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What You Need To Know About Hydrofoil Surfing

Hydrofoil surfing is what you want to try if you want to have a new experience in cruising the waves. Whether you’re an amateur or seasoned surfer, this activity is amazing.

With how it works, new opportunities to ride the waters become available. You don’t have to wait for strong winds and sets of swells to have fun with this one.

Also, it provides an excellent cardio workout because of the movement it demands. So it’s not surprising at all why many surfers try or switch to enjoying foil surfing.

There’s a surge of demand for this sport because of the excitement and convenience it gives. It’s often more challenging than the usual beach surfing due to its method and speed.

Hence, it usually provides an immediate adrenaline rush. It doesn’t need waves to take off and cruise. Rather, for the most part, it involves gliding above the water.

This post has a few of its specifics and explains why fresh and experienced surfers recommend it. Thus keep reading to get why getting into the sport and a hydrofoil surfboard makes sense.


How Hydrofoil Surfing Works?

Riding, trimming, and carving the swells are somewhat the same in this activity. Yet, with this sport, a surfer uses a hydrofoil surfboard. Unlike in traditional surfing, the board comes with a foil underneath.

That would be in place of fins for stability and control. It allows the surfer to push down the water to have an upward force that is fit for gliding on the water.

After submerging the bottom part, a surfboarder then does a pumping motion to launch. The person continues to do this while the top of the board stays dry.

So it is quite challenging to perform but an interesting activity to pursue.


hydrofoil surfing

smiling sporty man in a black wetsuit riding the wave on a hydrofoil board 


The foil looks like an airplane that has front and rear wings plus a fuselage. It’s only that a mast and connector or mounting plate are also available to hold the board in place.

Some foils even have an electronic gadget attached to them for propulsion. People call these boards e-Foils and are different than the boards for foil surfing.

In any case, you either need to pop up or have something pull you to take off and ride. Hence, it takes time and constant practice on a hydrofoil surfboard for mastery.


The Board For Hydrofoil Surfing

Usually, a traditional surfboard for newbies costs around $200 to $600. The ones for foil surfing are often sold for $1,200 to $2,000. With their build, it comes as no surprise why they are pricey.

They use a technology that enables surfers to float above water to enjoy the modest and even high swells. Some are even motorized and thus move faster on the water. 

hydrofoil surfing

Close-up hydrofoil surfboard and kite equipment on sand beach


With them, it then becomes possible to surf not only on beaches but also on lakes and rivers. That would be with or without tough and continuous winds and currents.

Plus, unlike conventional surfboards, companies only produce a few batches at a time. In that way, it’s understandable why many say they are expensive but worth it at the same time.

Of course, demands for such a board are unique. Several surfers choose seas that have clean barrels and plenty of waves. Some go for smaller bodies of water like lakes that have choppy waters.

Still, they are heavy, average, and lightweight surfers. They ride to relax, do tricks, or race one another. Thus it’s understandable why one hydrofoil surfboard may be different than another.

Here are some tips on how to select a hydrofoil board.


Choosing The Right Tool For Foil Surfing

For hydrofoil surfing, you need to have the right board to move through the water. It takes skill to get the basics and master foil surfing but having the right tool makes things easier.

Likewise, with the right thing to ride on, it becomes safer to surf the waves. It’s easy to pick a board that’s on top. You only need to choose that which can accommodate your size and where you can pop up and stand with stability.

But in this form of surfing, having the ideal foil is very important. So you need to consider some things first before buying a solid hydrofoil surfboard to use.


hydrofoil surfing

A man is wing foiling using handheld inflatable wings and hydrofoil surfboards.


In most cases, people want a model that has a foil that can provide more lift at lower speeds. Thick foils are easier to control, helps get a better angle of attack, and are perfect for beginners.

But this isn’t true for everyone. Some are after thinner ones that are a lot less stable but at least experience lesser drag. Hence, despite requiring more skill to use, they give more speed.

Yet these are sensitive when it comes to the angle of attack due to their lightweight nature. But, when buying, do more than check the entire board. Have a look at their foils to see the individual parts.

In that way, you will find out if a board is ideal for you based on your usage.


Tips In Examining The Foils

  • See the front and rear wing sizes. Usually, the nose wing needs to be larger than the one at the back. The surface area of the front wing must be big when the surfer has a large frame to have more lift.
    The foil with such is also ideal for surfing in areas with choppy waves or slower currents. Thus considering rider weight and swell speeds matter.
  • Fuselage. This has the mast in the middle and connects the nose and back wings. The shorter this is, the more challenging a foil is to handle when pumping. Yet some folks or skilled riders choose foils with a short fuselage to make quick and tighter turns.
  • Mast length. The shorter the mast is, the easier it is to control when going up and down to move. That’s because it becomes faster to pump. This is great for surfing on waters with small waves. But a foil with a high mast has advantages in fast surfing conditions. That is to say, such allows better chances of changing directions. In hydrofoil surfing, choosing the right mast matters too.
  • Foil construction. For the most part, in hydrofoil surfboard models, there’s aluminum and carbon fiber. They are more often than not the materials used to make the mast and fuselage. Aluminum gets eaten away by salt water but at least it gives a solid feel and is pretty durable. Parts made with such may need disassembling from time to time for preservation. Molded carbon fibers are also dependable and long-lasting. They are lighter and feel great but are usually more expensive to buy.

Starting Hydrofoil Surfing

Foil surfing begins by taking off. Once you already have a quality board, you then look for a good spot where you could take off. Some of the options for launching are using a bungee cord and getting pulled by a runner or bike.

Still, there’s having a boat drag you or running by yourself on a dock and them jumping on a board. Whatever approach you’d try, you then have to concern yourself with riding.

For this stage, you need the utmost stability. It isn’t only about standing on a hydrofoil surfboard but also moving while on it. Hence, it wouldn’t be a mystery if you would have unsuccessful attempts.

After all, taking off is challenging enough.


Hydrofoil Surfing

Hydrofoil Surfer


Getting on and riding a board takes getting used to. It’s because it may be quite demanding somehow. After all, staying on the surfboard with a foil requires more than constant movement.

There’s a need for endurance and balance too. There must be proper foot placement on the rear and front of the board. That would be to have what it takes to stay afloat and make it easy to shift one’s bodyweight.


Surfing Basic Techniques

At most, it is vital to have a hydrofoil surfboard floating on the water. Pump up and down with your body more to increase your speed too. Use your hands and whole arms to work on your balance while you’re pumping.

Once you’re used to this, you can then create momentum for carving or trimming. Of course, you can do other tricks if you have advanced skills. But, as a beginner, make sure that you perfect launching and riding first.

So try to keep it simple at first before you go ahead and make things more interesting.

Before hitting the water, it would be ideal to put on a leash. The purpose of such is to keep your board connected to you even after you’d fall off.

Aside from that, if you’re not that confident in your surfing skills, paddle the waters with a life vest on. Safety is one of the most important concerns when it comes to hydrofoil surfing.

With that in mind, check for shallow portions. Flip only your board in the right position when you’ve reached deep areas. So keep your tool attached to you, put on a flotation device, and check where you’d paddle.

These basic tips may help you keep yourself safe and your hydrofoil board in good condition.


Hydrofoil surfing is a new way of riding the waves

It’s not hard to see why hydrofoil surfing is so popular nowadays. In foil surfing, taking off may be challenging but riding allows smooth and fast cruising. Newbies can practice and be good at it.

Seasoned surfers could use it to take their surfing skills to the next level. Mastering it requires many hours and even days spent on the water. Yet being proficient in using a hydrofoil surfboard is a rewarding feeling.

After all, it can let you surf above the water and faster while doing intense cardio altogether. You don’t even need high and steady swells to do it. So it’s an amazing way to surf.

We hope that this post somehow gave you useful ideas about the sport. Are you excited to try it out? Share with us your thoughts about hydrofoil surfing. Good luck on your next surf trip.

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