With the summer season quickly approaching and the winter winds doomed to fade, what’s a kiter to do? Get a hydrofoil STAT is the answer! Hydrofoils without a doubt, breathe some life back into those frustrating 8 to 12 knot summer days that we seem to experience here in South Florida all too often from June through August. With a hydrofoil though, those less than 14 knot conditions are absolute powder days! Words struggle to explain the feeling of gliding, relatively effortlessly, through the water at 2 to 3 times the wind speed over butter flat water. With a foil, you can easily reach 40-60 days on the water during the summer months, where you may only be lucky enough to snag a handful of good sessions with your twin tip or surf gear.
Hydrofoils have been in the kiteboarding arena now for almost 10 years, believe it or not. In that time, foil designs have evolved dramatically, to the point where design innovations are beginning to plateau. Because of this positive evolution, most foil designs on the market are quite refined and easy to both learn and progress with. that said, the learning curve is by no means a snap – it usually takes anywhere between 10 and 30 hours on the water to really dial in the foil for a first timer. After this initial “training period” though, the possibilities are unreal! Foils also cover a LOT of ground quite quickly, which turns your local kite spot into a small playground quite quickly. Long distance sailing, racing, freestyle, waves, free ride…it’s all there and each discipline has a specific foil design optimized for the purpose.
Surf foils are also exploding into the market in a huge way and offer some unique benefits in their own right. They generally have larger front wings, which makes their takeoff speed quite low. Because of this, the rider can foil in even less winds on even smaller kites. When there’s absolutely NO wind, just tow it behind a powerboat or play around in knee high waves – truly endless fun!
Most foil manufacturers also offer shorter masts to make learning quite a bit easier. With the short masts, the rider has a bit less distance to fall, and with the shorter falls, most are recoverable, allowing the rider to continue in a straight line, which certainly reduces frustration. Once the rider becomes familiar with the short “training mast”, simply move up to the longer mast for a more elevated ride height and a bit more speed and fun!
The bottom line is, if you haven’t at least given foiling a shot, you’re missing out! NOW is the time to get loyal to the foil and see what it’s all about. The only regret you’ll have is that you didn’t give it a shot years ago! If you have ANY questions on foils, give the experts at Adventure Sports a buzz! We have tons of designs and brands of kiteboarding, windsurfing, and surf foils! Regardless of your preference and what you’d like to use your foil for, we’ve got you covered!