You seem to be located in . Would You like to switch region?

Welcome The Florence Brothers to the Lift Family! Learn More

0

Introduction to Downwind SUP Foiling

2024-06-15

Downwind foiling offers an exciting way to enjoy the water by using wind swells to move you along. It blends surfing, foiling, navigation, and stand-up paddling (SUP) for a unique adventure and excellent exercise.

But many people are left asking, "How do I downwind SUP foil?" Whether you're an experienced athlete or new to water sports, this guide and Matt's video provide insights into how to downwind SUP foil. Learn why you should consider getting on foil and experiencing downwind for yourself.

Why is Downwind SUP Foiling Becoming More Popular?

  • The Thrill: A unique experience of gliding over waves powered by natural wind swells.
  • Full-Body Workout: A great workout while enjoying the freedom of the water and freshness of the outdoors.
  • Freedom and Flexibility: Benefit from the freedom of not having to manage a wing, allowing for more dynamic and spontaneous movements.
  • Deep Connection with Nature: A rare connection to the water and natural elements learning to read and understand the water’s patterns.
  • Continuous Improvement: Challenge yourself with new skills and techniques, leading to a sense of accomplishment and progression

Freedom from Wings on Downwind Foils

Downwind SUP foiling offers unparalleled freedom compared to wing foiling. Without managing a wing, you can focus entirely on the waves and your movements, allowing for more dynamic and spontaneous turns.

It's like surfing but with extended rides through the use of wind swells. Without a wing, you experience the joy of flying over the water while taking in your surroundings.

Understanding the Mechanics of Surf Foiling

Surf foiling involves riding a hydrofoil mounted below a surfboard, allowing you to glide above the water's surface. This setup reduces drag and ensures a smooth, fast ride. The hydrofoil consists of a mast, fuselage, front wing, and tail wing. As water flows over these components, they generate lift, similar to how an airplane takes flight, enabling the board to rise above the water's surface.

Key Concepts in Down Wind SUP Foiling

GETTING ON FOIL

Generate Speed:

Begin by paddling or using a paddle to gain forward momentum and pump. Speed is essential as it creates the necessary conditions for the foil to generate lift.

Angle the Foil:

As you gain speed, angle the front of the board slightly upwards, similar to how an airplane lifts off by tilting its nose up.

Lift Creation:

The hydrofoil, submerged underwater, acts like an underwater wing. As water flows over the foil's surface, it creates lift.

Maintain Balance:

Once enough lift is created, the board will rise out of the water. At this point, balance becomes crucial. Use subtle shifts in your weight to control the angle of the foil and maintain a steady lift.

Adjust Speed and Angle:

To stay on foil, continuously adjust your speed and the angle of the board. Too much angle or too little speed will cause the board to drop back into the water. Conversely, too much speed or too steep an angle can make the board unstable.

[@portabletext/react] Unknown block type "localeRichText", specify a component for it in the `components.types` prop

PUMPING AND USING SWELLS TO SURF

Start with Speed:

Begin with sufficient forward momentum by paddling hard to catch a bump or swell. Speed is crucial for initiating and maintaining lift.

Maintain a Staggered Stance:

Position your feet in a staggered stance, with your back foot over the foil and your front foot slightly forward. This stance provides better control and balance.

Use Your Legs: 

Bend your knees slightly and use a rhythmic up-and-down motion, similar to squatting. Push down firmly with your legs to compress the board and then allow it to rebound upwards. This motion helps to generate lift and keep the foil moving.

Engage Your Core:

Use your core muscles to stabilize your body and maintain a steady pumping rhythm. A strong core helps in transferring energy efficiently from your legs to the foil.

Timing and Coordination:

Pumping requires precise timing. As the board rebounds upwards, prepare for the next downward push. Coordinate your movements so that each pump builds on the previous one, maintaining a consistent speed and lift.

Short and Quick Pumps:

Focus on short, quick pumps rather than large, forceful ones. Small, rapid movements are more efficient and help maintain a smoother ride.

Stay High on the Foil:

Aim to keep the foil high in the water. Staying high on the foil reduces drag and makes it easier to maintain speed and lift.

Link into Swells:

Harness the power of the water. Look for a series of bumps or swells and aim to link them together. Use the energy from each bump to push you to the next, keeping your momentum going.

Practice and Adjust:

Pumping efficiently takes practice. Continuously adjust your technique based on the conditions and your own comfort level. Pay attention to how your body movements affect the foil and make necessary adjustments to improve your efficiency.

Mastering the Art of SUP Foil Surfing

Watch Matt’s tutorial on Down Wind SUP

Is Down Wind SUP Foiling Hard?

Short answer, hell yes, it's hard. But it it’s one of the most rewarding forms of foiling. The ability to connect to the water is unparalleled. It's not impossible for a newcomer, but it will take a lot of practice. Don't give up, remember someday isn't a day of the week and the best day to start is today. There are other ways to get on the water, and if you are keen to get on foil and an eFoil isn't in the budget, wing foiling and wake foiling are great entry points.

Key Considerations When Choosing Your Setup

Stability on the water is key. A larger board and wider foil span helps accomplish this and a longer fuselage helps maintain pitch stability. For beginners start with big foils and work your way down as your skill improves.

[@portabletext/react] Unknown block type "localeRichText", specify a component for it in the `components.types` prop

SUP Foil Boards

Opt for long, narrow boards specifically designed for downwind foiling. Being a surfer-owned and operated business means our team consists of fellow riders who play a crucial role in designing our downwind boards. They continuously incorporate real-time ride feedback to enhance and improve future board designs, ensuring you get a board we would ride.

Check out our downwind boards:

7'0 108L Down Wind SUP

$2,400.00
DETAILS: The 7’0 is our team's go-to downwind SUP board. It doubles as an excellentlight wind wingboard for riders of all levels. From ocean bumps to riverbumps this board pops up quickly and provides a dialed in surfingexperience. Double leash plug + self-regulating gore ventShop Now

8'0 120L Down Wind SUP

$2,500.00
DETAILS: The 8’0 downwind board is for those looking to get into the sport ofdownwind SUP foiling, or for riders who like the ease of a little extra lengthand volume. The board feels stable and quick on the water which leads toeasy take off. Once in flight this board shines as a board that surfs incrediblywell for its size. Double leash plug + self-regulating gore vent.Shop Now

[@portabletext/react] Unknown block type "localeRichText", specify a component for it in the `components.types` prop

Masts and Wing Setups

For downwind foiling we recommend our high modulus carbon masts. Our proprietary carbon blend offers unparalleled stiffness, ensuring a responsive and stable ride.

When selecting wing size, we suggest beginners start with larger wings, using a combination of our High Aspect Front Wings and Flow Back Wings. The Flow Back Wings feature a longer fuselage, essential for maintaining glide while downwinding, and our High Aspect Front Wings provide the optimal ratios for glide and lift.

Below are a few recommended setups specific to downwind foiling. As your skill progresses and you find your flow, you can always swap wings to find the perfect setup for your riding style.

Beginner

  • 28" M2 Mast with the 220 HA-X and the 31Flow Back Wing

M2 Series Mast - 28"

$1,499.00
The M2 Series masts feature the stiffest high-modulus carbon fiber we can get our hands on, with the same ultra-efficient mast profile featured in our Classic Series. Simply put, it’s the stiffest mast we’ve ever produced, all without sacrificing efficiency. If you want the highest performance mast possible, look no further. The 28” mast is the standard length in performance foiling. Versatile, responsive, and maneuverable, this mast keeps the wings higher in the water, locking you into the surface energy for surfing and pumping. NOTE: This is a mast only, to be used for classic (non eFoil) foiling only. If you have an eFoil, you need a propulsion system, which is a complete unit comprised of a mast, motor, and propeller. WHAT'S INCLUDED: 28" Mast Hardware Kit Protective CoverShop Now

Front Wing - 220 High Aspect X

$1,139.00
The 220 HA-X showcases an unprecedented level of lift and efficiency, surpassing any wing we've previously crafted. It’s the quintessential choice for those embarking on the journey of learning downwind foiling, pumping, and winging in light breezes. It also presents an opportunity to expand your eFoil range into a new stratosphere. Even with its large surface area and effortless lift, this wing remains efficient and maneuverable, ensuring riders of all skill levels can appreciate its performance.Shop Now

Back Wing - 31 Flow

$315.00
Shop Now

Intermediate

  • 28" M2 Mast with the 180 HA-X and the 26Flow Back Wing

M2 Series Mast - 28"

$1,499.00
The M2 Series masts feature the stiffest high-modulus carbon fiber we can get our hands on, with the same ultra-efficient mast profile featured in our Classic Series. Simply put, it’s the stiffest mast we’ve ever produced, all without sacrificing efficiency. If you want the highest performance mast possible, look no further. The 28” mast is the standard length in performance foiling. Versatile, responsive, and maneuverable, this mast keeps the wings higher in the water, locking you into the surface energy for surfing and pumping. NOTE: This is a mast only, to be used for classic (non eFoil) foiling only. If you have an eFoil, you need a propulsion system, which is a complete unit comprised of a mast, motor, and propeller. WHAT'S INCLUDED: 28" Mast Hardware Kit Protective CoverShop Now

Front Wing - 180 High Aspect X

$1,059.00
The 180 HA-X draws its inspiration from the DNA of the 150 HA-X, but in an easier to ride, higher-lift form. Meticulous adjustments to the camber, wingspan, and aspect ratio have created a wing that boasts not only limitless glide and exceptional pumping capabilities but also embodies the inherent surfy sensation that defines Lift’s unique ride quality.Shop Now

Back Wing - 26 Flow

$310.00
The 26 Flow is our medium-sized back wing in the Flow series. Slippery yet stable, the 26 Flow features a small surface area back wing for efficiency and pairs it with a long fuselage for stability. The result is an unmatched equilibrium between efficiency and stability. The 26 Flow is the perfect back wing for intermediate riders looking to elevate their level or advanced riders seeking a tail whose ease of use allows for increased confidence in any maneuver.Shop Now

Advanced

  • 32" M2 Mast with the 150 HA-X and the 21Flow Back Wing

Classic Series Mast - 32"

$899.00
Shop Now

Front Wing - 150 High Aspect X

$899.00
Shop Now

Back Wing - 21 Flow

$305.00
Shop Now

When considering mast sizes, keep the following factors in mind:

  • Skill level: Longer masts require more skill to handle because of the additional drag involved in getting them on foil.
  • Wave conditions: The size of the waves or swells you ride will determine the ideal mast size. In general, larger waves call for longer masts to keep your board above water and prevent it from submerging.
  • Location: If you often find yourself in the open ocean with big swells, opting for a longer mast is advisable. This will help maintain stability and keep your board elevated. However, be aware that it will require more effort and skill to get on foil with a longer mast.

Conclusion

Downwind SUP foiling offers an unmatched combination of excitement, skill, and freedom on the water. Whether you're a seasoned water sports enthusiast or a beginner, the thrill of gliding over waves using natural forces is like no other experience on the water. With the right setup and enthusiasm, you can experience the rewarding thrill for yourself and start exploring your waterways. Start today and experience the freedom and sense of exploration that downwind SUP foiling brings. 


See you on the water!

Share this story

Join the Lift Newsletter
for the latest videos & releases

Thank you for subscribing.

default

By signing up to the Lift Foils newsletter you agree to our Terms and Conditions and that you have read our Privacy Policy, including our Cookie use.

Affirm financing disclaimer: Your rate will be 0-36% APR based on credit, and is subject to an eligibility check. Payment options through Affirm are provided by these lending partners: affirm.com/lenders. Options depend on your purchase amount, and a down payment may be required.

Lift Foils © 2024