Foil Riding Tips

Avoid Low Tide and Shallow Water: Obviously shallow water in the enemy of foilboards. But so too are the unexpected coral heads or underwater obstructions that can suddenly appear. An area that is relatively safe at high tide can become hazardous when the tide drops, or when the water level drops, such as in lakes and rivers. You should always be aware of the changing tides, and water levels in your intended ride areas. Floating debris can also cause damage to foil gear. A semi-submerged log floating just under the surface is a threat to the foil. You should try to avoid murky or cloudy water because you cannot see hazards beneath the surface.

Know the Ride Area: It is always a good idea to scope out your intended ride area, before you go out. Get to know the shoreline, and the seafloor, and learn the exact location of any reefs, rocks or other obstacles. When riding n a new area for the first time, always ask the locals about any hazards that you should watch out for and avoid. If you can get out a snorkel mask and go for a tour of your intended ride area and see for yourself what lies beneath the surface.

Hazards to Navigation: Fishing nets, anchor lines, crab pots, moored boats,  are all examples of common items that can become a hazard to a foiler. Watch out for these and avoid them whenever possible.

Respect Marine Life: Turtles, seals, dolphins, fish, sharks, manatee, whales etc, are all examples of critters that you should be aware of and avoid at all times. You are in their home, so be respectful, keep a watchful eye, and avoid their presence.

Avoid other water users: When learning to foil you should try to avoid all other water users. Give yourself room to move, and enough room to fail and fall. You will not have much control over the foil (in the beginning) but you can control where you choose to ride. Avoid any crowded areas! Foilers do not need to be in the best surf spots, and they do not need to be in a crowded swimming areas.

You are responsible for your Foilcraft:  Remember that you are always responsible for your craft (whether you are riding it or not). After a wipeout, a foilboard can travel a surprisingly long distance on its own. And a foilboard can also react unpredictably (compared to other types of surfcraft) at any time. Never overestimate your abilities, and always keep a safe distance away from everyone and everything.

Share the water, share the waves: Just because you can now catch every wave doesn’t mean that you should. Always be kind to other surfers and riders, and give everyone their fair share of waves. Give people room to ride, and do not crowd out other people. Remember that another person’s comfort zone may be different from yours.

Ride away from the Crowds: Foilboards in many situations can have superior maneuvering abilities compared to other craft, so a foilboarder should use this advantage to stay clear of other riders, and perhaps catch the less desirable waves.  A foilboarder can usually ride away from the pack, and go ride on the uncrowded peaks, and explore the path less traveled.