Foiling is the very hot topic these days, especially after watching the Americas cup cats flying around Bermuda in 10 MPH wind. Luckily for me I have been racking up the air time foiling for 3 years now doing Kite and Windsurfing foiling. Even though both are fresh and exciting, it was kind of more of the same old for me. Ultimately my feeling on the whole foiling thing is I could take it or leave it. Now hear me out since that is just my opinion as an Uber Watermen. Foiling “is” the future and it will be very very popular. All racing will be going that way and kiting/sailing has already gone that way, as well as most flat water cruising for sure. It is a New Era.
Now here is the game changer for me when it comes to foiling. Recently I have gotten into “Surf foiling.” These foils are quite different in the way they ride because they are big and slow with lots of lift designed for riding waves under control. I started off SUP foiling in small waves with the Mystery Machine, which is probably the hardest thing I have ever done in the water, but so freaken fun. Then I got the idea to stick a sail on the sup/wavefoil and give it a try. That Day turned out to be the Game Changer: Everything worked amazingly perfect, I was gliding/flying on wave after wave(and not good waves either! The crappiest waves: The ones that don’t even break, super small waves, and even open water swell). What I found after switching to my high performance Red Barron foil board is you can catch a swell and completely flag the sail out by just hanging onto the mast or boom and ride the waves forever on the foil with zero sail power. The best part is you don’t need much wind either. Just 12-15mph and a 4.7-5.7 sail and you’re flying on these big surf foils heading up wind like crazy, looking for more swell to ride. I can even go out to open waters and ride downwind swell for crazy amounts of time with zero sail power. There are all sorts of new things to do I haven’t even thought of yet.
This new discipline is WWF (windsurf wave foiling) that’s what I am calling it anyways. I am not even sure if anyone else in the world is even doing this yet? It’s truly opening up my waterman mind to all kinds of new things. WWF already has been replacing other water activities for me like light wind sailing, wind Sup longboarding and kiting. I don’t do much of those anymore). It has shortened up my quiver also. The biggest sail I ever need for WWF is a 5.7 or maybe even a 4.7 with the right designed sail. There is so little sail power required I will be out for a 3 hour WWF session and not use the harness once since there is no need to. WWF is not replacing everything though. When the waves and wind are up, its business as usual with all the normal toys, but for crappy conditions, non-breaking waves, and light winds, it’s crazy fun. I have new board designs dancing in my head and even some foil mods. Hmmmm. I am so very stoked on this newly discovered discipline and I can’t wait to score more sessions. I am really looking forward for WWF to evolve over the next 3-5 years. It’s going to be an exciting ride. Bring it on!