Here comes the third interview in our series "tips from experienced but "normal" windfoil lovers". Today we have discussed with Cedric Kleisler, shop manager at Adventure Sports in Miami.
Cedric gives us some great tips, and shares his foiling experience, like for example the pleasure of surfing the swell on a windfoil.
Enjoy the reading and don't hesitate to leave a comment at the end of the article.
Name : Cedric Kleisler
Age : 32
Job: Windshop Manager
Home Spots: Virginia Key and Biscayne Bay - Miami, Florida USA
Windsurfing Since : 2003
Tell us about your first windfoil session
I first got on a windfoil about 3 years ago, the foil came into my possession by a series of odd events and was really unexpected. I had had no idea what the hell I was doing so I waited for a windy day, rigged for normal windsurfing and set out to discover the windfoil.
What a wild ride the first flights were, I was hugely over powered, out of control, and loving every moment of it.
The biggest surprise came as to how easy it was to take the foil off, and how difficult it was to initially control; but with time I was flying a couple hundred meters at a time; thinking of what I'd do different with what I learned for my next session.
What are your preferred windfoiling conditions?
We have quite light wind here in Miami during the late Spring and Summer months, so I use the foil a lot for low winds.
Everyone's definition of low, medium, and high wind is mostly different so let's just say this. 10 - 15 knots is really ideal for the foil I use, paired with the NP Glide Small, a JP Magic Ride 119 at 75cm Wide, and usually a 5.0 Combat or 5.6 Combat wave sail.
I don't mind pumping a few times to get on the foil so rigging small is key for me. I use the foil really for freeride and enjoyment which is important to remember - cruising back and forth on what otherwise would be a frustrating day on even the biggest gear. The whole point is to have FUN.
Cedric on his Neilpryde Glide, with powerbox head.
What is the last thing you have tried or learned on a windfoil?
This is a whole new dimension for me on the foil and is taking a lot of adjustment. I'm experimenting still with ideal footstrap and mast track position to find the ideal balance to be as smooth as possible going down these "waves".
It's a bit odd to describe it as wave riding since I'm not really looking for any breaking waves anymore, but nice smooth rolling swell instead. The acceleration is thrilling and when you get it just right you can't help but smile and appreciate the sensations of flight.
You really have to tune your gear for the sensations and experiences you're looking for, there is no "plug and play" per say in windfoiling. Just like a magician you have to learn the tricks before you can start actually doing the magic.
What are the best advice you could give to a windfoil beginner.
Try, try, and try some more. Be persistent and consistent. If you don't have the option to go to a WindFoil academy you're going to take a bit longer to learn, naturally. But keep on trying just like when you were learning how to windsurf and eventually you'll get it.
Stick to the same gear and don't go running off buying stuff left and right because you think it's an equipment problem, in rare scenarios this may be the case but if you go and start riding a different board, foil, sail etc in different conditions every time well it's going to be tough.
At first you need a bit of power before you become an efficient foiler so don't be afraid to go out in about 15 knots - that was the sweet spot for me. Start to experiment with the tuning once you have a good solid base to go from. Then go out and spend the money on what you really want from the entire rig.
Anything you want to add to finish off?
Just like windsurfing there are many different foiling "disciplines" such as freeride, race, and yes even some nutjobs doing freestyle! Be persistent and consistent and just remember we're all in it for the same reason. To have fun!
Once you're foiling it's pretty awesome if you have other locals you can trade tips, try different gear, and learn from. It's all for the love of the sport!