A foil board (hydrofoil board) is a kitesurfing board with a hydrofoil attached beneath it. Once mastered, the board lifts entirely out of the water and you are riding only on the hydrofoil.
You should be an experienced kitesurfer before using a foil board.
Advantages of foil boards include:
- Great upwind ability
- Very smooth ride - the foil "flies underwater"
- Great for light wind conditions
of foil board include:
- Difficult to learn
- The hydrofoil is sharp - avoid cutting your feet/legs on it, or being yanked forwards onto it
- Can be cumbersome to transport
- Need deeper water to operate
- Boards are expensive
- Wear an impact vest and helmet, particularly when learning
- Carry the foil board like a normal surfboard under your arm with the foil sticking out sideways
- Body drag with the board on its side into deep water (at least chest deep) to water start
- Use a recreational foil board when learning rather than a racing foil board
Kite foil board technique
- Choose lighter wind conditions when there is not too much swell (e.g. 15 knots)
- Use the same kite size you would for a surfboard
- When you do a water start get the board flat then ride it around flat on the water with pressure on your front foot - don't attempt to rise on the foil
- Keep your weight on your front foot
- Keep your rear foot forward of the rear strap (some people prefer to learn without straps so they can bail off the board easily)
*** More information will be added to this article as we learn how to "kite foil" ***