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Old 06-08-2010, 12:09 PM
mig mig is offline
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Airchair/Skyski advice wanted

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.
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:11 PM
FrankSchwab FrankSchwab is offline
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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
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:24 PM
Geromy Geromy is offline
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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.
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:04 PM
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SkiDog SkiDog is offline
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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!
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Last edited by SkiDog; 06-08-2010 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:55 PM
mig mig is offline
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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?
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:08 PM
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SkiDog SkiDog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mig View Post
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!
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:29 PM
mig mig is offline
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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.
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:11 PM
FrankSchwab FrankSchwab is offline
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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 (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 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
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:17 PM
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SkiDog SkiDog is offline
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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.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:59 PM
FrankSchwab FrankSchwab is offline
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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
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