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Let's talk about surf-foil

It's been a while since we wanted to talk about it!

You know that the Saint Jacques team is made from watermen and it is important for us to know about each water sport. It is so interesting to be able to adapt yourself to the sea and wind 's conditions so you can enjoy everysingle day in the water.

Foil is the most intriguing and controversial subject of the moment, but at the same time it seems avant garde on many points.

Stan will tell you his little experience in the field to help you out on this magic discipline that is the flying carpet, in paddle surfing.

Xavier Leroy

pics by : @surfpix.fr

PREREQUISITES

So I do kitesurf and shortboard.
I manage kite foil, which is probably the hardest kite discipline but being able to handle the power and being pulled up by the kite still makes it easier.
In surf I manage take-off, something that is very important for my taste, I talk about it later.

Actually it's an interesting background to get into surf-foil: having the experience of flying and knowing how to get into a wave. Don't get me worng it is not mandatory, it helps, and I would say that the experience of surfing is the most useful.

FIRST EXPERIENCE

I saw as many of you videos of Kai Lenny and Xavier Leroy fly like clouds, it seemed super light. Well the reality is that it's not super light, it's like you get an anvil under a shortboard. So to paddle and move, I immediately took a morale shot. Especially since I imagined that I was finally going to go further than my friends longboarders and other stand up paddle;)

I did things step by step : first in kite to get used to the board and its foil, then behind a boat by gradually releasing the rudder. And finally in the waves.

As much as the first two experiences was ok, as much the 3D surfing is another game. This is where you understand why it is essential to protect yourself (full suit, safety vest, helmet) and ride in an open area with no one around.

THE GLANCE OF OTHERS

So your shortboard friends will tell you, « Oh no, not you! It's not surfing and it's very dangerous ».

Your kite buddies will find that "awesome", and those who do nothing at all "extraordinary".

The reality is that surf-foil is first and foremost dangerous for oneself, and indeed potentially for others. On the other hand the foil is supposed to bring you on spots where there is nobody because you can enjoy swell that almost nobody goes in.

My rule is easy: if I can surf my shortboard, no way to go foiling, so for me it is not a complement but another practice. Moreover, when I find it small and soft in shortboard, if I take my surf-foil I do not see anything like that!

 

THE FEELING

So as soon as you pick up the stuff it's actually heaven, you fly very fast. At my level, the smaller the better. Just have a foam that pushes you to get up and there you ride the swell, it's incredible. I am also trying to lose some surfing habits, especially that of always staying in the curl of the wave, there instead you look way furthest.

pics by: @surfpix.fr

GEAR

So here we must hang on, everyone has an opinion on everything. As it is a young sport it evolves quickly. Between mast sizes, wing surfaces, prices, board lengths. I will let you have your opinion, or contact us to discuss more ;)

Just my personal experience, if you have an aluminum foil, always disassemble it after each session. Anodizing can block the screws very quickly and it is very disapointed !

On the subject is better foil SUP or paddle surfing? I do not do stand-up paddle so I could not help you. What is sure is that you can catch the swell with a sup-foil whereas I absolutely need a wave that breaks for me to take off. Bbut while in the air ,my board is smaller with more turning ability, and I have nothing in my hands!

Paul-Conrad

 

SO, IT WORTHS IT?

So yes it's worth it, but you have to go step by step.

And the most important thing in all of this is the conditions. You must look for the swell, and especially nothing hollow. So search and discover new spots! Learn from experienced riders.

It will allow you to enjoy the ocean almost, no need to join the crowed line up anymore.

Enjoy

Stan

Credit: Instant Numérique

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