As I pulled up to my friend’s house on Alta Lake, I was pretty excited to get out there and try the foil. I had ridden a couple of rigs for a few short sessions along the way up to Whistler. This experience would be the first time on my own foil that I could get comfortable with for longer than the few 25-minute sessions I’d had prior. I was amped! It was not too windy but windy enough. The lake looked perfect and I got ready to get out there. The first thing I noticed is that it is not totally “plug and play” the first time setting up the foil. I am used to a 5-minute rig up and getting on the water. With this, you have to set it up, put what foilers call the mast together and attach the wings and then you have to make sure that you have the right bolts for it to fit into the board and make sure that everything is perfectly in order before you jump in the water. So I hurried along, rushing to the water, not reading any instructions of how to set up the foil and neglecting that I didn’t have any of the necessary parts I mentioned above. It looked right, so yeah, should work, or so I thought. I jumped off the dock and tried to get up on the foil but nothing happened.
I sailed around trying for a while longer, trying to get up on the foil but still no luck. When back at the dock, I scratched my head and thought this thing doesn’t work. I got straight on the phone to Pio at MFC and told him just that, “this thing doesn’t work!” He calmly asked, “Do you have it set up right?” “Looked right to me,” I said. “Do you have it snuggly fitting in the fin box?” he continued. “Seems like it,” I replied as I could see half the foil sticking out of the box because my fin screws were too long. But what’s 1 cm of the base of the foil sticking out of the box, right? I guess that is the wave sailor in me thinking that it will all be fine. He said send me a photo. I hesitated but ended up doing it and all he could do was laugh. The answer to the failure lied in my poor assembly skills – that 1 cm out of trim at the back of the foil base, transferred to 5 cm of change of rake angle down by the foil where you actually ride and so totally changing the angle of what you are riding on. Moral of the story, make sure you set up the foil correctly.