Foil boarding or ‘Hydrofoiling’ has been around for a while now, having been pioneered by Laird Hamilton several years ago. There are some incredible boarders, notably Kai Lenny (just Google Kai Lenny hydrofoil to be blown away) so I thought I’d give it a go.
It’s actually not too tricky to begin if you surf, but progression can be slow. It’s something you need to do on a regular basis in different conditions and that’s not always possible. I tend to practice on the estuary near my home to get used to flat water foiling before moving onto waves. We’re lucky to be blessed with a huge expanse of flat water at high tide with the option to head out to a sand bar at the estuary mouth where small waves break.
I’m definitely ready to start surfing the foil now and am looking forward to being fit enough to head back out at Nazare to give it a go on bigger waves. The sensations is like nothing I’ve ever felt before. You really feel weightless. I’d recommend anyone to try it.
Obviously riding waves is going to be challenging, but the potential for riding massive waves in tricky locations is huge. The way these things cut through the chop is great. And the extra speed due to less friction is mind boggling.