiling?

I’m a proficient foiler coming from kite/wing/wake foiling learning to dockstart.

My available foils are:

  • Axis Spitfire 1180 - 1550 sqcm
  • Axis ARTPRO 1401 - 1650 sqcm
  • Axis PNG 910b - 1260 sqcm

My available tails are:

  • 460 pump v2
  • 400 progressive
  • skinny 45

My first few sessions I tried to learn dead starts just because of lack of good dock options.
Since switching to running starts I’ve been focusing on the 1180 with either 460 tail or skinny tail (I think I pref skinny). I can still only manage 4 or so pumps before falling or stalling.

I’m thinking about giving the 910b a go instead just because it has a slower stall speed as I find that I’m having trouble keeping the 1180 going at the high speeds it likes. I am worried how well I will be able to dockstart a 1260 sqcm foil though.

I realize that a PNG 1150 would be heaps easier but these are the wings I have and don’t plan on getting a red fuse.

So what would people recommend? Stick with the 1180 as once I learn to handle it it will be my go to wing or give the smaller slower 910b a shot?

You can see where I am at:

The 1401 can pump better than the spitfire but it’s difficult to wield. Once U get used to it, it can pump, go with a shorter fuse like crazy short and the skinny tail to loosen It up. Not ideal for starting, but doable. Spitfire is easier but harder to pump for duration as its way less effectient. Check the dockstart FB group

Looks like your body is still trying to settle in. your feet are not in their proper place and that just takes its own time. take breaks in between sessions and it will naturally work out. just keep at it.

Gearwise, there is no silver bullet. once you get it, you will be able to dock start all and any of your wings.

It’s tricky man, that’s for sure!
I’d stick with the 1180 and 460 or 400 tail - you’d think the 460 pump tail would be ideal though?
Try to get the foil really high in the water as you’re ruuning/launching, land light like a cat and maybe don’t worry about pumping it at all to start with, just get used to landing on the board and gliding to the water, nicely balanced. After that concentrate on getting that first good pump in and build from there.
I’d love to hear updates on how you’re going though, good luck!

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I recently just started dockstarting myself . Using the 1180 and the 1201 with the 350p. What really helped me get consistent starts was putting my back foot on the board first and placing my back foot farther back than normal .

Go biggest everything you have right now, as you can see from your vid you need maximum stability. The span on the 1401 should help with stability in roll. Longest fuse you have and widest tail to further help lock in roll and pitch. The glide down suggestion is good, you need to slow things down mentally and work on one thing at a time. Once you are launching and gliding consistently, add a little pump. At that point a bunch of the other advice will become useful - go to a smaller stab and shorter fuse to unlock pitch and reduce drag, but until you can launch consistently none of that matters. Surf wings are harder to start as they are intentionally designed to be loose in roll.

Edit: and it just takes time. Some much more than others. Worth it in the end though!

You are doing well. 1260cm2 is just fine. Sometimes a wider span foil can be hard because if you land slightly on roll, its takes more pressure to flatten.

As Silas said, longer fuse helps in the beginning.

Your hand placement on the board will partially dictate where your feet land similar to your pop up when prone surfing. Just move your hand little bits at a time until your foot position lands consistently where you want them.

If you can get landed a little higher on the mast with legs a little more bent it helps. You can use the first glide downhill to stabilize yourself, then “gravedig” your first couple of pumps.

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So I kinda answered my own question, gave the 910b (1260 sqcm) a sessions worth of throws and holy crap it’s a lot easier than my 1180.

Now obviously I will be limited in duration if I stick with the 910b and want to move up to the 1180 and then also the 1401 but I think the right call is to focus on the 910b until I can at least pump a circuit of about 30 seconds and then maybe try and swap to the 1180.

I started with the 460v2 and then swapped to the skinny 45. I think the 460v2 is easier but takes a bit more energy to pump and is slower. I think I like the skinny better but next session I’ll try the P400 as the difference between 460v2 and skinny wasn’t too crazy so I’m sure the P400 will work fine.


Looking good man, nice work! I’m surprised the 910 is easier, but because it’s so thick, it’s probably got better low end?
I use the 1010 myself, which works really well. I tried the 1180 too, but found it a bit too much width on the wakes, and the boats around here go 8kts, so the 1010 is just fine!

you just need a better location :grinning:

I think I like the skinny better but next session I’ll try the P400 as the difference between 460v2 and skinny wasn’t too crazy so I’m sure the P400 will work fine

This turned out poorly and I did not like the P400 stab for pumping all! (for my skill level at least)

The 460v2 is nice and stable allowing me to push harder in to my pumps and gives a bit better low speed kick.
The Skinny 45 tracks well and feels very efficient allowing me to pump a little less hard.
The P400 just wants to turn, even when I don’t want it to.

Now I’m working on learning to turn so I don’t have to swim so far back and I’m trying to figure out if toes side is easier or heel side. So far it seems toe side for little turns and heel side for quick 180s.

On your two best runs from Round #11, I noticed the following:

*at 2:15, you had two nose up pumps in a row where the nose never dropped below horizontal. This caused you to lose speed, then on your last pump, you had too high of an angle of attack which caused the foil to stall and you dropped out.

  • at 2:24, you started doing the nose up pumps again, nose didn’t drop below horizontal, you kept losing speed and eventually touched down. At least this time, you didn’t stall the foil.

With the Axis wing, you need to wait for the nose to point slightly down before giving it the down pump. This will allow you to gain speed from gravity as you extend your legs on the pump.

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