Getting started with foil surfing: a beginner’s guide

Undoubtedly, hydrofoils are the future of water sports, providing access to new waves and offshore surf breaks that have never been explored before. Foils fundamentally changed the definition of a wave that can be ridden. A surf foil is similar to controlled aquaplaning, which smoothly and effortlessly flies above the water without requiring waves to get started. Hydrofoil surfing may not require waves for it to be successful. Hydrofoils are long and aerodynamic fins that have wings.

surf foil


Foiling Spots in the Surf


Despite its fun nature, surf foil should be done safely. If you’re not confident about your skill level or are still learning, find a spot where no one else is. You don’t need a crowded break to ride a foil surfboard. You can use whatever conditions are available.




The best place to start is a spot with one-to-two-foot waves. There are other spots in the area with bigger waves, but this is the best place to start. You will have all the power you need to ride a hydrofoil once you have paddled into whitewater rollers.


Foil board setup


In addition to the weight of the board and the wave, you should determine where to attach the foil. Moving the wing forward in the box is recommended if you are a small surfer and need an extra lift. Moving the wing forward in the box is also recommended if you are an older rider. Plate systems should be moved farther back on tracks when waves get bigger.


A Stance


Traction pads guide your stance by placing them where your feet should be. A simple way to find the sweet spot is to put your back foot over or slightly behind the mast. You will be on the kicktail if you step back or make a tight radius turn.


The Entry and Exit of the Water


With one hand, grip the foil’s wingtip and hold the board like a surfboard to prevent dings and embarrassment. Duck diving can be surprisingly easy because foils give extra lift and can take you through waves. Once you’re in chest-deep water, begin paddling out like you would when on a board.


Riding in a pop-up


In foil boards, the take-off process is the same as in surfboarding: paddle until you feel you’ve caught the wave. The steeper the wave gets, the more you need to lean forward, so as soon as you stand up, put pressure on your front foot. The traction pad must be installed correctly so you won’t have to think about where to place your feet when walking.

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