As an evolution of foil surfing hydrofoils in Australia offers game-changing performance. Read on to learn about this fast growing watersport and what makes hydrofoiling uniquely thrilling.
How Foil Surfing Works
A hydrofoil consists of wing-like blades mounted on a vertical strut below the board. As water flows over the foil at speed, lift is generated that raises the board out of the water to “fly” above the surface essentially eliminating drag.
Benefits of Hydrofoiling
Foilboarding unlocks higher speeds, greater maneuverability and longer rides than traditional surfing. By lifting the board higher, foils enable riding smaller waves down to knee-high heights. Less drag means less paddling effort to catch waves.
Choosing Your First Foilboard
Shorter boards around 4-5 feet are more agile. Look for wide tails, slight rocker and lots of volume up front for stability. Round or square tails work for beginners. Wood or composite construction lasts.
Selecting Your Foil
Choose an 800-900mm foil suitable for your weight and board volume. Look for durable, corrosion-resistant materials like anodized aluminum. Have an experienced dealer set you up with the right size.
Starting Out with Lessons
Book time with an expert coach to properly learn setup, stance, balance, edge control and pumping techniques essential to foiling. Quality instruction vastly accelerates skills safely.
Mastering Good Form
Angle your front foot roughly 30 degrees for better stability and leverage on the foil. Keep knees bent to absorb chop. Weight the front foot to submerge the foil on takeoff. Stay centered when riding.
Foiling in All Conditions
Beyond waves, foils work in light wind for flatwater gliding. Heavier wind requires stabilizing fins. Hydrofoils even enable riding upstream rivers via pumping!
Troubleshooting Common Issues
Instability often means improper stance or foot placement. Nose diving results from leaning too far forward. Breaching and skipping signals excess speed. A coach resolves problems quickly.
Wear a quality life vest in deep water and helmet for crashes until skilled. Carry a whistle or horn to warn nearby crafts. Check conditions and right-of-way rules to avoid collisions.
Finding the Right Spots
Look for pocket wave zones, areas free of other surfers and water users, sandy or seaweed-free shallows, and sideshore winds for an optimal learning environment.
Foiling delivers a uniquely liberating sensation of practically flying above the water. While challenging at first, lessons unlock foiling’s performance-enhancing magic taking wave riding to the next level. Soon you’ll be carving, gliding and charging better than ever before.
Popular Foil Surfing Destinations
Globally, these destinations offer excellent conditions for learning and progressing as a foiling surfer:
Maui’s waters off Ka’anapali Beach provide gentle swells perfect for foilboard beginners plus stunning panoramic views.
Cabarete, Dominican Republic
With shallow turquoise waters and offshore winds, Kite Beach’s tranquil lagoon is ideal for foiling novices.
In Perth, Scarborough Beach’s swells suit first-time foil attempts. Mind local winds and currents.
Hood River, Oregon
The gentle Columbia River around Hood River offers flatwater foil practice with stunning mountain backdrops when conditions allow.
Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
On the Outer Banks, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach’s small waves and mild currents appeal to improving foilers.
About an hour from Perth, Lancelin’s easy waves and drive-up access lend to foiling classes for all levels in stunning scenery.
With proper instruction and ideal spots, foilboarding’s steep learning curve flattens quickly into an addiction for gliding across waves and waters worldwide.
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