Learn to ride a Kite Foilboard
Foilboarding, kitefoiling, foiling, hydrofoiling, are different names for one of the fastest growing segments of the sport of kiteboarding.
Why are they so popular?, kite foilboards, are super efficient and can go in much lighter winds than conventional equipment. This means that kiteboarding is more accessible for people living in light wind areas. It also means that people can kite more often, and when their schedule allows.
The kiteboard foil, is a hydrofoil system attached to the bottom of a directional the board. The foil system lifts the board out of the water at speed, and then provides enough lift for the rider and board to be out of the water, riding. Without the board dragging along the foil can accelerate swiftly and provide a smother ride. Foilboarding feels like flying. Foilboards are becoming popular for racing, foils can sail much closer to the wind than regular equipment. A kite foilboard points much higher, like a raceboard, and is great for people racing around an upwind-downwind course. Foils are being raced on local and national levels, and even a world racing series. Foils may even be the next kiteboard to be selected for Olympic competition. Foils are not just for going fast. Foilboards are also being used for freeriding, freestyle and waves. Each foilboarder, will express their personal style and ride their own unique way. There as many individual ride styles as there are riders.
So what does it take to become a kite foilboarder?
Forget everything you think you know about kiteboarding. A kitefoilboard is very demanding to ride. It requires constant focus and concentration. Any kitefoilboarder will tell you that learning to foil is far from easy. Many compare it to starting to kiteboard all over again, The best way to learn to foil is with some lessons lesson from an experienced kitefoil instructor, this can really shorten the learning curve.
You could go and buy yourself a foilboard and try to teach yourself, but in that case you must be prepared to invest a lot of time and bumps and bruises until you get it down. There is no magic bullet, foilboarding is a totally new experience, and it takes a lots of “T.O.W. Time On Water” until you get it down. Getting a few lessons from a Kitefoilboarding Instructor is usually the best use of your time.
Prerequisites to become a Kitefoilboarder: Ideally you should already have completely mastered kite flying. That means that you can fly most kites instinctively, and you can react quickly to kites back-stalling, and do quick redirects. You should also be able to powerstroke the kite efficiently. You must be able to fly fully in control “one-handed” (including power-stroking the kite one-handed). You should be able to relaunch the kite from any position, and relaunch in light wind. You can fly in under-powered and overpowered conditions. And it is really helpful if you can also power-loop the kite, downloop when needed to get extra power. As with any kiteboarding, you should be able to deal with problems, like tangled lines, and stuck bridles, and be able to do complete self-rescues, and have a full mastery of all of the safety systems in all kinds of situations. Foilboards tend to get stuck in the kite lines more than other types of boards, so you should be comfortable dealing with depowing a kite in a tangled scenario. As for board riding experience, you should already be able to ride a directional board. Because Foilboards have a direction, so you must also be able to jibe a directional, and switch your feet without crashing, as well as ride for extended periods in the toe-side position. You should also be prepared for the physical exertion of multiple wipeouts and some hard swimming.
TIPS for Foilboarding:
• Of course you should wear as much protective clothing as possible to prevent injuries.
• A helmet should be considered mandatory.
• Start out in steady winds.
• Gusty conditions are way more difficult to handle on a foilboard.
• Try to find calm, flat water. Waves and chop make it harder.
• Go out with an underpowered kite at first.
• And keep your sessions short because you will be exhausted quickly.
• Stay in deep water, you must have enough water under your foil at all times.
• And avoid foils with sharp edges, some are razor sharp.
• Kite with other foilboarders, and share your experiences.
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