So, now, after 13 sessions of windsurf foiling (see session #13 video HERE) I am starting to gather further insight into sail size comparisons, technique, and possibilities.
With better technique comes a more realistic sense of possibilites. My pumping technique has improved significantly, which means I don't need to rely on big gusts of wind to get on foil. My 4.7m sail with the foil makes me totally powered up when others guys are on 8.5m sails with regular gear (probably 7.5m sail for me with regular gear at my weight). Two weeks ago it seemed like I needed a 5.3m sail when they were on 8.5m sails, but that is NOT the case anymore. A 4.7m sail is more than enough sail to blast on while other guys are on 8.5m sails. And, when others are on 6.5m sails with regular gear (probably 5.7m sail for me with regular gear at my weight) I can blast on a 3.7m sail with the foil. It's a pretty cool deal! Of course, all of this depends on the foil gear as well. Click here to learn about Our Windsurf Foil Gear and Why.
I am also learning upwind technique better which means I can now go upwind at a much steeper angle than riders on regular windsurfing gear. I have learned to get my heels to the edge of the board and lean the board over to the windward side. At the same time, I move the front hand back to the harness line to open the front of the sail and really power it up, while sheeting in with the back hand. The kit just flies upwind. By riding upwind at a steeper angle I then have more opportunity to play around on waves when going downwind without losing ground. The downwind technique is a different animal though. When going downwind and wave riding you have to take a big step forward with the front foot and move the rear foot across the board a little. Once you do this you have much better control over the board for wave riding and downwind maneuvers.
Well, that's it for today. Have fun on the water!
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.