Andy Lachauer and Michael Berger came up with the concept of changing from freestyle windsurfing to foiling by using a regular freestyle board and changing only one screw. They headed to Lake Walchensee in Germany to test the idea, which worked well without having to change board or sail size. Andy answers some questions his kit set up and some tips on freestyling with a foil.
Photos: Michael Berger / mitchphoto.de
What foil are you using and why?
I am using the Neilpryde Glidewind Foil, it is flying really early and is easy to control in the air.
What size wings etc.?
I am using the small front wing combined with the normal back wing. Mounted in neutral position.
Are you using a smaller sail than normal?
Actually, I am using mostly the same size sail than I am using for freestyle windsurfing what means 4.5m or 5.1m Neilpryde Wizard.
Is it increasing your number of days windsurfing and why?
We are blessed with quite consistent thermal winds while the summer month between April and August with many days around 8-15 knots, before foiling came up we could maybe freestyle twice a week and now you are up to 5 times a week flying over the sweet water with a mind blowing view into the alps.
Do you feel more motivated to try things on the foil and if so why?
Foiling is new and old in one. It is the biggest fun ever to learn how to get planning and flying through the first jibes on the foil. Reminds me on the good old days when I started to windsurf!
Why does it help getting to windier parts of the lake?
When you look at many lakes you will find not many parking spots with access to the water right at the windiest place at the lake. With the foil you have the possibility to start from other places and being able to go upwind really fast. With the Glidewind foil in the powerbox, it is reset to freestyle by changing just one screw in less than a minute. That’s a game changer!
How does it feel using a freestyle board to foil is it harder than a special foil board or a wider foil board?
With the Glidewind foil combined with freestyle sails around 5m, foiling feels natural with the center back strap. The jibing is for sure a bit harder than on a bigger board but once it is up in the air foiling it feels normal. Especially if you are looking for an easy rider foiling adventure with lower speed and a cruiser feeling you will like it.
What tricks feel good on the foil and do you have any tips for foiling in general?
In the beginning it’s good to start with upwind and downwind 360‘s and jibing in different variations like duck jibes. If you start to feel safe and confident it is time to go for the first jumps. In the beginning it helped me a lot remind myself to stay over the board and for safety never let go of the boom or water-start without thinking of the foil below you!