Marlon and I got up for a dawn patrol. By the time we got there it was already crowded on the inside and there were several people talking story at the benches. We all were just staring at the awesome sunrise.
The surf was tiny and barely breaking with the 2.2' high tide pretty much at it's highest point. There was zero wind and the water was pleasantly warm. This picture was of the biggest waves from this morning.
I brought out the 4'10" and bolted on the Armstrong with the CF1600. It was a while before I caught a wave (because there were none). Marlon caught a few on his longboard.
When I finally picked one up, the first thing I noticed is how small the sweet spot for my front foot was - the board was really sensitive to foot placement and weight distribution. I had a few long (relative term) rides and one with a few turns. I bailed on two - the first someone took off to my left and was headed towards me - he thought it was cool watching the foil rise but I didn't want to chance running him over. The second wave I wiped on, my leash was under my rear foot and that was not working for me. On two waves I rode pretty close to shore - and as I tried to bail, I actually fell awkwardly and hit the board. The first one was towards the back rail with my left forearm, the second time it was with my left shin. There are no dings, but the top surface looks like someone stripped off the epoxy fill. I'll let the board dry out and investigate this a little more.
All in - I think I can pull the foil back a little more - the lift was coming on early, not a bad thing considering the size of the waves today, but during an average day, I think I'd rather have the control. Also the board paddles well and volume distribution feels good. I don't think the weight of the board mattered at all.
Surprisingly this 4'10" caught waves I would have brought the 5'6" out for. This really opened my eyes to what you can do with a thick, wide, shorter foilboard.
I got the deck pad and the traction hexagons on the board and waxed up the front half on Thursday evening. This one is done. I wanted to take it out, but the surf has been down and I've been exhausted coming home from work.
This board is a little heavier than I wanted it to be. The full carbon wrap on a polyurethane blank maybe too much. As I say that, I think it'll be fine because I prefer a little more weight on my boards for paddling momentum.
This board is also wider than the other boards I've made. That was to offset the shorter length, but time will tell if that trade is worth it.
First off - Happy Veteran's Day to all you veterans out there. That life is not easy by a long shot, so thank you for what you've done in service to our country and helping to preserve our way of life.
Secondly - Marlon and I got an afternoon session in. High tide at 1500 at 1.2', hardly any wind, and lots of energy still coming in from the south!
I had the 5'2" out with the HS1550. I did not eat it as much today (still did on a few waves), but I'm getting the muscle memory built for the smaller sweet spot. I love hauling butt on this foil on the straight aways, then pulling a hard turn to shift away from a breaking section. There were a lot of people out today, so a lot of turning was to avoid them (turns are fun so I'll do them regardless).
I turned off the back of one wave and started pumping back out - I got 10 yards back out and ran out of steam - a good start to pumping back out. I think I just need to figure out a cadence and I'll be pumping out soon enough.
I was batting about 50 when I took off on steeper waves (of which there were many). If the wave pitches, I didn't stand a chance. If the front had a gradual slope or had an escape route built in (gradual slope to the left or right of where I was), then I stood a chance. Awesome when I made it - awesome wipe when I didn't.
I did hit bottom once when fighting white water on the inside, but I couldn't find even a scratch. During these lower high tide days, I have been paddling the foil upside down through the break zone until I get out past head high depth. Best insurance from hitting the bottom by far.
To close off this great day, the sunset was spectacular.
La, Marlon and Noe had music events to go to on Sunday afternoon. I stayed back to finish some errands, to work on the 4'10" Foilboard and to get a second surf session in - this time with the foil.
With the waves up, I changed the front wing out to the HS1550. This was the first day I had the HS1550 on the 5'2" - and the first three waves stuffed me full of humble pie. I eventually got the pattern down and started making the steeper drops and finding the sweet spot (super small on the smaller board).
My old habits from surfing keep creeping back - everytime I see a steep, curling section, I want to paddle to it and takeoff as if I was on a standard shortboard. Unfortunately, being on a larger hydrofoil quickly brings me back to reality. I've made a few of these drops - but I have eaten it on way more. I wish there was a foil that was smaller enough to let you make the drop without popping out the water, but still large enough to cruise the inside where the swell is smaller.
While I was riding the inside, I had several lined up racetrack walls where I could just ride on the foil without pumping. Then as the section broke up, I would crank out a hard banked turn and shoot back 180 to do it again going the other way. This wing definitely moves faster that the CF1600 and I can turn harder. This endeavor I've embarked on has been one of the most challenging and rewarding pursuits - so much fun making it and getting worked over!
Also - because I didn't take any pictures, I sanded the 4'10" through the 120 and 180 grits. I went ahead and sprayed the bottom with clear coat. I drilled out the leash plug hole. And lastly I painted the front half of the top deck and got a pinline around the painted section.
The swell hit and it was solid. Overhead on the sets!!! I brought the longboard and caught 6 bombs on the outside before going to surf the inside. There was no wind and the tide was low.
It has been a long while since I rode anything but the foilboards. It was a nice change to ride the longboard, but I had a psychological block on moving my feet (because of the foiling - I don't move my feet).
It is awesome that we got this swell this late in the year - a true gift from the southern hemisphere!!!
It never ends... at least it seems that way. I got through the 60 grit final sanding (final before painting - and then there is more sanding after that). I'll do a 120 and a 180 sand tomorrow. After that I'll use a light colored spray paint to add protection against the direct sunlight. Then I'll sand that coat down to just what is needed for said protection (see - the sanding never ends). After that, I'll use a clear coat and cover everything to get it nice and shiny again. After that - you guessed it - one last sanding - this one will be the 400 grit wet sand.
Then I'll drill out the leash plug hole and get that set. If I get all this done tomorrow, I'll surf this on Monday (Veteran's Day!!!).
Sounds easy enough (not) - but I still haven't picked the paint color or printed out the logos. I might just spray paint the logos on and use posca pens for the dimensions...
Nice chunk of energy directed North - the waves were nearly head high on the sets and the background waves were waist high. What an awesome gift from the Southern Hemisphere in November!
I went out from 2:00 to 4:30pm when the tide was high (at 1.4' - with the waves breaking so far out, the water was deep - no worrying about hitting bottom waiting for waves. The wind was pretty much non-existent, and the crowd was manageable. I kept getting drawn out to try and catch the big ones while they were green. I picked off a couple successfully - but ate it a several more. Pitching lips, bottoms dropping out and bad foot placement on takeoff - made for a humbling experience. I really didn't think it was going to be as big as it was so I left the CF1600 on - I should have bolted on the HS1550. At least I got to find the upper end of the CF1600 on the 5'2". I'll switch it out tomorrow (the swell is supposed to stick around until Tuesday - like I said earlier - a total gift this late in the year).
I did get some really long rides - speed runs along the wall, cutbacks (although large radiused) as the sections closed, and a few flirts with pitching sections - I LOVE FOILING!!! I should have stayed closer in and just picked up the reform - I would have been more successful - but then I wouldn't have had all those awesome wipeouts!
Busy-busy-busy. Only had an hour to get wet. Brought out the 5'2" and used the CF1600.
No wind - falling tide (got there at 1.2', it was getting shallower by the minute) - and the swell was stomach high (can't complain about that in November!).
I had the foil set at the same spot the Infinity 76 was set to. I caught three waves, but the foil seemed slow to rise. I paddled in and brought the foil forward about a centimeter. It was better, but still seemed like I could do better (next outing I'll move it up a hair) - but after several more waves on the setting it was time to head back in. Marlon said he had a great time. He was on the outside and got to pick off some gems.
There is supposed to be bump up to chest/head high over this long weekend - I'll switch the front wing out to the HS1550 and keep using the 5'2" (can't wait!!!).
I got both fill coats on yesterday evening - pretty uneventful, but I could tell there would be some low points and highs to deal with during samding.
And this evening I got the 60-80-120 sanding done. For the 60 I used the grinder in sander mode. I should have used the Milwaukee since it has speed control. For the 80 and 120 passes I used the trusty random orbital sander. HOLY CRAP - WHERE DID MY HAIR GO????
I'm going to have to place another fill coat to "correct" some of the deeper cuts from the grinder, and to fill in the "lows" that remained after sanding. There are also some voids along the finboxes that I should open up and fill. I'll do all this tomorrow after work (get the fill coat on.
After that and the subsequent sanding, I'll end up spray painting the top deck of the board for protection from the sun, fixing the labels, coating with clear coat, installing the leash plug, sticking on the rear foot deck pad and calling it good.
Among errands and other things, I did get the laps from the top deck lamination ground down on the 4'10". On the back corners there are some voids that opened up with the grinding - over wraps from the laminating (should have cut more of the excess fiberglass and carbon off before laminating). I'll fill both of those with some tinted epoxy, then I'll get the fill coat placed on the bottom deck.
I got farther than what is shown on the pictures. I'll take a 'before' picture before I start getting the fill coat on the board.
I did a third straight dawn patrol this morning. I told Marlon he missed it yesterday so he woke up and came with me this morning.
Tide was coming up (maxed out at 1.9') but was pretty shallow (I could stand up with my arms and head high and dry). I paddled the foil upside down to avoid the bottom scrapes. The swell on the sets was chest high - awesome to be getting southern hemisphere energy this late in the season. Zero wind.
I bolted on the HS1550 today - this thing is a race horse! It was faster than the CF1600 and only had marginally less lift, with the difference mostly noticeable at takeoff. Turning this wing was easier than the CF1600 - I felt like I was rolled over in the turns and not just barely leaning into it (CF1600) or yawing/pivoting the turn (Go Foil Iwa). I caught plenty of waves - more green than white water and had one where I rode off the back of the wave and started pumping back out (didn't get too far - cardio...). I did breach twice and lost it once on a harder turn. The takeoffs were more makeable with this wing (less lift - makes me wonder what the CF1200 would be like) and did I say this turns like a jet fighter??? On another wave I did a three back to back roundhouse turns in a tight radius - the transitions were super fluid and I didn't lose speed at all (never would have done something like that on a shortboard - way too much surface friction and you loose too much speed in a turn). Over all yesterday was a better wave quality day, but today was pretty similar. With the only change being the wing swap, I did not breach on takeoff and my turns were way more fun. So if the waves are belly or less, I'll bolt on the CF1600. Bigger than that and its the HS1550.
Just when you think you're doing well, someone parks next to you and shows you you're not as far along as you think you might be... CF1200 with a 50cm??? fuselage - this thing must do continuous 360s.
I did another dawn patrol this morning, this time even earlier (since it was Saturday and there will be plenty of people). I was out by 5:45 and the stars were still visible. I caught one and rode it all the way in (contemplating going back up on the beach until there was more light, or more people out) - the ride was too much fun so I headed back out. I caught another two before the sky started to brighten. Two longboarders paddled out and were surfing Fenceline. I stayed out at Sand Lots.
The tide was a rising high going up to 2.1'. There was zero wind and the swell was shoulder high on the sets (waist high otherwise). I was able to catch a few green waves and it was awesome hanging close to the pitching lip, speeding by and getting turns in to do it again as the sections closed.
I had to leave to get back to take Marlon to an event - but in just over an hour I got my fill of stoke. I felt like this guy -
This was probably one of the best foiling sessions I've had so far!