You’ve probably seen them carving up your local surf spot or lake. But what is foil surfing? How does it work? Are they expensive to buy? What are the different ways to foil? Is it difficult to learn?
Read on for everything you need to know about this sick new water sport that is taking the world by storm.
What The Heck Is Foil Surfing?
A foil board is a surfboard with an attached hydrofoil (or a fin with wings) that extends below the water. The design causes the board to lift out of the water so that the rider stands a few feet in the air as it moves through the water.
How Does Foil Surfing Work?
Without delving too deep into physics, the hydrofoil works on the same principle as aeronautics. Like an airplane wing, the foils have areas of high and low pressure. The wings on the foil deflect water pressure downward and the upward motion pushes the board and rider into the air.
One of the big differences with foiling is that this process can occur at speeds of just three miles per hour. With the surfboard out of the water there is none of the usual friction creating a floating feeling that is different to any other experience in water sports.
Different Ways to Foil
There are lots of ways to you can use the foil:
Surf foiling: Just like surfing but riding the foil on the waves.
SUP foiling: Just like Stand Up Paddle surf but riding the foil in the waves.
Downwind foiling: Using strong wind and swell to ride the foil down wind.
Kite foiling: Kitesurfing using a foil.
Wake foiling: Like wakeboarding behind a boat but with a foil.
Tow in wave foiling: Similar to Tow in wave surfing but with a foil.
Wing foiling: This new sport uses a small hand held wing to power the foil.
Windsurf foiling: Same as windsurfing but with a foil attached to the board.
Is Foiling Difficult To Learn?
That depends on you. If you’re an experienced surfer, or have mastered other water sports like kitesurfing, paddle boarding or wake boarding, then you’ll probably pick it up pretty quickly in just a couple of sessions.
If you’re completely new to all water sports, then it will take you a little longer than that.. But everyone’s different, and things also depend on the set up of your foil and size of your foil board.
We offer lessons if you’d like to give it a go.
Are Foil Kits Expensive?
Foiling isn’t the cheapest hobby, with most foil packages costing anywhere from $2,000 – $7000. Kits generally include the foil set (wings & mast) and foil board, everything required for assembly and carry bags for transportation.
The sensation of gliding effortlessly over the water at speed, however, is quite difficult to put a price on.
Where Can I Buy a Foil Kit?
We have complete foiling packages with everything you need to get going, and also individual foils and foil boards for those looking for a more custom approach.
Which Foil Kit Is Right For Me?
Given the sizable financial investment of foiling, it’s really important to find the right set-up for you. This will depend on a lot of things including: your previous water sport experience, body size and weight, the style of foiling you’re interested in and more. We can help match you to the right foil package.
If you would like us to recommend you a foil, give us a call or come by the shop and we will find the foil kit for you.