Surf foil : tips for a good start

Having made its appearance in the 2000s, surf foil quickly conquered water sports lovers, especially surfers and board sports enthusiasts. Accessible, this discipline continues to gain popularity around the world. In fact, the surfers are starting to invade the most beautiful spots in the world and discover new sensations in regions inaccessible to surfing. On the professional side, the levels are progressively increasing while the beginners are becoming more and more fascinated by the world of foil. The experts, like Laird Hamilton, always attack bigger and bigger.

individual in action in surf foil

How does the machine work?

Just like the aircraft that uses overpressure and depression, the operation of the foil is based on the same principle. With speed, this force increases and activates the lift. In order to enjoy the sensations of surfing foil, it is therefore essential to master the support techniques to ensure good stability. Indeed, the foil is composed of several elements that need to be adapted to your level, namely the mast, fuselage, stabilizer and front wing.

The elements that make up a surf foil

Which surf foil board to choose ?

There are different sizes of boards depending on the disciplines and levels of the surf foil riders. To ensure excellent stability when starting out, it is advisable to opt for a board with volume and which is long to facilitate the glide. This will allow you to keep a good stability and reduce support errors. You can opt for a less dense board depending on your progress.

Which front wing, stabilizer or mast size?

It is essential to choose your equipment according to your level but also your weight to practice surf foil. The front wing is one of the elements that guarantees the lift of the whole. Beginners will prefer a front wing with a large surface area and a certain thickness. The surface will depend on the weight of the practice. Although this type of kite is limited in terms of speed (compared to a thin foil windsurfing kite), this kite allows you to have fun quickly and especially to be able to follow the wave. With a smaller and thinner wing, the speed of the whole will be faster. However, its use will be more technical. We have made you an AFS chart to find the best configuration among our products for your weight and practice.

Attached perpendicularly to the fuselage and board, the size of the mast can also be chosen according to your level. The ideal size to start surf foil is to choose a short mast of about 70 cm. This will allow you to stay closer to the water surface and easily catch small waves.

An aluminium or carbon foil surfboard ?

Today there are two types of construction: aluminium and carbon. Carbon has several advantages over aluminium:

  • No/no more corrosion concerns
  • The characteristics of carbon are no longer in question. It provides lightness and rigidity
  • Better fluid flow and therefore better glide

Certainly a more expensive foil at the beginning but more durable over time.

Surf foil wave start in a surf foil rowing boat

How do you get started in surf foil?

It is essential to start on small, soft waves. There’s no point in going for hollow at the beginning 🙂 It will come with time. To practice surf foil, waves averaging 1 meter in height provide great sensations.

Getting your balance

As with surfing, it is essential to go out on the surf foil board while lying down and rowing to catch a wave. When you feel the wave well, you have to rely on the speed generated by the slope to take off. There will be a few falls at the beginning, that’s normal. Don’t try to ride along the wave like you would in surfing but really go straight. Put your supports forward at first so as not to make the surf foil take off too quickly. Once up, press the back foot to take off.

Finding the right starting position

Just like surfing, you can start standing when you feel the pressure of the water on your feet. For beginners, the start may require several sessions.

Starting position in surf foil

Some tips for surf foil practice

To progress in foil surfing, you can train behind a boat with a rope and rudder (on the same principle as wakeboarding). You will be able to quickly find the right take-off techniques. Feel free to use a foil surfboard with a little more volume to stand on. After learning to fly, you can start to take turns. You will be able to acquire the right reflexes after 3 to 5 sessions.

You should also consider going to a foil surf school to learn the basics.

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