FOIL BOARDING is easy, if you learn to FOIL before you go into the ocean. FOILBOARDING is counter intuitive – you use more front foot pressure than you do surfing. Surfing a Foilboard is like riding a Unicycle, there is no back up reference to the surface you are riding (such as a second wheel or a flat-bottomed board). It is a totally unique balancing experience and small body movements have a huge impact. Taking the drop into a wave requires precise weight and body positioning.
1. Firstly you must be proficient at the sport you want to Foil in. Intermediate Kite, Surf or SUP skills on a shorter board are required. You don’t want to be learning to ride a shorter board (SUP, under 8’11) whilst also learning to foil.
2. It doesn’t matter how proficient you are, it will save you hours of frustration if you learn to Foil before go into the ocean. From our experience, proficient surfers often have more trouble adapting to this completely counter intuitive, new way of riding a board.
3. The quickest way to learn to Foil is behind a boat with the right gear and the right instruction. As one legend of the sport, Dave Kalama so eloquently puts it (see video below): “Getting behind a boat on flat water will give you time to break it down and learn to fly first. You only have 10-15 seconds on a wave to get your body position right. Behind a boat you have as long as you want. Besides being safer, it will catapult your learning experience.”
4. Follow this up with some one-on-one in the surf with a qualified instructor like James Casey and you are guaranteed the best chances of success.
Body and foot positioning are critical if you want to foil successfully.
We teach Foilboarding at Balmoral Beach. We have boats, boards and Foils specifically designed for learning and progressing. Get your flying skills honed behind a boat before you enter the ocean and you will save HOURS of frustration.
Where: Balmoral Beach/Sydney Harbour
Cost: 1.5 hour Foil Boarding Lesson – $180.
Bring a mate – $150 each.1.5 Hours 3-up. $450. Three people – 2 hours.
We teach from 7-7.30am weekdays and weekends. We supply everything including safety gear. Email or call Andrew Allen to book your lesson – 0414 542 225
Please email [email protected] for details.
For personal one-on-one sessions in the ocean with James Casey – call us now on 0414 542 225
WHY IS FOIL BOARDING JUST TAKING OFF NOW? Hydro foils have been around for decades. Only recently has the design and technology come together to enable you to surf waves unassisted. The new low speed foils can be paddled into ocean swells or waves.
IS FOIL BOARDING EASY? Yes, if done properly. The pathway to Foilboarding is an easy one if you spend some time ‘unlearning’ and teaching your body to ‘hover’ or ‘fly’ the board.
IS FOIL BOARDING SAFE? Yes. Sure there are plenty of horror stories of people getting injured by not learning the basics before heading out into the waves. If you follow the Pathway to Foilboarding you are guaranteed a safer experience. A helmet and an impact vest are standard safety equipment for learning.
This is called ‘folding’. It is easy to avoid if your body knows how to foil before you venture into the waves.
WHICH IS THE BEST HYDRO FOIL FOR ME? ANSWERS HERE
WHICH IS THE BEST FOIL BOARD FOR ME? ANSWERS HERE
CAN I RETRO FIT MY BOARD FOR FOILING? ANSWERS HERE
by Andrew Allen
The latest info on Foilboarding – gear, trends and where it is headed with James Casey and JB from Naish.
The biggest mistake you can make is to rush into this sport. The best tip I ever received was ‘learn to foil before you head into the waves”. Get behind a boat and hone your foiling and hovering skills will save you months of frustration.
By learning to foil before you venture into waves you will gain the necessary skills to ride SAFE for both you and others.
I have been riding foils and surfing foils for over a year. I am no pro, but I have never badly bruised or broken skin with my foil. This does not mean that it is fool proof. Nothing ever is. But take it slowly and use common sense and it can be no more dangerous than normal surfing.
Always wear a LEASH and I would recommend a HELMET and IMPACT VEST for next level safety.
If you or others get hit by the foil it is going to get hurt. So make sure you find a quiet spot, with no one else out, with deep water for all your learning sessions.
I was lucky enough to get into the sport about a year after it really started. I watched my friends struggle for at least 6 months. I learnt a lot from them. Good advice from experienced Foil surfers who have NOT forgotten what it is like to learn, is a great way to start. GOOD ADVICE will save you hours of frustration and a whole lot of money.
Starting out on the right Foil and Foil board gear that will allow you to progress and upgrade will save you money in the long run.
The sport of Foil boarding is progressing rapidly and the smallest adjustments to your foil, board. mast and stance can be the difference between success and failure.
These two things are the key to success. No matter what size your board is, it is only there to get you up on to the foil. Once you are up you are standing you are basically balancing on a long skateboard and trying to ride it on a 4′ pole. Stance, weighting and foot placement are critical.
– You MUST be on the center line of the board. Maintain a centered stance, similar to snowboarding .
– Front foot pressure is the key to holding the ‘foil’ and not breaching ( crashing down nose first)
– Your rear foot must be over or behind the foil mast. Your front foot should be 55-60cm from your rear foot.
There is no point learning to fly if you cannot land. Your foil just wants to fly and keep going! Learnt to bring it down and you will learn how much front foot pressure you need to hold the ‘foil’.
These are your friend. The deeper the water the fatter the wave, the better. All you need is a crest to get onto the wave. Once your up all you need is a moderate soft wave face.
DON’T forget your leash
DON’T kick your foil
DON’T rush the learning experience
DON’T foil surf near other surfers
DON’T go out in shallow water or reefs unless you are experienced.
PLEASE stay away from other water users so we can ALL continue to enjoy the sport
WHETHER PADDLING OR TOWING INTO OCEAN SWELLS, YOU CAN SEE WHY IT IS SO ADDICTIVE!
SLINGSHOT Foil Surfing – easy as! The Skywalker Surf Foil board in action.
Kai Lenny shows us how to pump or ‘Huntington hop’ your foil board from swell to swell