Once you nail down the basics of foilboarding you will want to master the art of changing directions. While the standard foilboard gybe is the first to cross off your list, the next step is to master the upwind tack. It helps if you can tack on a strapless surfboard first and then practice the more challenging version on a foilboard.
1. Start going upwind on your foil with your kite at about 45° in the window. Begin edging your board into the wind as you bring the kite directly overhead. Keep steady pressure on your front hand; this will help the kite lead you through the tack onto the other side of the window. Ease out on the bar in order to cut upwind easier and to ensure that you have room to sheet in for lift and support halfway through the tack.
2. While you begin the tack by rolling the foilboard into the wind, as you pass through the middle of the tack you want the board to be level. Applying toe pressure through the middle part of the tack will ensure that the board is level and is ready to be rolled onto the new direction.
3. When the kite is overhead, rotate your front shoulder through the eye of the wind to olé the bar around your head. Use your front foot to pull the board directly underneath you. Then lift that foot and move it towards the back of the board. It helps if your kite is powered up as it moves overhead to keep your weight off the board.
4. As your front foot moves back, bring your back foot forward to your new stance. You will now use heel pressure to roll the board into the wind on the new tack. Leaning your weight to the tail will keep you from coming off of the foil.5. As you bear off in your new direction you will want to power the kite up in a down stroke or downloop to maintain your momentum and adjust your feet to your ideal riding stance.
HINTS FROM TKB’S EDITOR
- At first you can practice this move with the board staying on the water; this will help you understand how the foil’s three-foot mast rolls through a tack compared to a surfboard.
- The most common mistakes are not leveling out the board in the middle of the tack and trying to turn in too tight of a radius; a slower and a more drawn out curve is key.
- Use the kite’s vertical lift to unweight the board through the tack; this will help continue your speed and smooth out the transition. Having a foil kite or a kite that produces a lot of lift really helps
Rider: Reed Brady
Photos: Adam Lapierre
This article was featured in the [METHOD] Section of Tkb’s 2016 winter issue. Want more like this? Subscribe here: https://www.thekiteboarder.com/product/magazine-subscription/