Maximising your SUP surfing vid – add a foil to your stand up paddle board!

Words, pics and vid: Tez Plavenieks

It’s no secret I love a wave – of any size! It doesn’t matter whether I’m using the wind to power me, or relying solely on swell, if there’s a wave in the mix I’ll try and sniff it out to enhance my watery session.

Obviously, this doesn’t always work and I spend a fair amount of time on flat water – just like anyone. In the past, without the availability of hydrofoils, I’d have paddled out on my SUP regardless of how junky, onshore and rubbish the waves were – needs must and all that. In the last few years, however, foils have become readily available. And more recently those particularly big foil wings that allow even more sessions to be scored – the riding of waves that don’t even resemble waves, basically.

SUP foiling rules OK when the waves refuse to play.

Take the accompanying vid as a case in point. The surf during this particular sesh was a choppy knee high at most with no discernible shape. There were sections; sucky parts that allowed me to take off, but that was it. Once passed that section the wave was just a rolling lump. But as soon as I was flying it didn’t matter. All that sub-surface energy translated to glide and flow allowing rides much longer than I’d score if stand up paddle boarding in a ‘stuck to water’ sense.

SUP foiling is a game changer for me – and will be for anyone else choosing to get involved. Anyone opting to paddle a stand up paddle board with a foil attached will be served a significant amount more wave riding (gliding) time. And to be honest, even when the surf improves a foil does its magic here as well, therefore what’s not to love?

Some would suggest not being in contact with the water loses the essence of what ‘surfing’s’ all about. To some degree that’s true. But flying above the water is its own thing with specific feels and should be embraced as such.

If you have any questions about all aspects of SUP foiling then get in touch. And be sure to check out the following related articles.