The Beginners' Guide to Foil Surfing
Hydrofoils are considered to be the future of water sports. Do you want to start foil surfing as well? If you are wanting to foil surf, we will help you to understand the basics of foil surfing.
What is Hydrofoil surfing?
A hydrofoil is built with an aluminum mast with a front wing and a back wing that is hydrodynamically built. The foil is used to surf, race, or cruise around in the open waters. The structure is a blend of steel, aluminum, fiberglass, and carbon that lifts the surfboard lift even at low speeds. This allows the rider to catch new waves and offshore surf breaks at low speeds that have never been explored before.
So, the foils redefine what we call the waves that are rideable. It reduces friction and lets the riders ride at an angle of 90 degrees in less than a second. Foil surfing is a thrilling experience. The experience is somewhat like a controlled aquaplaning. The rider glides effortlessly and smoothly above water catching wave after wave.
How to start foil surfing?
- The Surf Spots for Foiling: As fun and thrilling as foil surfing looks, we should make sure that it is safe for you and the people around you. So, ideally, you should start foil surfing in a place where there are few pedestrians surfing around. However, you should have at least one other person watching you with either a jet ski or boat for support. But as the foil can make you ride almost anywhere, you won’t find difficulties in finding a good spot. This is also depending on where you are located in the world and the size of waves.
- The Wave: Even though the foils let you ride even in the worst of waves, you should start with one to two-foot waves to get started. Try to get into whitewater rollers, and when you stand up, you'll have all the power you need to ride the hydrofoil. Also, grabbing a rope from a jet ski or boat will help you grasp the basics and adapt to the board. This is also known as “tow ins” but should only be done by someone who has done them before and can set you up properly.
- The Foil Board Setup: You should attach the foil to the board depending on your weight and height and the wave you're about to ride. If you are a small surfer and need an extra lift, you should position the mast forward in the bottom of the board. However, a larger rider should move it backward. However, as the waves get bigger, you can shift the plate system forward or back on the tracks.
- The Stance: The traction pads work like guidance to your stance. So, ideally, you should put them where your feet are. The sweet spot is having your back foot over the mast or maybe a little bit behind it. You can always step back a little bit if you want to start pumping or make a tight radius turn. You'll be right on the kicktail then. You should Aim for a shoulder-width stance with pressure on the front foot.
- Entering the Water and Paddling Out: You should hold the board like a standard surfboard and grab the foil's wingtip with the other hand to avoid digs and embarrassment. Do regular padding with chest water. Duck diving is surprisingly easy because of the foil.
- Pop Up and Ride: When you catch a wave, stand up and apply pressure on your front foot. If the wave becomes steeper, you can lean further forward. The pads will ensure the right placement for your feet. You need to adopt a squat stance while keeping the chest vertical and shoulders wide open so that you can maintain the right balance.
- How the Foil Works: The foil mechanics are relatively easy. The more you lean back, the more the wing will tilt and generate more lift. Similarly, more pressure on the front will make the front wing go underwater. Finding the right balance is the key to foil surfing.