I have been using the Rewinch for foiling for about 2 years now. Getting into foiling I wanted to have a tool that allowed me to practice as much as I can, even if conditions did not allow for it. In my case that meant, in case there is no wind and/or no waves. You read everywhere that building muscle memory is the key to learn and progress foiling quickly, so that is what I tried to focus on. Building muscle memory and foil as much as I could. Since I did not have access to a boat or jet ski, the winch was my solution. Getting pulled out of the water on foil looked like the solution. Looking back, I even think it is a better solution than a boat as you do not need to deal with turbulent water and you can use it in much more different places.
Over the last 2 years I have been using the winch a lot. I always use it for testing new foils and dialing in my gear. It is so easy to change something and do another run. As all external conditions are ruled out. It’s easy to feel and understand the changes that you have made. Different front wing, different tail, shim, mast position, fuselage length, etc. Effects of these are more easily understood.
Before I had to have a person on the beach operating the winch, but all of that changed as off last weekend. I have been eagerly awaiting the release of the rider remote. It is a device that you place on the handlebar. It will allow you to operate the winch by yourself from the water. It is a gamechanger! Before winching always required 2 persons, but not anymore. Now I can go by myself.
The rider remote communicates to the operator remote that you have next to your rewinch. This is how the signal is transferred. I have set up both the rider remote and operator remote with my winch. In the menu of the rider remote you can adjust some settings. You can set the speed and the ramp up time. Both are quite important for foiling. I have found a speed somewhere between 10-20 kmh to be the best for foiling, depending on what kind of foil you are using. Obviously being pulled at an angle will generate more speed. The smaller the foil, the more speed you want. Another key thing is the ramp up time. This feature I was most excited about. The operator remote already came with a deep water auto start, but the ramp up time was way too fast for foiling. The result was that you were pulled over the board. Now, with the rider remote you can decide yourself how long you want the ramp up time to be. The default is 8 seconds, but I have increased it to 12 seconds as I found 8 to be too fast. Now there is plenty of time to get your board to the surface and pop up on the foil before reaching the maximum set speed.
The buttons on the rider remote are something to get used to. The first few runs it felt awkward to constantly press a button. I found myself to let go after the start. Also in the beginning I was focused too much on the rider remote instead of on the foiling itself. After 3-4 runs I was totally fine with it and I was really enjoying the additional possibilities it gives.
The connection of the rider remote feels super reliable. I was using it for lengths over 200 meters, under power cables and with the operator remote lying next to the winch on the ground. It all worked perfectly fine. If I go to a spot without power lines and if I would place the operator remote 1,5 – 2 m in the air the connection would be even better. One thing I did notice. The operator remote auto shutdown is set to 10 mins. You need to make sure that ones every 10 minutes the rider remote sends a signal to the operator remote. Otherwise, the operator remote shuts down and you no longer have a connection to the winch.
The rewinch was already a great product for foiling, learning to foil and practicing. Now with the rider remote it is even better! If you are serious about learning or improving your foiling skills I can really highly recommend it!