Following the previous interview with Eli Fuller, here is the second part of our series of small interviews featuring windfoil lovers, i.e. experienced freeride windfoilers sharing their passion. We are glad to get some great tips from Ben Luckett, windsurf instructor at Queen Mary Sailing Club, UK.
I hope you will find this interview full of good advice and motivating before your next windfoiling session.
Name: Ben Luckett
Job: Chief Windsurf Instructor
Home spot: Queen Mary Sailing Club
Windfoil gear: Foil: Starboard GT, aluminium 75 & carbon 95, Starboard FOIL 122 & 147. Also previously, RRD Aluminium Foil & H-fire 91.
Windsurfing since: 2011
My first windfoil session was in Kos, Greece, where I was working as a windsurf instructor. Sam Ross came out to run a windsurfing development week and let a few of us have a pop!
All I can say is that it was one of the most exhilarating and knackering things I’ve ever done. Having to do pretty much the opposite to normal windsurfing was mind boggling and ended with entering the water head first repeatedly!
I was hooked and have been out windfoiling at every opportunity since!
I’ve been out in as many different conditions as possible and my current favourite conditions vary depending on board choice.
FOIL 122 – choppy force 3-5, sail size 4.5-6.5 – these conditions are great fun, learning to jump on the foils leads to some BIG AIR, even in the smallest chop.
FOIL 147 – flatter water Force 2-4, Sail Size 6.5-9.0 – great for getting some speed and practicing some upwind/downwind, aspiring to join the foiling circuit at some point!
Foiling Duck Gybe – still having some fairly hefty crashes on this move! However, when I have found myself backwinded on a normal foiling gybe, the duck gybe is a quick way out of trouble at times.
Jumps – When I first thought about jumping on a foil, I’m not gunna lie, I was scared. However, I now think it’s amazing – because of the added height of the foil and the fact that you don’t even need chop, you can get some serious air! And it’s as simple as pushing through your back foot as hard as possible!
Just don’t forget to extend your front leg as you come out of the water or you are likely to exit through the front door!
Firstly – HOLD ON TO THE BOOM! This basically means that everything stops – making it one of the safest ways to get foiling!
VIDEO!! – get a mate, colleague, dog walker, SOMEONE to video you.
It’s great because you can see where you are going wrong; do you have a locked back leg as you take off to prevent the board skewing off downwind? Do you have a break at the hips once you’re up? Are you getting your head/body further forwards as you get powered up?!
All these things you can see more clearly in video and are so much easier to rectify! ALSO – who doesn’t want some video of them ripping it up on a foil?!
If you’re the sort of person who can’t get enough of windsurfing and the light wind days are a little depressing, foiling is what will get you through it!
Even if foiling doesn’t become your new favourite thing, you simply HAVE to give it a go. Every single person I have taught has finished the day with an ear to ear grin.
The thrill is equal to that of getting planing for the first time, and – at least for me – won’t get old for a very long time!