Foiling is probably the hottest thing in the windsurf industry at the moment. I myself have been a little resistant to jump onto the hypetrain straight away, as I enjoy Formula windsurfing quite a lot. However last week I got my hands on a Fanatic H9 foil and tried it this weekend.
I went back to my homespot the Möhnesee, as the water is deep enough there that you don’t have to worry about hitting anything in the water. I tried the foil under an older Starboard Formula board with a 6.6m freeride sail in wind of 5-14 knots. The first gust I hit the board accelarated and sort of planed without lifting onto the foil. You actually have to put your weight a little bit towards the back of the board to start flying. As soon as I did that the foil lifted and and kept lifting until the foil was completely out of the water, so I crashed. The moment the board started flying felt really funny… everything got quiet and the feeling was completely different from regular windsurfing. However it was FUN!
The next runs it got easier for me to start lifting the board out of the water, however keeping a certain altitude above the water was not so easy, as the foil easily hovers to high if you don’t pay attention. After abou 2 hours of playing around with the foil in those gusty conditions (which I think is not ideal) I managed to do a couple of runs on the foil for a couple hundred meters. What a fun way to have fun on the water with light wind!
Unfortunately the wind vanished pretty soon, so the session was fnished soon. My conclusion from the first day on the windfoil is that it is certainly fun and very addictive, I am really looking forward to the next lightwind day so I can work on doing longer runs and getting better at controlling the altitude. Next time I will also try a little bigger sail, maybe even a Racesail to get going earlier. If I like Formula or Foil windsurfing better will show in the long run I think, but both lightwind disciplines certainly have their own individual appeals. But a huge advantage of the foil is certainly it’s size! Formula sails, masts and booms are absurdly large and unhandy to travel with, whereas with the foil you just have a small additional bag; as the modern big slalomboards are all foilready nowadays you won’t even need an extra board, and you can use your smaller slalom sails…
I will keep you posted on my progress with this foiling thing, until then: Have fun on the water guys!