Top 10 Hydrofoil Questions

Top 10 Hydrofoil Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Hydrofoils

What are some of the most asked questions about hydrofoils, the gear needed, how to get started, and how hard it is to learn. If you are also looking at getting into hydrofoiling hopefully these questions will help you. However, if they do not cover a topic that you are looking for or interested in you can always give Elite Watersports a call. They will help answer all of your questions about the sport, gear, and learning how to get into the sport.


  • What is a hydrofoil?
  • A hydrofoil is made up of a few main parts: mast, base plate, fuselage, front wing, and stabilizer. It can be made of carbon fiber, aluminum, or a mix of the both. The carbon fiber foils are going to be more expensive because the material is lighter and more durable. 

    What is a Hydrofoil | Elite Watersports

    1. How dangerous is foiling? 

    Foiling can be dangerous just like any sport if you do not learn how to do it properly and or take the proper safety precautions. We recommend always wearing a helmet made for watersports, impact vest, and having another person there with you. The safety concern for foiling is always hitting your head on the foil itself when you fall off. If you fall off the back of the board and not in front of it that risk will decrease. It is also very important that if you do fall in front of the board to immediately cover your face and head. 

  • What kind of foil do I need?
  • When you are first starting out we recommend that you use a large front wing and a shorter mast. The larger front wing will help you get the slower lift and stability needed when learning how to foil. With that being said, it also depends on what you are wanting to do with foiling. If your power is coming from a jetski, kite, or even if you are dock starting those all require different gear. With that being said, if you need help picking out a setup that is affordable and will help you learn we recommend calling Elite Watersports. 

  • What kind of foil board do I need?
  • This again all depends on what you are wanting to learn and or do with your foil. Either way it is always safe to start out on a larger board that has volume. Just like surfing, you have to start out with the long boards to then work your way down to the smaller ones.

  • What is the average cost of a foil set up?
  • Typically you can budget around $1,000-$2,000 minimum for a decent set up. Granted, there are always “closeouts” where the foil is just a few years old but is brand new. Those are perfect for a beginner set up and a way to not break the bank.

  • Is it worth the cost?
  • The worth will come down to the brand you chose and the passion you build for the experience. You can try it and not like it and think that it was not worth the cost. The same can go the other way! You can get hooked after the first ride and then all the money is worth it for the experience. When it comes to gear we 

  • Can I learn how to hydrofoil by myself?
  • Yes and no. If you are wanting to learn how to do a dock start by pumping the board with your legs to get momentum and power then yes. However, the learning curve will be steep and take more time to get the hang of it. We recommend at least taking one lesson to understand the gear, proper technique, and what to do when something isn’t working. 

    What is a hydrofoil | Elite Watersports

  • How do I get started?
  • Search local kiteboarding shops near you and see if they offer hydrofoil lessons and gear. This way after your lesson the instructors can help you find the right set up for you and your budget. 

  • How does a foil board work?
  • The purpose of a foil board is to provide stability and a certain amount of buoyancy. The board also changes depending on the sport. For example, if you are kitefoil racing the board is a whole different shape that is aerodynamic. If you are wind winging the board is thicker with more volume to it for buoyancy. The wake surfing foil board is also a different shape with the board being shorter and wider.  

  • How does a foil work?
  • When it is put together it mimics the physics of an airplane. Meaning, with enough energy or power from under creates lift which then lifts the airplane off of the ground. The back wing or stabilizer does exactly what the name suggests, it stabilizes the front wing. 


    what is a hydrofoil | how does a hydrofoil work | Elite Watersports
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