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bigmac
07-20-2005, 07:45 PM
The thing was delivered yesterday, took me about two hours to put it together. Pretty straightforward, really. I set it up with the straight rear foil and the beginner and advanced power wedges together, about 1/8 inch back from the edge (per AC's recommendations to decrease porpoising).

Getting situated in the water for takeoff, even getting my feet in the boots with heel straps while sitting on the seat was very foreign and I found myself floundering around a) getting set up into the AC, and b) manuevering the thing around in the water to line up. My second set was more productive from that standpoint after I shed my shorty wet suit. I think it's extra bouyancy was making my floating position more awkward than it should have been.

It took me several tries falling to one side or the other before I realized that when they said in the video to sit way back to start off, they really meant WAY back. Once I did that, I could get up on the ski right away. I then had a couple of episodes where I forgot to lean WAY forward after getting up, and I suddently found myself way high in the air and heading for a mild face plant. Ultimately, I was able to find the balance point and could keep the ski on the water. When I began trying to fly the foil by leaning back, I fell a few times before I realized/remembered that I wasn't paying attention to my arm position. There are about 6 things you have to remember in order to get up, and I was only processing about 4 of them at any given time.

I finally ended it after getting bored with the ski on the water, and then getting up on the foil. I started heading outside the wake, and decided that that was a good point to stop for the day.

It was very interesting. I went from thinking it was going to be impossible for me to ride the thing after the first 2 or three pulls, to realizing that it was going to be possible after the first few times on the ski, to thinking "this thing is a blast" as I was skimming along on the foil for a couple hundred yards.

AirJunky
07-20-2005, 07:53 PM
Congrats, Big Mac!
A couple things to remember.
- LEAN BACK & keep the handle low on your knees when you start.
- Once you pop up, lean forward & hold the handle high to keep the board down on the water.
- You can steer by pointing your knees where you want to go. If your falling to the right, steer to the right to balance, just like a bike.
- Lean back &/or lower the handle to ride up on the foil.
- As you get better & better, work on keeping the handle sitting right on top of your knees, elbows bent. Lean forward & backward to adjust your foil height. Work on cutting across the wake without touching it.

And feel free to ask questions as you ride more! The best place to hook up with more riders is the Hydrofoil List (http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/Hydrofoil/) where almost 1000 riders hang out! :friday:

bigmac
07-20-2005, 08:08 PM
Congrats, Big Mac!
A couple things to remember.
- LEAN BACK & keep the handle low on your knees when you start.
- Once you pop up, lean forward & hold the handle high to keep the board down on the water.
- You can steer by pointing your knees where you want to go. If your falling to the right, steer to the right to balance, just like a bike.
- Lean back &/or lower the handle to ride up on the foil.
- As you get better & better, work on keeping the handle sitting right on top of your knees, elbows bent. Lean forward & backward to adjust your foil height. Work on cutting across the wake without touching it.

And feel free to ask questions as you ride more! The best place to hook up with more riders is the Hydrofoil List (http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/Hydrofoil/) where almost 1000 riders hang out! :friday:

Thanks. Your summary hits the really key high points as far as I can tell so far.

I do appreciate the tip on steering the thing. I was wondering about that...

Foiler
07-21-2005, 04:43 AM
Bigmac, Sounds like you did really well for your first outing. You can keep your speed slow at first to make things easier and almost painless.

My daughters learned at 10-12mph, crashes at that speed are very easy. No need to beat yourself up. Beginners seem to be more comfortable adjusting their height by raising and lowering their arms as Bill suggested.

Good Luck and I'll warn you now that this sport is very adddicting.

MarkP
07-21-2005, 07:59 AM
You guys make it sound easy!:worthy:

tex
07-21-2005, 10:07 AM
BigMac-Nice first set! How does the crack pipe feel in your mouth?

MarkP
07-21-2005, 10:17 AM
BigMac-Nice first set! How does the crack pipe feel in your mouth?
Wow, Whats that all about??

bigmac
07-21-2005, 11:07 AM
Bigmac, Sounds like you did really well for your first outing. You can keep your speed slow at first to make things easier and almost painless.

My daughters learned at 10-12mph, crashes at that speed are very easy. No need to beat yourself up. Beginners seem to be more comfortable adjusting their height by raising and lowering their arms as Bill suggested.

Good Luck and I'll warn you now that this sport is very adddicting.

Thanks. I think this thing is going to be a lot of fun. I was using about 14 mph, but the guy driving had a little trouble getting to that speed accurately. The Wakeboard Pro that I ordered for the boat has finally come in, so I'm going to try to get that installed today.

bigmac
07-21-2005, 11:09 AM
You guys make it sound easy!:worthy:

It's not easy, but it's definitely do-able, I'm convinced. You kind of have to throw everything you know about towable water sports out the window.

tex
07-21-2005, 11:16 AM
Wow, Whats that all about??



It's just a way of saying that you are about to be hooked on something new!

east tx skier
07-21-2005, 11:40 AM
Mark doesn't understand. He can quit anytime.

SkySkiSpokane
07-21-2005, 02:01 PM
Our "newbies" have always had a hard time with not "Rowing the Boat" as we like to call it. Your arms can be your biggest enemy at this stage keep them extended and try not to pull in and let them out real fast. I had the same problem at the begining. I think it has a lot to do with trying to "muscle" the ski around. The women don't seem to have that prob as much. (Don't tell my wife I admitted that!! ;) )

AirJunky
07-21-2005, 02:31 PM
(Don't tell my wife I admitted that!! ;) )

Aaaaaawwww, isn't that cute....... :love:
Sounds like your going to comply nicely! Even early! :banana:

BG1772
07-22-2005, 09:06 AM
Hey Bigmac. Welcom to hydrofoiling. You may as well put whatever other ski equpment you have on ebay, because you'll never want to go back. Have fun with it!

bigmac
07-22-2005, 09:54 AM
Hey Bigmac. Welcom to hydrofoiling. You may as well put whatever other ski equpment you have on ebay, because you'll never want to go back. Have fun with it!

Thanks. I haven't been out since Wednesday because my most available driver is my wife. I didn't want her to pull me on the thing until I got Wakeboard Pro installed on the boat. I figured stable speed control would lead to many fewer arguments and potentially prevent interference with

http://mccollister.info/nookie.gif .



Got the PP installed last night, should be good to go today. Now I just have to show her how to work the Wakeboard Pro without an argument and all will be well...

BG1772
07-22-2005, 12:59 PM
Perfect pass for sure has prevented a lot of arguements in my and my friends boats.

SteveO
07-22-2005, 01:13 PM
Wow you guys make me want to try the chair out. Tex, I may have to try yours out (not your crack pipe) next time at the club.

AirJunky
07-22-2005, 01:23 PM
Wow you guys make me want to try the chair out. Tex, I may have to try yours out (not your crack pipe) next time at the club.
I warn ya, Steve, don't try it unless you have some spare cash to buy one........ and plan on rackin up some hours on the boat! I can't tell you how many guys I know who have hung up their skis, boards, or feet (?) to ride a foil 99% of the time they get out.

Taught a gal how to ride last night..... 15 yrs she's been slalom skiing. She skied for about 10 minutes & then rode Sky Ski for over 1/2 hour.

bcampbe7
07-22-2005, 01:51 PM
Anyone know of someone in Middle Tennessee that would let me try their's out? I tried this about 10 years ago and couldn't ride the thing. I would love to try it again.

AirJunky
07-22-2005, 02:02 PM
There are tons of riders out of the Nashville area, Bcampbe. Check this site out & email the owners: http://www.tnflyin.com.
I believe they ride on Center Hill & Dale Hollow a lot. If that doesn't help, PM me with an email address & I'll forward it to some guys directly.

bcampbe7
07-22-2005, 02:11 PM
Thanks AJ!
Dale Hollow and Center Hill are just over an hour from me. I may try to get to one of their fly-ins. Do you think they would take kindly to newbies?

AirJunky
07-22-2005, 02:30 PM
I may try to get to one of their fly-ins. Do you think they would take kindly to newbies?
We always welcome new riders! About 1/2 of the attendance this year was riders who have been there before..... the other 1/2 were either new to the scene or learning to ride!

bigmac
07-22-2005, 08:20 PM
Day 2...

I can very consistently get up and ride the ski at 15 mph now. I'm pretty satisfied with my progress for a 54 year old surgeon who's trying to teach himself with only the aid of Bob Wooley's amateur home video.

I was having trouble finding a good balance point at 15 mph, so I had my wife increase the speed on the WP to 18 mph and that seems to allow me to get higher up on the foil and that in turn allows me more control. The first time I got all the way out this afternoon, my first thought was "holy sh*t...how long is that strut?" I don't have the best control yet while on the foil, but I'm getting there. I had a small fleet of boats following me. This thing sure does draw the stares - at least on our lake, where nobody's ever seen one.

I've being doing watersports virtually all my life, but I've never never done anything on the water as cool as this.

SkySkiSpokane
07-23-2005, 01:07 PM
Thanks AJ!
Dale Hollow and Center Hill are just over an hour from me. I may try to get to one of their fly-ins. Do you think they would take kindly to newbies?

I went to a fly-in for my first time. I had more in the seat time than everyone. The pros love to teach newbies and they will spend all thier time with you to make sure you do it right. We even took home a raffle drawing Sky Ski. From that point on I haven't looked back. All I can say is GO, meet new people and enjoy yourself cause there is no group of skiers/riders like hydrofoilers in all of watersports!!!

Foiler
07-23-2005, 03:04 PM
I went to a fly-in for my first time. I had more in the seat time than everyone. The pros love to teach newbies and they will spend all thier time with you to make sure you do it right. We even took home a raffle drawing Sky Ski. From that point on I haven't looked back. All I can say is GO, meet new people and enjoy yourself cause there is no group of skiers/riders like hydrofoilers in all of watersports!!!

I've never won the sky ski at the raffle but I have won a wet suit and a couple of non-stretch ropes. I attended my first fly-in 5 years ago and didn't really know anyone. Everyone was super friendy and very helpful. Just like Dave mentioned above the top riders would take time out to watch you ride and offer great advise. I was amazed that something I might have been working on all summer someone could fix in one sentence.

New riders ask me to watch them now, not that I'm a top rider but after 5 years I have learned a few things and always try to help. If you're close to Dale Hollow a local shop owner would bring a ski down to Cedar Hill resort you could rent, not sure if he still does. (615-243-3201)
.

SkySkiSpokane
07-23-2005, 04:12 PM
I've never won the sky ski at the raffle but I have won a wet suit and a couple of non-stretch ropes. I.

We actually lucked out with the raffle. We didn't win it but Mogab (Neil) did. He sold it to us for less than I paid for my wakeboard. Great bunch!! Seems as if the old cast didn't excite Neil too much! :uglyhamme

bigmac
07-23-2005, 09:05 PM
Day 3...

Going well. My wife is a great driver, especially now that she has the Wakeboard Pro figured out.

Getting up and controlling the ski on the water is easy now, and I'm flying the foil long distances with fairly good control. I still have some unconscious arm motion going on and between that and controlling the direction with my knees, well, I need to get some muscle memory to do those things at the same time. When I concentrate on my arm position, I start wandering side to side. If I concentrate on staying down the middle, I start porpoising. I've never had to actively and continuously control a water ski in 3 dimensions before. I'm working on porpoise-prevention right now with pretty good results. Just kind of holding rock-still. Amazing how fast 18 mph can feel.

It's hard to describe what it feels like when the foil is fully out. No wave motion, no noise, no vibration....wild stuff.

It occurs to me that buddys that ask "hey, let me try that once" are in for a disappointment. I think a person needs to go into learning this with the ideal of taking pull-after-pull until he or she sees some progress. The first step is getting comfortable with the motion and timing of leaning back to start and rolling forward with arms extended as the ski comes out of the water. Then comes learning how to control the ski on the water (because it's pretty much the same control motion as the foil). Then comes the cautious bunny-hopping to get the balance point grooved into muscle memory. Then comes flying the foil, then learning to control direction on the foil.

That's as far as I can see into the future right now...although I did take a little air coming off the wake (accidently) a couple of times. First time suprised me and I dropped the rope. Second time, I landed the foil and hung on for a straightforward landing...hmmm...hard to envision an old guy like me doing aerials...but...

Foiler
07-23-2005, 10:26 PM
That's as far as I can see into the future right now...although I did take a little air coming off the wake (accidently) a couple of times. First time suprised me and I dropped the rope. Second time, I landed the foil and hung on for a straightforward landing...hmmm...hard to envision an old guy like me doing aerials...but...[/QUOTE]

Good news there bigmac...people well into there 60's have learned to invert for the first time.

.

SkySkiSpokane
07-23-2005, 11:37 PM
Nice Job BigMac!! It all gets better (and addictive) from here on out! ;)

Now you should start checking out:
www.foilfreaks.com (another forum there also)
www.hydrofoil.org
Oh Yea
Yahoo Hydrofoil group and
www.airjunky.com
hehe!! Couldn't leave ya out there Bill!!

bigmac
07-24-2005, 08:15 AM
Any tips on controlling the direction of the foil once it's in the air? I'm sure that experience and practice are the overall key, but right now I'm a little squirrely side-to-side and I tend to overcontrol. When I start to concentrate on steering with knee direction, I find that I have a tendency to pull myself into the rope. When I then let my arms back out, I have a tendency to porpoise a little. I can then lean forward to get the ski back on the water and start over. I can usually stop the porpoising without doing that, but that's when I have a tendency to lose side-to-side control. My wife notes that I virtually always fall to the right (I could probably save money on a helmet since I only need a right ear protector).

I'm just wondering if there might be a little shortcut for a newbie to get a little quicker handle on directional stability...

SkySkiSpokane
07-24-2005, 01:42 PM
Brett and Bill can probably add some more to this but at this stage your hands make a huge difference. You noticed when your hands are extended and you lean forward eveything stabilizes. That has just as much to do with your hands as it does leaning forward. Try and keep your arms extended at all times until you feel comfotable that way. Once you start moving them in keep them near your knees and try not to move them around too much. As skier and boarders we try to muscle this thing around more than we should. That killed me in the beginning. It is all a finesse game right now. If you have broadband you can check out this video...

http://schumacher.sdsmt.edu/hydrofoil/Videos/Ferney/hairy-08-2003.wmv

Watch Ben's hands, you can see the small adjustments made with just hands and a little upper body. Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

SkySkiSpokane
07-24-2005, 01:46 PM
Also GET TO A FLY-IN. Threre is no better foiling instruction out there. Here is the list. Not sure if the Great lakes Fly-in is real close but I know it would be worth you time...
http://www.hydrofoil.org/Events2005.html

erkoehler
07-24-2005, 02:16 PM
Lake Clinton in IL!!!! That lake is probably one of the nastiest I have ever been on. Good luck down there....

BG1772
07-25-2005, 08:56 AM
When I am teaching new hydrofoilers to get the hang of riding up on the foil I use these basic instructions.

Keep your eyes focused on where the rope attaches to the boat, or the horizon in front of the boat. Keep the entire board down on the water until you can ride straight behind the boat with no problem. Once you can ride straight behind the boat with the entire board in the water, start moving your shoulders back slowly. The hydrofoil should start to begin to lift up slowly (if it moves up rapidly your shoulders are too far back) when you find your "neutral" position. Once you get the board to start lifting off of the water, start playing with moving your hands up and down and you will start to be able to fine tune going up and down on the foil. Remember, pushing your hands down will make the hydrofoil climb and lifting up will make it go down. In an emergency lean forward as far as you can and push the handle down to your ankles and the board will come down. Once you can master riding up and down on the foil straight behind the boat, it will be easier for you to learn to ride the foil everywhere else.

If my instructions are confusing, or if you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask!

bigmac
07-25-2005, 09:00 AM
Day 4...

Yesterday, I found myself in the role of hydrofoil instructor. (In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king...).

Had a bunch of people over for our customary Sunday-on-the-lake complete with evening barbeque. Two Mastercrafts (plus mine) and a couple of I/Os tied up to our dock (gotta get a bigger dock). It was a full day of skiing and wakeboarding. Four of us went out in my boat - I got to the point where I can stay on the foil pretty much as long as I want and I'm working on directional control now. What blast! Two of the guys are wakeboarders, the other one a toober only. They were amazed at this hydrofoil thing. They were kind of primed about it having seen a long news segment on one of the Minneapolis stations from the Aquatennial. The 15 year old wakeboarder wants to try the AC, so I go into instructor mode (what a joke). Damn! The kid gets up on the ski right away and after a few falls he's flying on the foil - not well, but he's flying it..it was a jaw-dropper for me. This kid is pumped now - truly ready forgo the evils of wakeboarding. His father, the toober, is next. He gets up on the ski first time too, but didn't quite master directional control in several pulls. He did accidentally fly it a little as he was "rowing the boat" - at least it was enough to get him pumped too. Now these two are all over the internet looking for hydrofoils. Another wakeboard in mothballs, I suspect. I'm trying to steer them toward a Sky Ski, since that would give me an opportunity to compare the two, but the comparative price is putting them off. I may make up the difference just to have access to a different ski to ride.

The other guy is 39 year old wakeboarder. He's an orthopedic surgeon, one of my partners. He finally was able to get up on the ski most of the time, but his boat-rowing instincts are strong. He never got on the foil, but this guy loves water sports and I'm betting that one or two more trips out and he'll be buying the best foil money can buy and get Geno or Todd up to teach him to ride it :D - probably trade for free arthroscopic shoulder surgery or something (he was the team physician for both the Philadelphia Flyers and the Eagles). This is a guy who has an X-10, but is contemplating getting a Prostar too, because he has trouble with the X-10's wake for his very low-level slalom skiing.

How about that? I can barely do this myself but watching me, they thought even my pathetic attempts were so cool that they're ready to jump in.

So, my question...are Sky Ski vs Air Chair equally suitable for newbies? Is one easier to learn on than the other?

BG1772
07-25-2005, 11:46 AM
Excellent on converting more people to Hydrofoiling.

I have owned two air chairs and one sky ski. I personally think that the Sky Ski is more stable in the water and so do most of my friends who ride less frequently. As for teaching new riders, I can not say because I have not taught that many people on the sky ski. I usually put people on my old Air Chair to teach because it is far less responsive than the sky ski.

SkySkiSpokane
07-25-2005, 07:39 PM
Nice work!! :woohoo:

Those "boat rowers" will have it figured out in no time.

AirJunky
07-26-2005, 01:39 AM
Congrats on the progress, Big Mac. You should be able to continue steering with your knees even when your up on the foil. Try pushing your feet side to side too. And remember that small movements do a LOT!

Wish I'd thought of it days ago, but there was just a Pro Tour stop there in MN this past weekend. You can see more events posted at:
http://www.hydrofoil.org/Events2005.html

Oh, and Sky Ski all the way, baby. For a list of reasons. They produce a stronger product that I haven't been able to break. Plus they have a variety of skis available for all sizes & abilities, not just a one size fits all.

AirJunky
07-26-2005, 06:25 PM
Lake Clinton in IL!!!! That lake is probably one of the nastiest I have ever been on. Good luck down there....
I asked the promoters about this & received this comment:
"The water is not to bad I mean(its no Dale Hollow) I can see down probly 2 feet.I have never seen any debris floating in the water.The only reason I think a person might say the water is nasty,Is because Clinton is a power plant lake the lake is shaped like a U.On the Discharge side the water can be very,very,warm 100+ degrees.If you go to the other side of the U on the intake side the water is very comfortable 87deg.Or you can ride anywhere inbetween.One more thing I like about the lake,it has very tall shore line with trees depending on which way the wind is blowing you can almost always find good water."

Sounds pretty warm to me but nothing terribly out of the ordinary........ever been the to Brazos in Texas in August?! Since I live in an area that uses hardly any nuclear power, it's weirds me out to even get in that kind of lake. But I understand bit about how the cooling process works & that skiers use lakes like this all the time without any problems. That particular event has been pretty successfull over the last couple of years too. So maybe some further research is needed.

Foiler
07-26-2005, 09:35 PM
I asked the promoters about this & received this comment:
"The water is not to bad I mean(its no Dale Hollow) I can see down probly 2 feet.

2 feet!!! I'm exicted already, unfortunately that's like crystal clear spring water compared to what I usually ski in...I'll be there.

.

Jerseydave
08-08-2005, 07:41 PM
Brett and Bill can probably add some more to
this but at this stage your hands make a huge difference. You noticed when your hands are extended and you lean forward eveything stabilizes. That has just as much to do with your hands as it does leaning forward. Try and keep your arms extended at all times until you feel comfotable that way. Once you start moving them in keep them near your knees and try not to move them around too much. As skier and boarders we try to muscle this thing around more than we should. That killed me in the beginning. It is all a finesse game right now. If you have broadband you can check out this video...

http://schumacher.sdsmt.edu/hydrofoil/Videos/Ferney/hairy-08-2003.wmv

Watch Ben's hands, you can see the small adjustments made with just hands and a little upper body. Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

Man, Ben is awesome!!!!

If that video doesn't make you want to try a foil, better CHECK YOUR PULSE!!! :eek:

AirJunky
08-08-2005, 07:56 PM
2 feet!!! I'm exicted already, unfortunately that's like crystal clear spring water compared to what I usually ski in...I'll be there.
Hehehe, the things you eastern US folks deal with........ we skied on the Twin Lakes in eastern WA last weekend. Visibility was at least 10' or 12'. You could throw your foil in the water & see the wings 6' under like they were sitting right on top.

BTW, here is a shot of Ben goin off this weekend at Mayfield. He was being drug by a PS190 & hitting the wake of a 'bu XTI driving about 30' to the side...... gives him a super long powerfull cut!

What do you guess.... 20'? 22'?

SkiDog
08-08-2005, 08:02 PM
The first time I tried it, I had a massave HANGOVER. Trust me when I say this, Wait untill the painkillers kick in before trying skyskiing!

Foiler
08-09-2005, 04:03 PM
[QUOTE=
What do you guess.... 20'? 22'?[/QUOTE]

Looks like around 20' or so, everyone tends to over estimate vertical distance because it's harder to judge.

One things for sure he sure seems to be getting along ok with his new LE 38 sky ski.

.

PendO
08-29-2005, 12:45 AM
OMFG ... that video is wicked ... finally learned to get up and go for a real ride on the Sky Ski today ... I can't believe people really do tricks like that (Also, I thought Ben was an F'ing awesome snow skier) ... but looks like he can foil even better.



Brett and Bill can probably add some more to this but at this stage your hands make a huge difference. You noticed when your hands are extended and you lean forward eveything stabilizes. That has just as much to do with your hands as it does leaning forward. Try and keep your arms extended at all times until you feel comfotable that way. Once you start moving them in keep them near your knees and try not to move them around too much. As skier and boarders we try to muscle this thing around more than we should. That killed me in the beginning. It is all a finesse game right now. If you have broadband you can check out this video...

http://schumacher.sdsmt.edu/hydrofoil/Videos/Ferney/hairy-08-2003.wmv

Watch Ben's hands, you can see the small adjustments made with just hands and a little upper body. Good luck. Let us know how it goes.