LEARNING HOW TO MOUNT AN FSURF FUSELAGE WITH THE RIGHT BOLTS IS PRETTY IMPORTANT. IF YOU USE THE WRONG SCREWS, YOUR FOIL COULD COME LOOSE.
LOSING A FOIL TO THE BOTTOM IS NO FUN. TO ELIMINATE ANY CONFUSION AND ENSURE THAT YOUR FOIL IS SET UP RIGHT, LET’S GO THROUGH A COUPLE BASIC CONCEPTS.
YOUR FOIL WILL COME WITH THREE DIFFERENT STYLES OF BOLTS THAT WILL BE USED TO MOUNT YOUR MAST TO THE FUSELAGE. WHERE YOU PLACE YOUR MAST WILL HELP DETERMINE WHICH BOLTS YOU NEED.
1. FIRST-TIMER SURFERS, WAKESURFERS, AND SUP FOILERS START WITH THE MAST FORWARD USING THE WING SLOT (SEE IMAGE BELOW). THIS MEANS YOU ONLY NEED TO USE THE 45MM SIZE BOLTS. THE COUNTERSUNK AND SHORT BOLTS SIT ON THE SIDELINE FOR NOW, BUT HOLD ONTO THOSE BOLTS FOR LATER! YOU WILL USE THEM IF YOU EVER WANT TO SET THE MAST BACK.
2. MORE ADVANCED FOILERS MAY WANT TO MOVE THE MAST INTO THE BACK POSITION (SEE IMAGE BELOW). (LEARN MORE AT WWW.FOIL-ACADEMY.COM) IN THIS CASE, YOU SHOULD SET YOUR LONGER BOLTS ASIDE, AND USE THE 50MM COUNTERSUNK BOLTS FOR THE MAST MOUNTING. YOU WILL ALSO WANT TO INSTALL YOUR MAST CAP, WHICH FILLS THE HOLE ON THE WING. USE THE SHORT 23MM SCREWS TO DO SO.
WE HOPE THIS HELPS YOU NAIL YOUR SETUP! TAKING CARE OF YOUR HYDROFOIL IS EASY, AND DOING IT RIGHT MEANS YOU CAN ENJOY IT FOR YEARS TO COME.
OPEN TOE, CLOSED TOE, STIFF OR SOFT? THESE QUESTIONS AND MORE ARE ANSWERED HERE.
Don’t underestimate the importance of a good pair of boots.
Just like in skiing or snowboarding … or walking down the street for that matter, if your feet aren’t happy when you’re on the water, chances are the rest of you won’t be happy either. The good news is, boots have come a long way since not that long ago. The days of needing dish soap to slick up your feet to be able to get into your bindings are all but over. These days you have a ton of great options to choose from, each with unique features and benefits that appeal to different types of riders. Here are a few main considerations to help narrow down what boot is best for you:
Open toe or closed toe?
The main benefit of open-toed boots is they allow for use by riders with different size feet. This is great for families, casual riders, youngsters with growing feet or as a backup setup that can be shared with multiple people. Generally featured in size ranges small/medium, medium/large and large/XL, one pair of boots could potentially work for riders three to four shoe sizes apart. If you want one versatile setup you can use for multiple riders, an all-around board and a pair of open-toe boots is the way to go. While open-toe options have plenty of features built in, they’re generally not as high-performance or as secure of a fit as a pair of closed-toe boots. They tend to be a softer fit and flex to accommodate a range of feet sizes and aren’t as warm in cold water. For a boot in this category, the Slingshot Option is one-of-a-kind. It features a unique Gummy Strap closure system that squeezes tight as you ride and will never loosen. Check it out!
For performance-oriented riding, a super secure fit and more direct feel and control over your board, closed-toe boots are the way to go. They’re more expensive, but what you give in the price you get plenty back in performance. You can normally share with riders about half a shoe size up and one size down, but anything more than that isn’t very functional or comfortable. Within the closed-toe category, there are a variety of options to choose from. Soft, medium or stiff? Inner laces or not? Removable, walkable liner or not? Check out our 2018 boot lineup for an overview of each.
The general rule of thumb is that a softer boot will be more comfortable and forgiving for casual or entry-level riders. If you’re not riding super hard or if your form isn’t dialed, having more flex underfoot will give you a bit more margin of error and a little slower response in your board. Stiffer boots generally translate to higher performance, with a more direct and immediate reaction from your board and more ankle support for aggressive riding. An exception to this is in the cable parks, where many high-performance riders prefer a softer booth for tweaking out tricks and grabs and leaning father into presses. In the Slingshot lineup, flex ratings are as follows: Soft flex- The Option: Open-toe design and soft flex make it a comfortable, forgiving and user-friendly behind-the-boat choice for riders of all shapes, sizes and skill levels. Medium flex- The KTV: THE KTV and the RAD are built from the same shell, just with different closure systems. The KTV features a three-zone gummy strap closure that maximizes custom flex control by allowing the rider to tighten the lower, middle and upper parts of the boot independently. Gummy Straps provide a dynamic riding experience. Unlike static closures, Gummy Straps flex with your movement and squeeze your boots tight while you ride. It’s the perfect balance between support and mobility. Medium flex- The RAD: THE RAD and the KTV are built from the same shell, just with different closure systems. The RAD features a synching lace closure over the top of your foot that you can pull tight and lock down, and a gummy strap closure over the ankle that squeezes tight as you ride. Flex can be controlled by loosening or tightening the dual closure zones. The RAD has been a popular choice for boat riders for years thanks to its simplicity. Stiff flex- The Shredtown: The Shredtown is a boot within a boot. It has an inner liner with hard, “walking soles” – a big bonus for cable riders and winchers who don’t have feet like cavemen. The liner synchs tight with a full lace-up closure and slides into the outer boot, which has the same three-zone gummy strap closure as the KTV. The Shredtown is built for superior support and stiff board control.
WHAT ARE GUMMY STRAPS AND WHY ARE THEY TAKING OVER WAKEBOARDING?
WAKEBOARDING NEEDED A NEW TECHNOLOGY TO SOLVE OLD PROBLEMS. INTRODUCING GUMMY STRAPS…
We introduced Gummy Straps to solve a problem that has afflicted wakeboarding boots since the very beginning. Velcro (the worst offender, that’s why they SUCK), laces, the BOA system- they loosen over time, come untied, blow out, break, fray, flap around your feet and often don’t provide the support you need even when they are functioning properly. Gummy straps are the solution. Made of super strong, high-tension Thermoplastic Poly Urethane (TPU), they stretch firmly to fasten, then squeeze tight as you ride. Set the tension level by how much you stretch the straps before fastening them, and once they’re set, they’re set. No slipping, loosening or getting ripped off, and no leftover laces to dangle around your ankles. As an added benefit, gummy straps are inexpensive, almost indestructible and they come in a rainbow of colors so you can customize your look.
First and foremost, just because a board is classified as a good “beginner” board, that does not mean it’s only good for beginners. It simply means it has a shape and performance that are favorable to user-friendly progression- such as early planning, plenty of grip and upwind ability, mild rocker and a medium or soft flex for more a forgiving feel in the chop. Depending on your riding style, local wind and water conditions and personal preferences, that may be the best combination of features no matter how experienced of a rider you are.
Beginner-friendly boards feature:
• Mild rocker line: More stable, easier upwind ability • Medium or softer flex: More forgiving, better in chop • Plenty of grip: Easier to steer, edge and carve upwind • Wider outline: Easier for planning, better in light winds or with smaller kite/less power • Rounded tip/tail: Good surf/carve performance, good for cutting up wind • Lightweight: Easier to control, softer flex, more feel underfoot
Slingshot recommends the Misfitor the Crisis twin-tip boards for easiest progression.
SMART PEOPLE LEARN FROM THEIR SURF FOIL MISTAKES; EVEN SMARTER PEOPLE LEARN FROM THE SURF FOIL MISTAKES OF OTHERS.
We’re strong believers of that concept when it comes to learning how to surf foil. Some things you just have to learn for yourself, like muscle memory, balance and weight distribution and how the foil feels and behaves as it flies through the water. Other lessons you’d be a lot better off learning from the mistakes of others; like the guy who spent a week failing because his stabilizer wing was upside down, or the many who tried to learn with a full-size mast instead of a short one.
We’ve put together a list of five mistakes we see people make regularly when learning to foil surf. With a little effort and a bit of luck, you’ll avoid these mistakes yourself on your way to becoming a proficient foiler.
1. Improper foil assembly and maintenance It may seem obvious, but if you don’t put your foil together properly, it’s not going to perform properly. This means making sure all hardware is fully tightened, all components are oriented correctly and your foil is mounted in the proper position on the track (all the way back for beginners). Maintenance of your foil, especially if you’re in salt water, can not be understated. Rinse it well after each use, and disassemble and lube the hardware and connection points regularly.
2. Foiling near others Foiling in the waves is still very new. It comes with its own unique set of risks, both to yourself and others, and it may not be accepted by other surfers at the beach. The great thing about foil surfing is it makes a cherry pie out of crappy conditions, so you don’t need to paddle into the lineup to have a blast. In fact, the last thing you want to do is try to paddle into a steep breaking wave. The waves you want are the crumbled whitewater you can ride all the way to shore.Stay away from others, stay safe and don’t give foiling a bad rap.
3. Not enough front foot pressure This is probably the most common cause of crashing and frustration. You have to retrain your muscle memory when learning to foil. Too much back foot/heel edge pressure and you’ll rocket out of the water and crash. You want to pop up flat on the board, keep steady front foot pressure and slowly ease back when you’re ready to rise out of the water. Once you’re on-foil, you’ll build speed and generate lift, which makes proper front foot pressure even more important. The same goes for riding down the face of a wave- as the angle of the water changes, your front foot pressure must change to counterbalance.
4. Starting with a full-size mast The short mast is one of the greatest learning tools in foiling.Slingshot’s Flight School mast packagefor theHover Glide foilfeatures 15”, 24” and 30” masts. This allows you to start small, get the hang of the foil with an easily manageable mast and progress in length as your skills evolve. The difference between starting with a 15” mast and a full-size mast is like night and day. For surfing, start with the 15” mast until you’re confident, then transition to the 24”. We’ve found that to be the sweet spot for tapping into the energy of the waves. If you’re towing into a large rolling swell, the longer 30” or 35” mast will give you more vertical range and allow for more speed.
5. Kicking the foil under the water One of the most common injuries we see with foiling is from kicking the foil under the water. Event with bright colors, it’s easy to forget the foil is down there, and some parts of it are super sharp. Booties are a big help if you can stand wearing them, as is a full-length wetsuit that will protect you from the foil and help cushion the impact when you crash.
Before you head out for your next great kiteboarding session, make sure your gear is in order. Follow our easy Pre-flight Kiteboarding Safety checklist to make sure you and your gear are safe and ready to rip.
Check for any leading edge scuffs or tears that could get worse or rupture if you crash your kite.
Check kite canopy for tears and pinholes. Hold the kite up to the sky, look through the canopy and see if any sunlight shines through. Pinholes can be repaired on-site with a kite patch kit. Larger tears need to be repaired professionally.
Listen for any bladder leaks, especially around inflate/deflate valves and one-pump strut valves.
Ensure all One-pump hoses are attached, secured and functioning properly.
Once inflated, double check your inflate/deflate valve closures. Make sure they are secured and air tight
Check your Pigtail connections. Pigtails can fray and wear over time. Replace them if they appear worn or are at risk of breaking. Replacement Pigtails can be found on the Bar Parts page at www.slingshotaustralia.com.au.
Check your CSS bungee. If it’s stretched and dangling, you need to replace it. Slingshot bars comes with an extra CSS bungee. CLICK HERE for a video on how to replace it.
Release and reset the safety systems on your bar and on your leash to make sure they are clean, in good shape and functioning properly. Give a firm pull on the chicken loop to make sure the system is reset properly.
Check line length: Frequency depends on how much you ride but a couple times a season is a good guideline. Make sure they’re all the same length. Stretching is normal, but lines can stretch unevenly, which can cause your kite to fly unbalanced. CLICK HERE for a video on how to check line length and fix uneven lines.
Check the end of your trim rope where it connects to the small black grab handle. When flying your kite fully powered, it’s important to secure the end of the depower rope into the cleat. Riders often leave the rope un-cleated, which causes wear on the rope where it connects to the handle. CLICK HERE for a video on how to replace your trip rope.