Tips To Make SUP Foil Surfing Easier


Learning to foil surf can be both frustrating and intimidating. Surfing can be hard enough as it is so adding a foil to the mix can surely complicate things. Here are a few tips from my own experience that helped me progress my skill level really fast.

1. Make sure you’re comfortable surfing without a foil

Make sure you are comfortable stand up paddling into and surfing waves. This will be one less thing to think about (not to mention safety concerns if you’re not) when you have your foil attached to your board. Having the board lift out of the water and trying to balance it on the sweet spot is enough to think about. So, practice paddling into and surfing waves on your stand up paddle board until it becomes second nature before even thinking about adding in a foil.

surf foil tips 2Alex Mauer SUP surfing. | Photo: Alex Mauer

2. Learn behind a boat or ski

Learning to foil behind a boat or jet ski allows you to learn the balance in a more controlled environment. Practice keeping the foil low and in control. Keep your weight on the front of the board, slowly move it towards the back of the board until you start to lift. Then put your weight back over the front of the board to push the foil back down. Practice this until you are comfortable enough to balance the foil out of the water the whole time.

surf foil tips 1 surf foil tips 3

Photos Courtesy: Alex Mauer

3. Try it in waves

After you get comfortable flying behind the boat, you can add in the challenge of a wave, but make sure you’re doing it in an uncrowded lineup. Learning to surf the wake behind a boat provides a more controlled environment, deeper water and more time on a wave. Having more wave time per session will allow you to get comfortable with how the foil reacts in a wave and moving water a lot faster than you would in the ocean.

how to choose foil alex mauerAlex Mauer. | Photo courtesy: Alex Mauer

Learning to foil surf in this order made it really easy to transition into the ocean and surfing out in a lineup. Because I spent so much time behind a boat learning to foil surf, I was already comfortable with how a foil reacts in the waves. Adding a foil to my SUP was a natural transition and foil surfing in the ocean is my favorite thing to do.

For more SUP foiling click HERE.

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