Today I completed session number 20 on my windsurf foil journey with a major break-thru for me. When Lisa and I set out on this adventure we were specifically interested in learning to ride waves in the open lake during the warm summer months when winds are often 15-20mph WSW. That magnitude is not quite enough for our regular windsurfing gear, but it seemed perfect for windsurf wave foiling.
Well, today, not only did I get to ride my foil on the open lake in 15-20mph, but I got some fantastic wave rides. I finally learned how to ride down the wave, let go of the sail with the back hand, and just flag the sail out. It's like surfing! My legs were so tired at the end of the session and my arms were fine. Kind of the opposite of regular windsurfing when my arms are tired and legs are fine. It's like a dream come true. 85 degrees, blue water, 15-20mph wind, and wave riding.
I still cannot jibe while up on the foil, but it shouldn't be too long before I figure it out now that I can ride down the wave with the sail flagged. At least I hope it won't be long. We'll see how it goes. Just keep in mind that an average windsurfer can get from zero to wave riding in 20 sessions. About 2 months. Stick with it, and keep pushing yourself. If I can do it, you can do it.
Eric L. Mihelbergel is an intermediate/advanced windsurfer, kiteboarder, and foiler living in the Great Lakes Region of New York State who enjoys sharing about windsports and fitness.