To Pump

The Elusive flat water Pump - Ramblings  by Dom Hoskyns

Landing with both feet on the board at the same time is essential, or at least NOT landing with your front foot first. If this happens you instantly cause the nose to dive and its game over in a split second. It might be different if you're doing a running start, but for cold starts from a boat or rock its essential not to land on the board on your front foot.

Landing with both feet facing to the side rather than my front foot pointing forwards seems to help with stability, especially with turns, but this is still early days in my testing 😉

COMPRESSION IS VITAL - bending forward/pivoting at your hips as you bring your front knee up to meet your chest. This allows you to have your weight forward enough to drive your front foot FORWARD as you drive the foil down. This is something that sounds easier to do than it actually is. Keeping the front wing of the foil as close to the surface as possible is the desired goal . I've been trying to do this action from the start but am only just beginning to get anywhere near the amount of compression i need. This particular movement is totally alien to me and as such it's taking time to get used to the action. Slowly, very slowly it's getting better. A really good example of someone who does this well is Beryl from the French surf company 'Gong'. Check him out in the first 2 videos. The first one is from 2017 when he was using their low aspect ratio wing, and the second video is 2019 and he's using their new HA wing - although it's not as High Aspect as the Go foil GL wings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRiBV4DZrKw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCigsNXwTzs

You'll notice that he doesn't have to compress anywhere near as much for each pump on the new HA wing. I'm sure there's other factors at play as well - like in the first video he's probably on a much smaller wing for surfing, but if you check out the next video, you'll see just how little compression the rider Kane de wilde does for each pump, and he is on a very HA foil wing - Signature 210 I believe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRGiYCWyXkc

From what I've seen (and I think I've watched just about every flat water start or foil pumping video on the internet by now) the new high aspect wings (like the GoFoil GL series) don't need anywhere near the amount of compression with each pump - as long as you have the speed that is.

You may have noticed, I'm determined to crack this flat water hydrofoil pumping skill. My thoughts are that I have to keep on working on increasing the amount of compression on each pump, leaning forward so I can drive forward as well as down each time. So far in nearly every attempt I'm riding with my board almost touching the water, but in a couple of my latest attempts I actually got reasonably high on the foil, and that came about from raising my knee to meet my chest which helped me to drive my foot forward as much as down. I think this is really important as being higher on the mast means you can decrease your cadence and therefore last longer - it's bloody tiring pumping at a high rate for any length of time!

Anyway all - Keep on Pumping - Loyaltothefoil 


THE PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF FOILING

FOILING

So firstly if you're reading this..it’s because you have 'foil brain' or soon to have it ! Having personally tread the foil path for 2 years I've noticed many changes to my outlook on the ocean , equipment and also my body’s limitations. The latter has made me question and challenge my body more than ever before in search of consistency and progression in a body 40 plus years old. So get training..! 

Foiling is starting to create niche players in new ocean realms and because we've never done this before and the sensation is so addictive ...sometimes we all need a new endeavour

The demands of foiling are different to other board sports, some even say that foiling is the most physically demanding of all the board sports! You can spend a lot longer in an engaged riding stance when foiling compared to surfing or SUPing, and as well as the usual left to right control and balance needed for other boarding, foiling has the added dimension of the front-to-back balance and control for your muscles to deal with. Also, once you’ve finished riding a wave, you can pump your way out back again, without having a break! So, having these extra demands, and requiring them for longer, means you can certainly expect your body to be aware of these demands during and after surf foiling sessions… Feel the burn!

 

The riding stance

Pic credit - Glennel Jordan - IG ocean_baby

Winging it

Getting out foiling with a wind wing and learning to ride in switch stance will completely change the loading and could also help even you out a bit in terms of left/right biases. That and the brilliant brain training of having to relearn things backwards!

(WARNING; May involve some entertaining crashes.)

 

THE RIDING STANCE

The foil board rider controls height and turning with weight shifts, upper body movements and balance through their riding stance.  This riding stance involves a specific foot position, which is required right from the starting moment of riding.

The riding stance 

Jonathan at ClubBluePearl 

Involves having your chest up facing the oncoming horizon (Imagine you're iron man with that circular ring facing forward) , front knee bent and loaded, and rear ankle and knee bent and loaded. This rear foot position (knee and ankle bent) is something we do in prone surfing when riding, but the limited amount of time we spend in this position, and the absence of the vertical force demands involved in surfing mean it rarely causes problems.

In hydrofoiling, you are essentially hovering above the water, thanks to the wing ‘flying’ beneath the surface of the water.

As such foil-boarding uses the same terminology as that used in the aviation industry;

 

  • PITCH is the front to back vertical rotation of the board. This, as well as your speed, controls the board height above the water
  • YAW is the left to right horizontal rotation of the board. 
  • ROLL is the left to right vertical rotation of the board.

YAW and ROLL can control board direction, but you also have to take into consideration your PITCH when changes of direction come into play- which in itself is a delicate balance between your speed and your front/back weight distribution!

THE BIOMECHANICS

There are certain positions that your body needs to be able to deal with to foil well. You need to be able to keep your chest up which requires a lot of upper back opening (or ‘thoracic extension’), else your lower back will compensate which could lead to a sore lower back. You need to be able to achieve deep squat positions, which requires good ankle and hip flexibility (‘ankle dorsiflexion’ and ‘hip flexion’). You need to be able to turn your knees in and out to control direction (‘Internal and external rotation’ at the hip). What’s more, you need to be able to do this in deeper squat positions. Internally rotating at the hip with your foot planted leads to what look like a ‘knock-knee position’ (Also known as valgus, see below). This isn’t the most natural of positions for the body, but also happens a lot in skiing. For you body to manage these positions well it’s important to have good flexibility, strength, and control at the ankle and hip.

If you want to understand the demands of foiling as a non foiler

Try going upstairs with your foot at right angles and pelvis facing forward….  actually don’t !

 

The valgus knee position, also seen in skiing

SO, WHAT CAN WE DO!?

It’s important to have good movement mechanics, strength and control, especially around squatting, lunging and rotating, due to their clear relevance to foiling. Muscles shorten to deliver power but lengthen to give control and to help absorb and then re-deliver force. Having strong muscles, particularly quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves, which are good at this helps avoid overloading forces getting concentrated in tendons, joints and ligaments, where problems can tend to ache and niggle. It might be worth seeing a Strength & Conditioning coach to improve in these realms. If you have any pain or old injuries that might interfere with what’s required of foiling it would be worth seeing a physiotherapist of course!

Flexibility around hips and ankles is really important.

(MobilityWOD on youtube has good ideas for flexibility and the positions mentioned above in biomechanics!). 

Steadily building up your foiling time, being diligent with warm-ups, recovery, stretching, rollers, even massage will help.

Core strength and endurance is, of course, also important.

These are all things that would be included in the regimes of the world class athletes who are foiling.

If you are starting something new always remember to start slow/small /low impact and build really steadily!

By far the easiest form to learn with limited stress on the body and joints is using the adapted electric motorised hydrofoil - known as the Efoil board

If you are interested in trying hydrofoiling and learning to foilride book on one of our Efoil Intro Experience

Co Written by the following - Thanks for your input both 

Alec MacHenry MCSP- Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist

Matt Barker Smith- Foil specialist 

Chris Chucas- Strength Coach


Foil Podcasts

If you haven't listened to them --- take a trip ...plug and play

FOIL PODCAST


Takuma LOL FOIL

Takuma has a new foil !

Cyril Coste owner of 'Takuma' has has been busy working alongside foil genius Laurent Borgna.

The foil was tested extensively in New Caledonia in all conditions from 'surf' to 'downwind' and is quite unique to the foil market.

The foil is super efficient and has been described by testers as  a 'magic foil ' with an unreal feeling giving long flight and incredible speed in turns.

The fuselage has been re -worked from previous models and features a hexagonal fitment to the wing spigot and tail shims 1 & 1.5mm shims are provided for tuning. Hardware provided is M6 Torx.

Primarily designed for use with their Efoil  Electric Hydrofoil board) allowing a smaller motor to be used . It is super efficient even though it looks unlike any other foil on the market.

Available in Alloy mast and fuselage with carbon wings (pictured below) and a full carbon fused mast and fuselage version Pro foil version.

1300/ 1600 and 1900cm2 wing sizes to suit all conditions.

Short Review  1600 LOL - I've been using this 1600 foil for over 2 months now and its game changing. Why ? Well a few key points

  • When I would normally need a 2000cm front wing - this wing catches the same slow swell with ease!
  • Pumps with so much more speed - so you can catch the bit of swell in front of you and drop in when foiling
  • Does not overfoil easily and holds true when you get those sudden surges of swell energy this foil has your back - it just soaks it up , no more wing breaches and nose rinses!!
  • massive range - I've used this in 1 ft to 4ft plus - the best allround foil.

 

Short Review  1900 LOL - I’ve been using the 1900 wing over the past week in strong-very strong winds in downwind foiling conditions. 

  • It catches steep blown swell well and carves nicely once up on foil.
  • The thing i’m mainly impressed with is:  it’s top speed , I dropped into some meaty wave troughs and it didn’t breach like other larger wings can do. 
  • The 1900 always makes you feel, you’re in control. 
  • Pumps well too when you scanning the horizon for the next bump to run with !

 

 

 

If you are interested please get in touch for ordering [email protected] or 01792 446511

Prices - Alloy / carbon

£1,039 /1300 Foil
£1,169 /1600 Foil
£1,349 /1900 Foil

 

Full Carbon

£1,330 /1300 Foil
£1,449 /1600 Foil
£1,699 /1900 Foil

Just Keep at it - Foilsurfing

Confessions of a North Cornwall Foil club member - aka Ollypop

I have been kept up to date with a goods friends foil surfing progress or lack of as he calls it ... Just keep at it Olly !

  1. Most important - keep your trunk twisted so you're facing forward. If you do all your natural corrections will be front to back. If your ass is sticking out you won't have pitch control and all your automatic movements will make you weight one side of the wing or the other--meaning you'll tip and fall, and potentially jackknife.
  2. Start off just trying to catch small reform white water waves to get the board up off the water.
  3. A little and push over the foil (back foot) and then bring it  back down (front foot)
  4. Once you are TOTALLY comfortable and a little bored with above, start lifting it higher. As you go higher you'll have less drag so the board will accelerate and come higher on it's own. Be ready for that with a little more front foot weight.


Foiling Sri Lanka - around Welligama

Please respect locals and any others in the Water - you have a responsibility to show Foiling in a good light.

1. Coconut point - There are a few spots around here which offer good foiling waves rights and lefts.Head to 'Papa mango' restaurant and take a look.

People in the water - Quiet to moderate

2. Pier reef - Inside the main reef around 200 metres off the concrete pier where the boats are moored up, there is a deep reef which will often come up and hardly break -This wave then backs off into deep water offers right and left shoulder swells. If using a big wing you can get 100-150 metre rides if your legs can retain the pump towards the boats.

Its situated across from the main peak at Fishermans so you will have to watch for 5-10 minutes to see it break / feather to know exactly where it is.

People in the water - Very Quiet

3. Fisherman point - There are multiple scattered take off spots which depending on the size of the swell break further out to the end of the point. The first spot which is closest from shore should be avoided for foiling it is shallow and full of beginners to intermediate surfers.

If you paddle past this spot you will see multiple take off spots ( rights)  which usually have little to no other people surfing.Water depth is deep.

People in the water - Quiet to moderate

4. Jungle beach - Offers a great set up for right hand foiling waves. It is better on low tide but can be foiled through to high . The take off spots are close to big rocks which are shallow but deep enough . The right wave breaks far out next to a rock outcrop and swings wide into the channel.Sometimes if a wide set comes you can foil on swell all the way to the beach. The inside towards the shore can get shallow so watch the coral heads.

There is a left peak straight out from the beach which is prone surfed more - this is a little more shallow so should be foiled with caution.

People in the water - Very quiet

5. Easy right - Midigama is more exposed and picks up more swell. It's an easy reef to surf and can get very popular but has multiple take off spots as the swell hits the reef. If it is busy you can take off wide on the shoulder. Its a deep wave which can offer foil rides all the way to the beach.

Its easily affected by wind and there are some Jellyfish which will sting

People in the water - Moderate - busy

I took both SUP & Prone foil boards, some waves break along way from shore so the SUP has a big benefit of getting you there. Also I foiled waves which would not be steep enough to prone paddle into.

For SUP foil in November onwards I used Go foil IWA wing predominantly , with Maliko 200 on small days. For prone foil i used Kai wing.

Click on this link for more foiling spots further east towards  - Part 2 Dikwella foiling areas .

Please observe you own spot risk assessment and make sure conditions are suitable for your level .The water is clear so you should investigate the bottom depth and hazards on your paddle out .Remember a steeply breaking wave will mean it is shallow underneath , Look for slow spilling waves.


Are you ready to be Foiled ?!

Obviously there are many folk out there who simply are not interested in foiling but if you are you're reading this , there are probably just as many who are actively discouraging it - and I get that. It is, however, becoming more and more apparent that it's here to stay and a sizeable chunk of the uk surfing population is waking up to its benefits in less than perfect surf which, of course, we have plenty of here in the UK.  Seeing high profile surfers like Kai Lenny, John John, Twiggy and UK riders Alan Stokes and Andrew 'Cotty' Cotten onto hydrofoils is going to ensure the profile of the sport is raised further and it'll doubtless continue to captivate the imagination of many.

If it's here to stay then it's really of paramount importance that we are making sure that people who are looking to get started have access to the best information for them to do so safely for the protection of themselves and others in the water.

Here is a recent article from Carve mag about surf foiling - Have a read !

Foiled Carve mag article

There are many hydrofoils available on the market but some of them will not help you progress and build on your learning curve, the type of board you use is also of paramount  importance regardless if its a board you have decided to retrofit. 

We will be holding our annual Foil camp clinic in North Cornwall in April , DATES TBC - details here FOILSURF CLINIC CORNWALL 

Text Credit - Dom Yule - TKC sales for F-one and Slingshot contact [email protected]


Go Foil - masts update

This isn't particularly new news from Go foil but if you didn't already know
18/19 Summary:

The 24.5” Tuttle mast remains in the line in limited combinations.  
This will continue to be the go-to product for entry level or riders that are conscious of the tide / water depth at their spot.

- The 29.5” Tuttle mast is the new go to foil mast, it is stiffer and has a wider cord. This will help reduce over foiling.
 
The Nalu in the 29.5” Tuttle is the go-to product for kite foiling.  Awesome!

- The 28.5" Plate mast is designed for the prone surf customer.  
This is why is comes with only the smaller wings combinations.
Check out what we have available GO FOIL UK 

Go Foil Kai 1200cm2 surface area 

Wing Span: 24″ 

The original surf wing design that started the revolution, the Classic! The Kai 120 provides the highest performance for surfing and aggressive turning with total control.

Rider Profile

  • Under 65kg: This is your wing when you need more lift.
  • 65-80kg: This is your most versatile foil.
  • 80-95kg: Riders wanting less lift and more control.

In our opinion and others will back us up i'm sure , This is the 'Go to' prone foilsurfing wing . It can be used for SUP foiling for lighter riders or for bigger conditions (shoulder height and above ) , but for the average 65-80kg rider wanting to prone paddle into waves and foilsurf the KAI is the wing you will want to use time and time again. Lots of volume in the 24" wingspan and pumping glide. It has to be in your foil quiver bag ...no ifs or buts .

The kai is offered in a double surf package (Kai & Iwa wing) 24.5 inch Tuttle mast , a 28.5 Plate mast or a 29.5 Tuttle mast. 

What do you get ? - Go foils are now supplied with wings and mast covers to keep your wings pristine and protected, Mallet, screw driver and screws are also provided and depending on the package purchased a wing suitcase for triple packs

Uses:

  • Surfboard: Surfers’ go to foil.
  • Kiteboarding: Light wind riding.
  • SUP: A staple wing in the surf for lightweight riders or riding bigger surf.
  • Wake: Great for towing or riding wake behind the boat for
  • Windsurf: All riders in medium winds

Front Wing Construction:

  • 100% carbon pre-preg skins with epoxy polymer hybrid core, integral cone connection for maximum strength, all cured at 250° F in an autoclave at very high pressure.

Features Include:

  • Significant reinforcements: solid carbon at the wing tips, leading edge and trailing edge for robust durability when handling on the beach and installing the wings.
  • High strength / weight ratio which means the wings float!
  • Cone system attachment allows the rider to have a stable reliable connection between fuselage and wing.

Rear Wing Construction

Kai has its own rear Stabilizer wing (red in colour)

 

  • 100% pre-preg carbon fiber laid up in a solid monolithic structure, cured to 250° F in an autoclave at very high pressure.
  • Cone system attachment allows the rider to have a stable reliable connection between fuselage and wing.

*This wing is not warrantied in the surf**This wing is not recommended or warrantied in the surf

Go Foil IWA 170

GO FOIL IWA 1700cm2 Projected surface Area - Actual area 1548cm2

Wing Span: 31″

The most versatile crossover surf wing. The big brother to the Kai, designed to lift more while still maintaining the control and response that the Kai is so well known for in the surf.

We've tried many of the Surfing hydrofoils on the market and nothing seems to come close to the lift and float given whilst using Go foils. Yes they can be twitchy if you have gotten used to riding a heavier foil but they will also allow you to catch waves other foils just cannot.They are very user friendly with minimal fuss putting them together ( some will say 'primevil' in the waves you use a mallet to fit the wings) super durable and come highly recommended.  The only downside is the brand is not particularly geared up for a modular progression , so you will have to commit to wing packages at the start , rather than finding the limitations of a foil and then updating wings as you progress. However wings can be purchased and fitted to your fuselage with some sanding.

This particular foil wing is very fast and its easy to create speed from turning it. However from take off it can catch you off guard very easily so personally I shim it  (I place two  2mm washers under the back of the Tuttle mount adapter) this raises the tail and lowers the angle of attack. This makes it a little harder to get on foil in smaller ( where i would normally use the Maliko 200 ) conditions but in 2-4ft gives enough effect to help control the speed well. 

What do you get ? - Go foils are now supplied with wing and mast covers to keep your wings pristine and protected, Mallet, screw driver and screws are also provided and depending on the package purchased a wing suitcase for triple packs. As Go foils are primarily Tuttle mounted unless ordered otherwise (plate mount is available in a 28.5" mast ) you will need to purchase a plate mount if the board you are using only has track mounts. 

Rider Profile

  • Under 65kg: Gives Maximum lift for surfing riding and for advanced downwind riding.
  • 65-80kg: ‘Go to’ wing for surf prone riding and SUP foiling
  • 80-95kg: Perfect lift with control for everyday riding in knee to shoulder high waves 

Find the best Go foil for you - Uses:

  • Surfboard: Heavier rider or super small surf conditions.
  • Kiteboarding: Very light winds for heavier riders.
  • SUP: Small wave wing for light weight riders, Go To wing for medium weight riders in good surf.
  • Wake: Beginning riders or heavier weight riders.
  • Windsurf: Easy to ride wing for most riders in light wind.
  • Downwind: Experienced smaller riders.

Front Wing Construction:

  • 100% carbon pre-preg skins with epoxy polymer hybrid core, integral cone connection for maximum strength, all cured at 250° F in an autoclave at very high pressure.

Features Include:

  • Significant reinforcements: solid carbon at the wing tips, leading edge and trailing edge for robust durability when handling on the beach and installing the wings.
  • High strength / weight ratio which means the wings float!
  • Cone system attachment allows the rider to have a stable reliable connection between fuselage and wing.

Rear Wing Construction

The IWA has its own rear Stabilizer wing (Blue in colour)

 

  • 100% pre-preg carbon fiber laid up in a solid monolithic structure, cured to 250° F in an autoclave at very high pressure.
  • Cone system attachment allows the rider to have a stable reliable connection between fuselage and wing and also less faffing with multiple screws