Yesterday the waves were knee to waist high on the Lahaina side, so I decided to test a prone foil board I’m borrowing. My experience with the prone foiling so far is something like 10-15 sessions on a fairly easy 7 footer. After that, I bought a 4 feet one and that was a brutal failure. This one is 5.2 and has many established foil board features (beveled rails and tail and heavy double concave starting from the very nose) and I wisely decided to get used to the popup on such a short board with a regular surf session. This time I was able to catch waves and go to the open face, which was impossible on the 4 footer. Even though for surfing it obviously sucked, I immediately knew this was a good foil board.
This is the first setup I tried: Kai front, IWA tail. Worked pretty good, then I changed to a reduced size IWA tail for more speed, but I didn’t like the less lift. Overall, a fairly fun session, but my brain still compares it to SUP foiling which I greatly prefer for these two mean reasons:
– you catch more waves, as you paddle back out much faster
– you can use footstraps without having to uncomfortably lay with your chest on the front one. I’m seeing more and more proners using footstraps these days, sign that they are acknowledging the superior feeling of being so tightly connected to the board. Coming from strapped SUP foiling (and from strapped SUP surfing before that: strapped SUP surfing anyone? ), I knew about it already and put footstraps on my first 7.0 board right away. They were great, but, even if you are able to pop up and slide the front foot in right away, you still lose some time to find the back one. When you SUP, you catch the wave already with your feet in the straps and you can start foiling the wave much earlier.
You can read more about it in the post Foiling: SUP or prone?
Pretty much the main advantage of prone foiling versus SUP foiling for me remains the smaller and lighter board, but it’s completely shadowed by the slow paddling. Since I used the same board for surfing and foiling in the same day, I can state that the paddling speed with a foil underneath is pretty much half of the speed without the foil. Comparing it is a mistake, as they are two different things, but the brain does that comparison automatically. Am I ever going to get used to it? Time will tell. One thing for sure, when the waves are good, I’m gonna surf.
3am significant buoy readings
2.3ft @ 15s from 187° (S)
2.8ft @ 15s from 191° (SSW)
Great numbers at the buoys today. As I suspected yesterday, the temporary dip in the energy was due to the source fetch crossing over New Zealand and now we’re getting the energy generated on the east side of it. Pat Caldwell seems to confirm my observations:
The Tasman low pressure 5/11 raced SE across New Zealand reaching 60S to the south of French Polynesia with hurricane-force winds by 5/13. Severe gales aimed at Hawaii 5/12-13 over the 180-200 degree band, though limited in duration due to the fast track away and southerly component of the track relative to the Hawaii great circle band. This source could be enough to keep average surf on Tuesday 5/21 from 180-200 degrees with remnant Tasman holding on.
Numbers like that should ensure head high sets, but because of what Caldwell says, I would still strongly recommend to check the webcam before going. Check the webcam no matter what I, Caldwell, the buoys or anybody say. My guess is that at least half of the south shore goers don’t check it before going and they get bad surprises like: “oh, it’s smaller than I (or GP) thought!”.
Another tip to avoid bad surprises is to google map your itinerary and find out if there’s traffic.
45 minutes to Lahaina? Great, I’m listening to Siddharta.
3.3ft @ 8s from 93° (E)
Wind map at noon.
South Pacific has a small fetch associated with a low well east of New Zealand and another POSSIBLE long one by the ice sheet of the South Pole. Those ones are extremely questionable, as the great circle rays map doesn’t get down there, so we don’t know if it’s really oriented towards us. Probably not, we’ll find out in a week.
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