What was once dreaded, avoided at all costs and often followed by cartwheels over the nose of the foilboard, the infamous breaching of the foilboard wingtip out of the water during a hard carve is now considered an advanced kitefoiling move. You can do it on pretty much any aspect foil, but it tends to be easier on a higher aspect front wing; I prefer the Slingshot Phantasm 657 because it has less drag and doesn’t lose as much lift when the wingtip comes out of the water.
Wing-out carves are challenging because as soon as your front wing breaks the surface of the water, aeration causes much of your foil’s surface area to stop generating lift. In order to successfully continue through the length of the wing-out carve, you have to control the height of the wing’s breach and use your kite’s vertical pull to support your weight through the turn while compensating for the loss of lift.
Typically, when I approach a wing-out carve, I generate a lot of speed going into the move and bring the kite up overhead, pulling down on the bar and relying on the kite to carry me through the carve. Unlike a surfboard carve, you can’t steer the kite ahead of you and use it to pull you through the turn. Instead, the kite stays overhead, and you pivot under the kite. Sometimes I let the kite continue past the carve in the original direction and then snap it back towards the new direction. Other times, I leave the kite overhead and slowly redirect it in the middle of the carve. Either way, the kite’s vertical force replaces the foil’s loss of lift.
It’s key to remain balanced over your foil, but as you initiate the carve, you will want to use backfoot pressure to compensate for the loss of lift. As you begin to complete the carve, pull your front foot back underneath you to reengage the foil with the water.
If you are wiping out while trying this trick, you may be carving too hard, causing the mast to ventilate and compromising the lift from your entire foil wing. Longer masts allow you to put the foilboard at harder angles while keeping enough of your mast in the water to prevent this from happening. Start with smaller, casual carves while focusing on using the kite’s vertical pull to support your weight through the entire turn. From there, you can work your way up to exposing more wing and trying more aggressive carves.
This article was featured in our fall 2021 issue, Vol. 18, No. 3. To read more, click here.
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