Foil Stories: ‘feeling the need…’ with windsurfer & windfoiler Tom Pringuer.

Foil Stories 'feeling the need...' with windsurfer & windfoiler Tom Pringuer.

We know Tom Pringuer very well. Having watched his development as a young windsurfer Tom pretty soon turned to foiling. Ever keen to get on the water Tom’s usually frothing for some action. Here’s Tom’s Foil Stories article. Pics courtesy of dad Mike.

Give us a brief background on your watersports career to date.

I started windsurfing very young and was planing in footstraps and harness at age 7. I love going fast at our local speed trench using speed and slalom gear with a personal best of 28 knots to date. I am also getting into waves and jumping.

Tom on foil with the Tahe TechnoWind Foil 6m sail.

When did you discover foiling and what appealed?

I first started foiling when I was 8 years old and have been hooked ever since.  I wanted to have a go as it looked really good fun. 

Which foiling discipline (s) are you involved with and why?

I love all types of foiling and have had the chance to use the Tahe Techno foil board & sail and also the Olympic race foil equipment (IQ Foil). I enjoy the chilled out floaty feel of the Techno foil – it’s a great platform to learn on. I also enjoy going fast on the race gear which goes upwind so well. I really want to get into and get good at wing & SUP foiling too.

Tom booting upwind on the Tahe Techno Wind Foil 6.3m sail.

Has foiling panned out the way you envisaged?

I had no idea what to expect but I am pleased to see windfoiling in the Olympics and want to give that a go.  Wing foiling is also fun.

Was it what you thought the first few times out?

The first time I had no idea what to expect and it was a bit scary due to the sharp wings beneath you.  I soon got the hang of it with straight and level flights coming quickly.

Tom enjoying a bit of wing foil action aboard the Tahe Techno Wind Foil 130L.

How many sessions (roughly) did it take for consistency?

It took a few sessions at the tail end of a summer season, then a winter break, then back into it solidly at the start of the next season with freeride gear.  I had a lot of crashes but never hurt myself or broke any gear.

Have you found foiling easy or hard? And why?

I found foiling hard at first but then it became easier the more time I spent out on the water. On a fin I can plane out of gybes consistently and I was determined to crack the foil gybe. It took a while to crack that as weight and footwork needs to be spot on with less room for error than on a fin. Foiling out of a gybe is an amazing feeling.      

Gybe talking with Tom on foil.

What’s the most valuable foiling lesson you’ve learnt?

I’m self taught but I find that when foil gybing in light winds, pumping the foil a little bit with my weight really helps to stop the board from hitting the water.  I didn’t realise I was doing this until watching some video footage of myself.

What’s been your biggest inspiration for foiling, and why?

Balz Muller – he is crazy and it was cool to meet him in Bonaire. 

Where are you now with your foiling?

Consistently foil gybing in light to medium winds, and getting better in the stronger winds.  Being only 45Kg has its limits sometimes.  I love stealing my dad’s 9m HGO foil sail & IQ board which gets me going in a force 2! But I can’t uphaul it if the luff tube floods with water! I really like the Tahe Techno Wind Foil 6.3m sail – it’s a great combination of power and lightweight. 

Feeling the feeling… Tom enjoying a windfoil cruise.

Any particular goals moving forwards.

Going to the LA Olympics in 2028.  Getting better in strong winds, keeping up with my Dad (he has the weight advantage!) and breaking 30 knots.  I also want to do more wing foiling & SUP foiling and get into waves. Going round Hayling Island in a fast time and longer foil trips like across to the Isle of Wight & NAB Tower.

Give us a brief run down of the gear you’re using and why.

Between my Dad and I we have a mix of Exocet and Starboard IQ foil boards, and a range of foil & slalom sails.  I try not to use rotational sails on the foil as I prefer the stability of cammed sails.  I recently had the Tahe Techno Wind Foil 130L board and 6.3m foil sail which I really enjoyed.

How has the foilscape changed for you since you started?

The gear has moved on and it seems to be getting better. Wing foiling has become a big thing that I want to be part of.

Tom not foiling. But any water time’s good!

Any foiling predictions for the future?

Speeds on windsurf foils becoming closer to fin windsurf speeds.

Final thoughts on foiling?

Love it. It’s the future.

Thanks and praise?

Thanks to Tahe and Foilshop for the loan of the Techno gear, and also the opportunity from my parents to get out there with their support and encouragement.

You can follow Tom via the following links –

Tom Pringuer Windsurfing on Facebook.

Tom Pringuer Windsurfing on Instagram.

Tom is supported by North Coast Wetsuits.

 You can read Foilshop’s other Foil Stories in this series via the links below.