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View Full Version : Airchair/Skyski advice wanted


mig
06-08-2010, 01:09 PM
I am clueless about airchair/skyski but want to pick one up to play on this summer - the Dr. says no course skiing this year after getting some foot bones fused. Advice on equipment and getting through the learning curve would be very welcome, thanks.

FrankSchwab
06-08-2010, 02:11 PM
Welcome to the darkside.

It's easiest to learn from someone who knows, but it is possible to teach yourself. What we learned:
1. Use a non-stretch rope. It's amazing the difference this makes.
2. Your first tows are just to get you up on the water. Some people pop up with no problem (my wife), some people have a huge problem (a friend who's been water skiing for 30 years just couldn't figure it out and kept falling over sideways). Pull out up to about 12-14 mph, which should let you get up on the water and get used to riding, but not get you flying.
3. Slowly speed up to about 16 or so, where you should be able to fly a little bit without getting too out of control.
4. If you're gonna crash, let go of the rope early. It's a hard lesson to learn, but really reduces wear and tear.
5. The easiest, softest, and most spectacular way to crash at these low speeds is to let go of the rope and lean back. You'll do a half-flip and land upside down - the guys in the boat love it, but it's soft and easy on you.

I'd suggest going to foilforum.com for better information. Maybe you can hook up with someone who has one already for learning.

BTW, I don't think I've seen anyone come out of the water after using the foil without a smile on ther face.

/frank

Geromy
06-08-2010, 02:24 PM
I would stay with Sky Ski. Where are you located? Look at FoilForum.com as they have alot of useful info and can get a used ski at a good price.

SkiDog
06-08-2010, 03:04 PM
What they said is 100% correct. FoilForum.com is THE place to go to learn all the ends and outs of this great sport. Lots of pics and training videos to help you along. Also, if you can, try and attend a 'Fly-in' in your region somewhere. EVERYBODY there will be willing to help a newbie! Trust me on this. Find you a partner to learn with also. That will help your learning curve a little bit, watching what they are doing right as well as wrong. Good luck & have fun! FWIW, this one hurt!:uglyhamme:uglyhamme

mig
06-08-2010, 03:55 PM
Great responses - much appreciated. I haven't seen a single foil on the water here so am not to sure about finding local help. I will get on the foil forum and see what happens. Other questions
- I am thinking there will be way lower stresses on the feet from foiling than from buoy chasing, true or false?
- Is "Sky ski" a brand or just a better style of foil?

SkiDog
06-08-2010, 04:08 PM
Great responses - much appreciated. I haven't seen a single foil on the water here so am not to sure about finding local help. I will get on the foil forum and see what happens. Other questions
- I am thinking there will be way lower stresses on the feet from foiling than from buoy chasing, true or false?
- Is "Sky ski" a brand or just a better style of foil?

There is absolutely NO stress on your feet while riding a foil. Other than some slight down pressure, your feet are not too involved. They do however have some control over the height above the water the ski rides. Both feet are strapped into the ski, so's to prevent ankle or foot injury. When buying a foil, ditch the stock foot stays and buy the ones from CinchMax. Much better product! This guy 'Lonnie' is the MAN, when it comes to foiling products and customer service! http://www.cinchmax.com/
As far as ski brands are concerned, there are two brands to consider. SkySki, and AirChair. Both are very good skis and both can be rather expensive. There are some less expensive models out there that will be good for helping learn the sport. Be careful and have fun!

mig
06-08-2010, 04:29 PM
Should have know there was a forum for foiling. Already found some enthusiasts that I can probably get started with. Sounds like this could work out with the foot repairs - I NEED to get on the water somehow. Thanks all for the help.

FrankSchwab
06-08-2010, 05:11 PM
There is a long history of hydrofoils..
There are some ancient Air Chairs around with flat foils. Fine for learning on.
The Air Chair Stealth (http://www.airchair.com/products/air_chairs/standard.htm) (Currently called the "standard" on their website) has been around for 10 years or more. Fine for learning and progressing, but starts to become unpopular as you progress to jumps and other aerials.
Sky Ski (http://www.skyski.com/) has a large number of current models, and even more good older models. They range from being comparable to the Air Chair, to being significantly superior. You'll have to find a better expert to tell you which is which.

There is a much stronger aftermarket for Sky Ski bits and pieces than there is for Air Chair related ones.

My suggestion would be to find a used Air Chair Stealth/Standard or lower-end SkySki used, ride it for a season, then decide where you want to go. If you want to sell it or upgrade, you'll probably be able to get what you paid out of it.

You'll get a lot of suggestions about things that "need" to be fixed about your ski (Sorry, SkiDog) - such as wings, foot stays, belts, seats, suspensions, etc. You can ignore them until you start considering advanced aerial maneuvers - then there are significant safety and performance enhancements that you might want to consider making.

If you want to teach yourself, let me know - I can at least send you the almost (but not quite) worthless DVD that came with my Air Chair. Or, just fly to Phoenix and we'll give you a tow...

/frank

SkiDog
06-08-2010, 06:17 PM
One thing that I HIGHLY recommend, is the use of a safety release. These can be a life saver! There are a few different ones on the market, so it doesn't matter to me which one you get, but please use one. In the event your arm goes thru the handle, this will release the rope from the boat, minimizing the injury.

FrankSchwab
06-08-2010, 06:59 PM
Hey SkiDog -
I've seen those on the Cinchmax site. How are they used?

I've got to guess that the rope on the left goes to the pylon. I assume that the tow rope goes to the hole in the release at the right. What's the red loop in the middle? I'm assuming that this is two pieces of webbing held together with Velcro.

Is the assumption that, in the case of a fouled skier, the linear pull on the release will rip the velcro open? Or is it assumed that there is a competent observer who will pull the handle?

/frank

tex
06-08-2010, 07:06 PM
Lonnie is the man!!!!

mig
06-08-2010, 08:26 PM
So, I could hurt myself foiling too? Thanks for the safety tips, the older I get the more injury prone I am so every precaution is worthwhile. Got the arm-in-handle covered (I hope) with ski handles, but the release will be at the top of the list anyway.

SkiDog
06-08-2010, 10:25 PM
Hey SkiDog -
I've seen those on the Cinchmax site. How are they used?

I've got to guess that the rope on the left goes to the pylon. I assume that the tow rope goes to the hole in the release at the right. What's the red loop in the middle? I'm assuming that this is two pieces of webbing held together with Velcro.

Is the assumption that, in the case of a fouled skier, the linear pull on the release will rip the velcro open? Or is it assumed that there is a competent observer who will pull the handle?

/frank

You are correct. the toe rope goes in the hole to the right on the release. Other end goes on the pylon. You set the velcro webbing to a certain tension depending on how much pull you might apply to it while skiing. Its fully adjustable to accommodate beginners as well as seasoned riders. The velcro loop in the middle is there to as a rope tie.

91ps190
06-12-2010, 04:01 PM
Get a Sky Ski - not a airchair.

FrankSchwab
06-12-2010, 04:55 PM
Get a Sky Ski - not a airchair.

Glad you could add your thoughtful opinions to the debate. I appreciate all the detail that went into your answer.

/frank

Doug G
08-16-2010, 12:20 PM
I pulled the trigger on a used Air Chair over vacation. ( I know, the price was right and when I can out ride it i'll upgrade)

I am hooked. Now it's time for the mods for straps and bindings and learning to jump :)

jcbatt
08-16-2010, 01:13 PM
I started on a basic old air chair, and and now use a sky ski pro ss I found on ebay with a few mods. I prefer the sky ski, but then again the air chair was very old, so I don't have a great point of reference. Everyone we ride with also uses sky ski's exclusively. Some of people are very good, but most see advantages and disadvantages to both brands but prefer the sky ski (and much better models than mine). I love hydrofoiling, and once you get the hang of it, its very easy on your body. Just lean way forward once you get up for a while, and then slowly start to fly, and once you do, its very easy. Good luck,

FrankSchwab
08-16-2010, 01:25 PM
You've got yourself an Air Chair Stealth there; a fine model to learn on. The seatbelt and bindings will need to be upgraded (cinchmax.com) before you start trying anything more than basic jumps, but should be fine up to that point.

Congratulations, and have a good time.

/frank

TLR67
08-16-2010, 02:23 PM
Reading this thread makes me want to get one.....This is something I have never tried but Man I love seeing them Jump...

c_craig
08-16-2010, 10:13 PM
Worked on the backflip/gainer all summer. Here's the best one so far. Have landed that thing EVERY which way (except still riding!). Probably 100 wrecks (not kidding). Fun stuff though, and suprisingly little pain with the wrecks. I did invest in Lonnie's foot stays, trick release and helmet before trying any inverts. My feet came out of the stock bindings twice last year and that is not a good feeling! Lonnie's are SOLID. My daughter rides and started wake jumps this year, and my wife is learning too. They've had enough of the wakeboard face-plants:cool: Son can't get enough of the board.

c_craig
08-16-2010, 10:28 PM
My daughter started some wake jumps this year, and the Mrs. learning to fly the ski.

atlfootr
08-16-2010, 11:32 PM
Reading this thread makes me want to get oneAnother, Benedict Arnold :D / former barefooter! 8p

venetrex
08-22-2010, 10:05 PM
I've been riding for a long time. I started on the air chair gorilla. I then bought a stealth, just like the one in the photo and finally upgraded to a sky ski b39 in 2005. I had the strut anodized gold with Teflon which keeps it real clean. I have the footstays and lap belt from Lonnie. I also have the comptech rack mounted on the forward leg of my tower, best way to store it. I can tide between 23.5 to 26.5 mph. No flips I am a chicken:(. I really need to try them again. Anyways I love the sport!!

Kingsley X-1
09-14-2010, 12:08 PM
this is me learning a gainer...i can land, but the handle keeps popping out of my hand

Kingsley X-1
09-14-2010, 02:43 PM
trying to get a little bit of air...what do u guys think???

Jerseydave
09-14-2010, 07:09 PM
I've been riding for a long time. I started on the air chair gorilla. I then bought a stealth, just like the one in the photo and finally upgraded to a sky ski b39 in 2005. I had the strut anodized gold with Teflon which keeps it real clean. I have the footstays and lap belt from Lonnie. I also have the comptech rack mounted on the forward leg of my tower, best way to store it. I can tide between 23.5 to 26.5 mph. No flips I am a chicken:(. I really need to try them again. Anyways I love the sport!!

Wow! You ride fast, I'm only riding @ 20mph. I'm a bit timid about flips also, but love getting some air! We should get together and foil sometime! Are you far from NJ?

61686

Kingsley, lookin good dude!

c_craig
09-14-2010, 09:13 PM
Wow! You ride fast, I'm only riding @ 20mph. I'm a bit timid about flips also, but love getting some air! We should get together and foil sometime! Are you far from NJ?

61686

Kingsley, lookin good dude!

Too fast for me, but yeah, that is some big air.

SkiDog
09-14-2010, 09:19 PM
trying to get a little bit of air...what do u guys think???

thats BIG air Hague! Seat time, thats what its all about brutha! lOOKIN GOOD!

SkiDog
09-14-2010, 09:22 PM
trying to get a little bit of air...what do u guys think???

I'm certainly NO expert, but it looks like you aren't out wide enough from the boat when trying these gainers. At least thats what it looks like in the fist pic. Try going out really wide, almost parallel with the boat, then flipping. That should ease the rope tension and not jerk it outa your hand when you land. My:twocents: Hope this helps.

TOO-TALL
09-14-2010, 11:51 PM
Skidog.....whats up my brother!!??.

Yeah, like skidog said cut out alittle more.

From the one pic(where your upside down) look at your hands there above your knees...
I bet when your rotating around you are moveing the handle to your shoulders or higher(this is bad).
With the handle that high when you land there is a ton of slack.And the handle gets ripped out of your hands.
Remimber line tesion is your friend.Keep a tight line(or try not to get alot of slack)

So just remimber to keep the handle low and at your inside hip.Make sure to look back and spot the water......Then just ride away.

Try these tips and let us know how it works out.

Kingsley X-1
09-15-2010, 08:47 AM
where you see my hands on the upside down pic is where they were when i came out of the water. i just dont think i a spotting the landing well enough. that pic was about the 5th time i have tried a gainer...so think i am going to get it soon.

DooSPX
09-15-2010, 12:58 PM
Kingsley, How is it going? Havent seen you on for a while.

You ride a sky ski? Man, ,you should have showed the dog up at Marks Cookout a while back! :D:D

just kidding skidog! ;)

2RLAKE
09-15-2010, 01:32 PM
is this the proper technique for spotting the landing????

SkiDog
09-15-2010, 03:03 PM
is this the proper technique for spotting the landing????

No, this is!

c_craig
06-13-2011, 10:04 AM
My buddy and teacher "Chewy". My son is just learning to photoshop sequences. This wasn't really framed right for it, but came out pretty cool. Will be riding with him at Powell this July. Can't wait. Bringing large bottle of Advil.

Jerseydave
06-13-2011, 10:02 PM
My buddy and teacher "Chewy". My son is just learning to photoshop sequences. This wasn't really framed right for it, but came out pretty cool. Will be riding with him at Powell this July. Can't wait. Bringing large bottle of Advil.

Doing a roll without a helmet = BIG ONES!

SkiDog
08-22-2013, 08:49 PM
This is quite possibly the BEST ski video ever made!\

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvz4RSRmykU

Cloaked
08-22-2013, 09:02 PM
This is quite possibly the BEST ski video ever made!\

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvz4RSRmykU
A DarkSide production... :D

c_craig
08-22-2013, 10:03 PM
This is quite possibly the BEST ski video ever made!\

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvz4RSRmykU

Dub Glides. Gotta try that. Yea sure...

c_craig
08-22-2013, 10:05 PM
No, this is!

Lawn dart.