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Anybody in Vancouver Downwind SUP Foiling?

When there's absolutely no wind

by Michael » Sun May 26, 2024 3:58 pm

Slappy wrote:Tried out my new Gong Kluber 80 cm pump board and it's definitely harder!


Nice looking board.

This is from the rowing club dock on Deas Island.
https://www.facebook.com/761850579/videos/pcb.6024445957625254/267012752343468
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by Slappy » Sun May 26, 2024 11:22 pm

Yeah, Adam had sent me a video of someone starting off that dock, it looks nice but I'm a bit scared of the South arm of the Fraser seeing as 1/3 of the lower mainland's poop gets pumped in to it just a few km upstream. Might be worth the risk though, certainly closer than Belcarra. Cates park's wharf looks similar to Belcarra so it might be an option as well.
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by Slappy » Mon May 27, 2024 11:30 am

Took advantage of the miserable weather yesterday to test out the Vanier boat ramp. The spot is very good and a huge bonus is the strong current on a flood tide for regular footers. Sadly the tidal current didn't last very long and then even reversed once the slosh of filling up False Creek bounced off the end.

I opted for the Kluber and it was a mistake, almost all my failed launches were due to the wing coming up to the surface between me taking my hand off the board and my feet landing on the board. It's a bit of a double edged sword as having a board that will ghost ride makes that transition easy but it also means the board might fly off 30 feet away after you fall and that can mean hitting stuff or going in to the active channel with all the boats.

To get the most out of the Kluber I need to learn to transition to the board while my hands are still touching it. Because of the span of the foil and the tip hitting the dock though it's very challenging. If the dock had a 60 cm overhang it would be so much easier but this one is only about 10 cm.

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by adam2 » Tue May 28, 2024 9:10 am

I've hauled myself out of the water and on to the dock about 45 times in pursuit of getting my dockstarts. Here are my thoughts so far as a 48yo:

- I'm not convinced my 154cm wingspan foil wing is the greatest for learning right now, it needs to be so far away from the dock even with the dock's slight undercut. Despite Angus' feedback about his smaller Spitfire foil being less suitable than his big foil I plan to try next with a 105cm, 1500cm2, foil, knowing full well pumping will be way harder. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. If I could even connect three pumps with it I'd be stoked.

-If you think "oh it will be easy enough, I flag out and pump this foil like crazy when I'm wingfoiling" think again. This is not wingfoiling. There is no third-point of contact of a wing to balance on when you get in trouble. Maybe later that pumping experience will be useful.

- Dock starting is hard, like really, really hard, especially if you're old. It is nothing like wingfoiling in this regard. While I don't want to throw up after each session like I do when trying SUP paddle ups (something I still suck at and have put on hold), I do dream of hip replacement surgery after each session.

- Dock starting is like learning to waterstart a shortboard in windsurfing, or learning to wheelie a bike, only way harder, and having to do 10 pushups between each attempt.

- There's a reason most videos on YouTube about are made by people's kids or young adults with seemingly unlimited amounts of leisure time. Angus is a legend for documenting his journey through this ordeal as a Gen Xer.

-I have kitefoil, wingfoil, and windfoil experience, so far they are about as useful as a background in crocheting. If anything, I think skimboarding, something I haven't done since I was 10, would be the most useful skill to have in terms of its similarities with running and jumping onto the board.

-Not having to inflate a wing, rip to the beach before the wind dies, or dry a wing out post-session are benefits I see to this form of foiling.

- I was worried I'd concuss myself on the dock's edge with failed attempts, so far this hasn't come close to happening, which is nice, but it doesn't mean it won't.

- A rope ladder to get back on the dock is pretty much as important as the foilboard itself.

- I'm using a 95cm Gong Kluber board (bigger version of Angus' board), I'm happy with the size so far.

- I plan to reassess things after 300 attempts.

-Walkers, joggers and even a fishing boat captain have asked me if I'm okay when they see me fall in the water, I expect this to continue into the forseeable future. I half-heartedly give them a thumbs up, and appreciate their concern.

That is all.
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by Slappy » Tue May 28, 2024 11:55 am

Good info Adam! If only we had a dock with a 60 cm overhang it would make is so much easier.

Some things to add from my perspective (also 48 y/o):
- I did do 2 sessions previously that I did not document
- first session was 2 or 3 years ago and I immediately severely hurt my wrist on the trailing edge of my foil and gave up
- second session was last summer using a foil that needed way too much speed and it just pretty much sank every attempt
- my sessions are 1.5 - 2 hours total time and I will do about 50 attempts
- so total I'm about 250 throws in and have only achieved one legit pump so far :(
- getting out of the water is about half the work
- my left leg hip flexor gets very sore after a session as it does most of the work of the jump
- stretch before your sessions! Especially your neck
- speed is your friend, but it makes jumping on the board harder
- video yourself and watch the video in slowmo to see how you are failing (you don't have to share the video)
- bring an old yoga mat so you don't hurt your board when lifting it on to the dock
- I'm always shocked by how little stuff I have in my van when going out with just pump gear and no wind gear
- it beats going to the gym and is a hell of a workout

Here is an inspirational clip for us regular folk pumpers:
https://youtube.com/clip/UgkxPHlouAIcWf ... LaODJ_NPgp
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by JonathanP » Tue May 28, 2024 12:21 pm

Hit me up if you guys want to do some dock start in squamish, maybe before or after a wing session. We have a few floating docks, lots of overhang. One fairly tall one downtown that's always empty, and cat Lake/Alice Lake docks that are really ideal for ruining starts and are usually empty mornings and evenings.

Need to install a floating dock at the waterfront park and get some blind channel downwind runs in.
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by adam2 » Tue May 28, 2024 12:34 pm

Jonathan, that's a great offer thanks, I'll reach out to you if I can ever get up that way in the coming weeks. I am also keen to wing at the new beach.

Angus, those are all good tips, 50 throws is a solid session for sure. I may try your suggestion with the camera, it all happens so fast out there!
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by SE2 » Tue May 28, 2024 12:36 pm

I enjoy watching the videos that Adam and Slappy produce on their progress in learning a very difficult technique and must say that their faces capture the same intensity demonstrated by Tony Hawk when he was learning how to do a 900 (video UNTIL THE WHEELS CAME Off), all of which is to say you are in good company. Keep up the good work.
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by Slappy » Tue May 28, 2024 1:44 pm

JonathanP wrote:One fairly tall one downtown that's always empty, and cat Lake/Alice Lake docks that are really ideal for ruining starts and are usually empty mornings and evenings.


Yeah, I'm going to start doing some trips up to Nexen and was thinking about checking out the Alice Lake floating dock for after wind dock sessions. My main concern with it though is that it's behind a swim rope and I would expect life guards to get mad.

Cat lake doesn't have lifeguards so that's a plus, but it does get super busy in the summer time. Which of the 3 docks on Cat would you recommend?

I sure would be nice to have some people to pump with one of these times. With two people you can also take turns holding the other person's foil for easymode running dock starts.
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by JonathanP » Tue May 28, 2024 2:22 pm

Slappy wrote:
Yeah, I'm going to start doing some trips up to Nexen and was thinking about checking out the Alice Lake floating dock for after wind dock sessions. My main concern with it though is that it's behind a swim rope and I would expect life guards to get mad.

Cat lake doesn't have lifeguards so that's a plus, but it does get super busy in the summer time. Which of the 3 docks on Cat would you recommend?

I sure would be nice to have some people to pump with one of these times. With two people you can also take turns holding the other person's foil for easymode running dock starts.


No lifeguards at the far side of Alice Lake, but definitely can be too busy weekends especially, and the swim rope limits your area. Weeknights or rainy days is fairly empty, but slippery when wet. On cat Lake, can Dockstart off all four docks, but the handicap one West side has short rails. The closest one is probably best, especially morning sun and empty till the hungover campers wake up. North side is great evening Sun, but ladder is a bit more in the way. East side is usually empty but shady and has a log to dodge. Blind channel dock is always empty, has mostly grippy footing, but water is a bit funky at low tide. Probably better than false Creek though. Has no ladder, but there's a kayak launch shelf that works ok. Sometimes wingable there too.
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