With the Internet alive with new technologies and designs in the surf and SUP arena, Gary and Ty were keen to give some of them a go. The Hydrofoil has been at the forefront of conversation, since Kai Lenny broke the Internet with his clip last year, and the guys could not wait to see what the hype was all about and to give it a go for themselves.
That is easier said than done… the first challenge was finding a foil, and then fitting it to a board. So after a couple of months of back and forth with different manufacturers overseas, one popped up for sale in the area. Like a moth to the flame, we were on it before the seller could change his mind.
Raring to go like a couple of kids on Christmas day, we could not get out there quicker. We soon realized we were in over our heads… literally! You have to walk the thing halfway to the back line, as the mast is so long. The first wave rolled in and we stroked in. Before we could throw a shaka, the board took off like a rocket straight for the moon leaving the guys on the launch pad. With the leash pulling tight, the return of the rocket was eminent and fast approaching. A couple more attempts later and we walked up the beach with our tails between their legs, bloody and defeated. The dream was almost dead.
After a couple weeks chatting to a local manufacturer – we found out that our high speed kite foil was not going to work as a low speed SUP foil. We gave it another go, this time with a helmet strapped tightly to our heads and our guru on the beach offering some advice. His final words as we headed for the water “if you get it on your first surf, you will be the first”. Taking the joke as a challenge, we headed in. A far cry better than our previous attempt, I can honestly say we had a blast but were completely hopeless and still had a lot to learn. What is clear is that behind the scenes Kai, Conner and the rest of the foil wizards have put the time and effort in to get to that level, and our foil journey was just beginning…… Watch this space.
Another clip which did the rounds last year and once again with the prodigal son Kai Lenny at the helm, this time on a JetSurf.
A jet powered surfboard capable of reaching speeds of 60km/h. This we had to try, so after our lecture on motor mechanics and electrical engineering we were handed the JetSurf. A couple of days later we headed for the beach to give it a test ride, after a fair bit of head scratching and looking over our notes we managed to get it started. Flying around Simon’s Town we were laying more rail than a train track. The JetSurf is heaps of fun, and a real leg burner. After an hour or so of scaring off fish and annoying fisherman, we decided to call it a day. An hour later and we were still busy with the post session clean up which involves everything from an engine rinse and grease to emptying the petrol tank and a full clean and polish.
So the real question: What do you buy? Or try next? A Hydrofoil or a JetSurf? The answer is a SUP! The learning curve is quick, you take it off the roof of your car and throw it on the water! Enjoy your session, back on the roof and off you go. Affordable, easy and keeps you fit. What more could you want? 🙂