What do you feel limits your riding progression the most? Gear? technique? Conditions? Another factor or combination?
What are your biggest frustrations when foiling?
Taking away the bad parts can be at least as good as improving the good parts for increasing the enjoyment of foiling.
I hope this can help us all have a better foiling experience (and inspire ideas for product improvement)
I see the glass in the “glass is half full/empty” question as one’s expectations. If they were realistic the glass would be full! Instagram(famously), and hearing how much Erik gets out, skews your expectations when one has little kids. So to answer the question, when considering how I WANT to progress, the issue is time on the water. For prone specifically, shallow beach breaks with no outlying bars, and mismatched equipment until recently(armie fg+takuma). We in Maine have river mouths that help but it’s not what I often see on social media with people catching a wave with all the time in the world. So I’d say lowering your expectations is the key to happiness!
+1 on never having enough time.
The other frustration is gear. Its so expensive to buy new setups that, while in a perfect world I’d always have gear that fits my current skill level/foil discipline, its not feasible to do that.
I buy foils like my parents would buy me shoes that were too big when I was a kid - eventually I’ll grow into it, but it’ll be a bit of an awkward struggle until then. I also had to use the same pair for everything, like I have to use my same foil setup for all different disciplines.
RIP us and our first world struggles
Gear and lack of true foil spots.
Foiling is a lie. “You can surf away from everyone and be all by youself!” The lie there is, foiling is good at beginner spots. All beginner surf spots here (Los Angeles area) have 3 surf schools pushing people into waves. So while it’s not hard to catch waves, finding open space is difficult.
The gear limits us in Southern California. There are mainly just miles of beach break where the drops are fast close outs. If you tow in from outside you can do some swoopy turns, but once you get into the true surf line, there’s not much for a foil to do.
So you end up at pointbreaks and try to get the insiders (or maybe the outside chip ins) so you don’t get yelled at by entitled rich white longboarders, or worse old shortboarders who throw rocks. Surfing out wide on the shoulder just confuses people. They keep trying to paddle further out in the channel and just get in your way there. They understand the lines better when you sit deeper in the pocket. But then you’re in a crowd of people.
When you do find that pointbreak/reefbreak style wave that you can repeatedly hit the white water on, then you realize the gear is holding you back from actual surfing. If you’re limited to mid-length lines and the inferior waves, why not just ride an actual mid-length in the superior waves?
Long way to go about saying. How do we make a foil that allows for a proper shortboard snap? Either a white water rebound, or a proper off the top in the pocket? I think being able to do that would allow more of the beach breaks to open up to foiling. Lift HA90 is the closest compromise wing (pump and surf capability) I’ve ridden. Unifoil Vyper is probably the best pure surf foil (very good surf, decent pump) I’ve ridden that comes closest to the snap in the pocket type lines.
Oh and before you say get a wing. There are so few pointbreaks where you can actually wing in waves. I do wing, but then you get 5 wings on one pointbreak and you’re starting to need an air traffic controller to keep order.
Ha- I think my biggest limiter is motivation to tweak gear during a session, I usually am having too much fun or my time is too limited to come in and swap tails, or move my mast, maybe I’m just lazy…
The other thing is the expense to get new / different stuff, then the learning curve associated with trying new stuff, dont like the idea of having to struggle to half a session on different gear too. I am also pretty hesitant to borrow other people’s gear, dont want to hit the reef with a buddy’s gear.
I’m just big heavy and relatively uncoordinated. Can’t dance, can’t jump rope, can’t pump. No surprise there.
For me, my biggest limitation in Southern California is the small amount of foil spots down here. Kelp, tide, and swell play the largest factor. But on the bright side, the difficult days make the perfect foil days much more enjoyable and easy.
I’m limited by adult responsibilities. I suppose I can also blame access and conditions while I’m at it.
Even with kids, wife, job and having to travel for good conditions I still manage to get 40-50 days on the water in a year, so I’ll stop complaining and count my blessings.
I agree with the “time on water” comment. Family and job responsibilities play a big part, of course, but current gear setup time can be a big time-suck. Assembling the foil, mounting on board. Then walk to beach and realize the conditions are quite what was forecasted, so walk back, swap front wings, tails, shims, hand wings, etc. The best days are when I can leave my house with foil/board all assembled, conditions are matched to my gear and skill level and I’m in the water right away. Makes the most of my time.
Gear is great, but I also agree that the expense and lack of compatibility between brands leaves most of us riding gear that’s not best for our conditions or skills a lot of the time. Universal masts are a step in the right direction, IMO.
All that being said, nothing compares to the feeling of being on foil, so it’s hard to complain at all. I don’t know how many days I’ve gone out and got completely skunked, but still frothing to go back out and try again as soon as the wind or waves show up.
Other than work getting in the way i think gear is the biggest issue. The cost of gear is kind of ridiculous especially when you realize how quickly stuff becomes outdated. And the better you get the more specialized your gear gets, which means you need/want more gear. Then you need to tweak/tune the new gear for your riding style/conditions. Then soon as you get everything dialed, new “better” gear gets released, and since you’re a total addict, you need to get it then you gotta figure out how you want it tuned, and so you ruin a few sessions on that, but since you’re broke from buying all this gear, you decide to pick up some extra shifts at work so now you’re stuck there all day and can’t even use that new gear… But don’t worry, soon as you have free time again, there’ll be something new to spend your newly earned money on.
Haha but in reality i think not having video of my riding is holding me back most. Because if i had lots of video, not only would it give me feedback on my riding, but i could post it, then I’d get sponsored, get free gear and not have to work as much and could foil more.
Can relate to pretty much everything posted here.
Agree feedback on my riding (video) would be a big game changer. Can’t tell you how many blown gybes I went through before realizing I need to keep the tail of the hand wing higher going in. I reckon a vid showing 2 or 3 gybes and I’d have sorted it in 1/4th the time.
The tuning/gear thing I am not sure much can be done about. Essentially most of the comments here, and my own experiences also, come down to “the range of my gear is too narrow.” But foil design is all about tradeoffs and so far nobody has found the do it all wonder singular design, don’t think it exists personally. Different people in different spots with different styles and preferences are going to want different tradeoffs in the design of the foil they are riding. This fragmentation of the market, and ensuing technical complexity in matching gear to rider and conditions is the biggest limit to growth that I can see.
Limits to time on foil also very much felt here. Don’t see much I can do other than get fitter so when free time and wind lines up I can let it rip for longer. Foil fitness is a different thing to most other sports I do though, carsio aside…guess there is a niche for dedicated training programs there.
Only thing holding me back is age, fitness and weight. Pumping a small surf wing at 50, 92kg is a humbling experience that I partake in voluntarily on a daily basis. Also, leashes wrapping around front toes and not being able to adjust stab angle on the fly…
Quick connects on the gear would be bad ass. Clicking in a front wing or tail would be superior if it was available.
For prone in the SF Bay Area, it’s the lack of decent foil conditions on a regular basis. Most spots have dumpy closeouts on the inside and are not deep enough. The few spots that are good are either swamped with surfers or don’t break frequently enough. One solution is the tow boogie which allows you to catch rolling, unbroken waves on the outside of the junky waves and people. A bit of a hassle but easier to launch than a jet ski and can go solo. There’s a company developing semi-autonomous “come back to me” feature. Not sure tow boogies are the best answer but are a good hack for now.
The good news is that during the windy season, you can wing almost every day and find some swell/rollers somewhere on the coast or in the bay.
And just after I posted this, I noticed Takuma announced eTow: Takuma eTow - Tows you anywhere - YouTube
Oho you poor bastards on the west coast! Garbage surf spots are EPIC foil spots. South Carolina is a foil dream! We average 5 sessions a week, wave moves slow, mushy, perfect. Plenty of wing days. Any time we go to the better spot in the region, JAX, we spend the whole time asking “Why TF is foiling so hard here” because it’s better surf and subsequently shittier foiling.
Also this place is full of hicks so property is cheap, houses get paid for early, and we’re all borderline retired. Jesus if you work in tech and can be remote your shoestring west coast salary will make you a king (and give you mornings off for sessions every day)
I wouldn’t move to So Cal if you gave me a house…
I would say cost of gear and physical exhaustion!
You ain’t kidding! Psshhh with a wing, you don’t even need to live on the ocean. Give me a lake with consistent wind and I’m quite content. Half my summer was spent alone at a lake instead of at the beach. I should really look into moving.
Also @KDW I’m reading into this thread, but I’m imagining this is in part research on what to do with your own foil line when it’s finally released and I do hope you’re reading into COST as being the #1 issue here. Sure lots of guys buy NoLimitz and Cedrus expensive after market masts. Doesn’t mean that’s the market you should be chasing
Half the reason I’ve looked so hard into reedin is they are really price competitive. Speaking of price though. Onofoil is having a crazy good sale. Complete setups for $1100. These are really good foils. If you guys have people looking to get into foiling right now, have them buy one of these. http://onofoil.com/
I kind of thought it would cost less than an efoil, or less than a takuma efoil.
My biggest frustration is fitness/cardio level. At 57 y/o, if I get a 400yd ride, connecting multiple reforms to the inside with multiple turns, I’ll be completely gassed.
I can pump 120 yd out the back before tapping out on cardio.
Oskar gave some pump tips on a HalfLife Youtube video where he mentioned he does interval training with jogging and sprinting. I’ll have to try the interval training over the winter to improve my cardo since my after work foil sessions will get cut down with the shorter days.