Foiling – as in riding waves with a foil attached to your board, ala foil surfing – isn’t for everyone we appreciate. But more and more surf nuts are swapping fins for dangly things protruding from their sleds and reaping the rewards.
We caught up with Mr P from our sister site Foilshop UK to get some more info about foil surfing and why you would. Especially in summer when the UK’s waves can be hit or miss. Over to Tez.
SUP or prone for – it’s all foil surfing.
I get that for many surfers the idea of sticking a foil to the bottom of their board is verging on blasphemy. But there’s no question about the benefits being reaped by those that do. Myself included. The fact remains that waves in the UK are pretty fickle at best – especially during summer. Sure, you can still score those blissful sessions where the planets align. I still ride a surfboard when Mother Nature allows. More often than not, however, I’m confronted with gutless, lacklustre conditions that just don’t give the same buzz when on a fin. Admittedly I don’t live close to a wave drenched beach, but that’s even more reason to ride a foil board.
And for those who do reside in ‘surfland’ there’re still days on end of onshores during high season or simply flat, butter smooth conditions with only ripples on show. But ripples are good! With a foil, once you’ve dialled your skills in.
A knee high wave (or even less) can feel like dropping into something much bigger. The speed, glide and length of ride can be silly. Looking down you realise you’re nailing 700m plus slides on waves that’d have trouble pushing even your trusty nose rider along. And then, for those who have the skills, pumping back out under your own steam to grab the next bump. In theory (and some riders can already do this) one ride can be in excess of 20 minutes! What’s not to like?
Yes, we hear all the time that foiling isn’t pure as riders are elevated and not connected to the wave. Which is true. But that’s not the point. It’s a different feeling when foiling and something you can’t compare. If anything foilsurfing’s like super charged longboard surfing with the added efficiency of being able to pump and connect waves on the flat between sets.
Check out one of the current foil surfing masters at work in the vid below.
There’s certainly a period where riders will need to learn and get to grips with the skills needed. And not every kind of wave is suitable for foilsurfing. And not every venue as many will be too bombed out in summer. But this in itself can give riders the shove they need to check out those less frequented and less quality spots. You just don’t need a good wave for some foiling fun.
And when the conditions improve there’s nothing stopping you grabbing that fin board again. Although, I bet as you get more into foiling it’ll be harder to let go and go back!
And don’t forget to check out the following articles in this series below –