Wake foiling — a relatively new sport — is on its way to become a sensation in the short time since its discovery. It is easy, even effortless, and literally makes you feel like you’re flying! Wake foiling does not need specific water conditions and can conveniently be done by tying the board behind almost any sort of motorboat.
An extremely easy sport to learn, wake foiling will make you want to have more days out by the lake and take every chance you get to literally glide above the water. Sounds like a superhero power, doesn’t it? Well, now you can experience what it feels like to be a superhero! If you’re one for thrilling adventures, here is a guide to help you through this breezy gleeful ride above the water.
Wake Foiling Overview
- Take all necessary precautions: wear a helmet and body vest.
- If you are new to wake foiling, start off with short masts.
- Do not enter the wake right away; let the speed get to a point where it can handle your weight.
- Small foot adjustments: learning how to balance you out using both feet, learning where to place which foot, where to apply pressure, and where to ease up are key to wake foiling.
- To gain height ease pressure towards the front, if you want to lower your position, increase pressure at the front.
- Avoid falling on your face and hitting the foil at all costs.
- If you realize falling is unavoidable, throw yourself straight off the back of the board.
What is Wake Foiling?
The wake foil board is a surfboard that operates on the surface of the water while another part, the hydrofoil which is connected to the board, operates underwater. At speeds of 8 – 12 MPH, you work with two wings and balance yourself and your movements by working with high and low-pressure areas on the board. This is very similar to how planes work and stay balanced in the sky. As you alter the pressure on the board, it will rise up or get low. You can increase or decrease your height with foot adjustments. If you do it the right way, you could end up gliding inches above the surface of the water! It’ll be like you’re flying!
In order to learn how to wake foil, be mindful of the precautions first and foremost to reduce the chances of injury and danger to oneself, and follow all these instructions closely.
If you already know how to wakeboard or wakesurf behind a boat, then you’re in luck. But fear not if you don’t, because we’re here to guide you through every step of this exhilarating sport. If this is your first-time wake foiling, it is safer you start off with the shorter (fifty centimeters) masts first and take all necessary precautions of wearing a helmet along with an impact vest. This protects you from injury if you fall on your board.
Let Wake Build Up
Next, you put the board in the wake of the boat but do not get right into it. Give the wake time to build up enough for it to be able to carry you after it starts. After about 15 seconds, you get to the bigger section of the wake by pulling the rope. After letting go of the board, find the point where the wake is large enough to carry your weight on the board.
This is integral for the balance! If you feel too much pressure on the front foot, move your front foot forward first and then your back foot forward also a little bit. The key here is to make sure you move both feet. If you are having trouble getting the board to fly, you follow the same instructions, but this time in reverse! Move your front foot back and then your back foot. Foot position can be altered according to need.
Remember, for changes in position and more rise move back on your board. For more stability, move to the front. Small foot movements will make a world of difference so do not overcompensate.
Staying On The Wake
Your next concern will probably be about staying on the board and navigating your way through the water. Here you have to make sure your foil stays in the water; the trick to do that is by keeping your body as low as possible. The wake can get very steep, and if you happen to move on its edge, you will breach the wing. So before turning, make sure your board is low enough by pushing on the board with your front foot. Move away from the wing and back to the section of the wave, which can carry you once you’re done.
Pumping The Foil
You lose lift when moving over the wing, which is why you will need to pump your foil to raise it up. To pump your board, you use a technique of moving up and down very similar to that on a wakesurf or wakeboard. Lift your front foot up and push own on the board with the back foot. The board changes direction and moves higher, which is exactly when you push your weight down on the board towards the front by putting down your front foot. Repeat this exercise of glide and dive for more lift!
How to Fall
If you lose balance and happen to fall, one thing we can do is ensure you do it the right way to avoid injury! By keeping your upper body stiff and not letting your shoulders lean forwards, you reduce the chances of falling face forwards on the foil. If you realize you are going to fall, just drop off the back of the foil into the water, and you will be safe from hitting or cutting yourself on the board.
Wrong Way to Fall
A dangerous way to fall is by pushing your bottom out and bending forward. You will fall on your front on the foil in the most dangerous way possible. If you happen to realize you are falling like this, put your arms in front of your face to ensure not cutting your face by hitting it on the foil. Cuts like these could require emergency care and why risk them when you can avoid them, right?
The instructions here might sound complicated, but they’re actually quite simple. You probably won’t get it right in the first try or the second or for many tries to come, but follow the instructions given here carefully, and it is guaranteed you will not only learn how to wake foil, but you will also excel at it. No matter how many attempts you have to give it, they’re going to be worth it! Ensure you take necessary precautions and wear safety gear to make this a safe experience for yourself. Wake foiling is a delight that still remains quite rare for people to have experienced. Join us in becoming some of the lucky ones who get to experience the exhilarating feeling of flying, with the wind playing its fingers against your skin, and the water under you rushing by. Because believe me, it’s worth all the work and effort. Good luck!