Are Inflatable Foil Boards Any Good?

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An inflatable foil board is a surfboard with a foil attached that extends below the water’s surface. The design enables the board to lift out of the water, allowing the surfer to stand a few feet above the water.

You can use Inflatable foil boards in Wing foiling and surf foiling, and it outperforms other boards in terms of performance and speed. This is because the wings raise the board above the water, providing the surfer with enhanced versatility.

Another amazing feature about these boards is that they do not require large waves for you to be able to surf. You can maintain buoyancy at speeds of just 3 miles per hour, which is impossible with other surfboards.

How Does An Inflatable Foil Board Function?

Inflatable foiling is a relatively new sport; thus, not many people understand how they work. Essentially, these boards work based on the principle of aeronautics.  

The board contains a wing-like foil underneath it which functions the same way as an airplane wing. This means that it creates areas of high and low pressure. When you stand on the board, the wings on the foil deflect water pressure downwards.

This then creates an equal and opposite reaction that pushes the board and its rider above the water. At the same time, the wave propels the rider forward.

Your height, weight, and wave type determine the location where you attach the foil to the board. Extremely experienced riders may be able to get started on a super low volume board.

If you’re a small surfer looking for extra lift, place the wing forward in the box. It should be moved forward by a larger rider as well.

The wing has a compact and reasonably thick shape. The compact outline and short length are critical for foiling. However, as the waves grow more extensive, you should move the plate system further back on the tracks.

Here’s an example video from YouTube

How to Surf with an Inflatable Foil Board

The first thing you need to do is identify an ideal spot to surf. Ideally, you should go for a site that is not crowded especially if you are a beginner. This is because foil boards can potentially injure you or others.

This is because the fins/wings may slice a person’s leg open. Despite this being very rare, the potential threat was enough to make the government of France place restrictions on hydrofoils.

The good thing about these boards is that you can make the best of whatever situation/place you’re in. This is because you don’t need strong waves to propel you.

It’s actually best to go for an area with fewer waves, especially if you are a beginner.

When it comes to surfing, the aim is to paddle into whitewater rollers and then stand up to have enough power to ride the inflatable foil board.

So, the key is to find the perfect spot on the board, which usually translates to having your back foot over the mast or slightly behind it. If you want to begin pumping or create a tight radius turn, take a small step back, and you’ll be right on the kicktail—target for a shoulder-width posture with a lot of pressure on the front foot.

Initiate paddling out when you’re in chest-deep water, just like you would on a regular board. Duck diving is surprisingly simple because inflatable foil boards provide extra lift and propel you through the wave.

Crazy Foil Jet Track Flight Hydrofoil, Designed for Track System Boards. Versatile & Easy to Assemble Hydrofoil. Best for Kite, Surf and Behind The Boat Watersports. Includes a 26 in mast.

Why You Should Have An Inflatable Foil Board?

As a surfer, you do not have the luxury of surfing sound waves every day. There are weeks of flatness, as well as periods when there is no wind.

The best thing about inflatable foil surfing is that you don’t need epic waves or strong winds. The inflatable foil board helps to lift you out of the water and reduces all drag.

You only need a slight wave to propel you forward, and the inflatable foil board will carry you much further than a standard surfboard would. In bigger surf, and especially when going downwind, Inflatable foil rides can be epic.

At first glance, these boards might appear difficult to ride, – but this is not usually the case, especially if you already know how to surf. However, the learning curve is quite steep.

  • After just a few sessions, you’ll be able to fly frontside and backside, and most will be able to master longer waves as well.

The speed you can achieve, even on minor waves, is incredible. Fly through close-out sections and even use your speed to pump to the next wave or breaking section.

Inflatable foil boards are easier to transport and manage because they may have less volume. Therefore, you will feel more elevated in water which is a fantastic feeling.

Drawbacks

  1. As inflatable foil surfing becomes more popular, there is growing concern about the dangers for riders and those in the water which may come into contact with the sharp foil.
  2. Inflatable foil boards have more surface resistance, making the ride less smooth when the rider goes up and down.
  3. Inflatable boards have inserts in the front for a V-shaped installation. Therefore, it’s pointless to put one foot in the back because it is not designed for jumping.
  4. An inflatable foil board cannot balance without the foil on.
  5. It requires a lot of effort to pump and set up.

Is It Challenging To Ride An Inflatable Foil Board?

Although inflatable foiling is a relatively new sport, there are already plenty of board options to suit your needs, whether you want to foil downwinders, catch waves, wing foil, or surf foil.

Inflatable foiling is an exhilarating experience that does not require waves to get started. It’s all about easily and smoothly slide above water. 

It makes a lot of individuals who aren’t familiar with it nervous, and that’s understandable. Part of which is the learning process for the rider and anyone nearby.

It’s ideal to learn inflatable foiling behind the wheel of a boat. The best way to get started with inflatable wing or surf foiling is to select the best gear for your skill level. 

  • Beginners should choose boards that are both floaty and stable. You want to be capable of standing on the inflatable board while you’re floating.

Larger boards have enough float to allow you to focus on learning to control the wing without worrying about balancing on your board. When it comes to bigger inflatable foil boards, your balance doesn’t have to be as fantastic so keep that in mind when selecting your first setup.

A beginner should look for foils that don’t require a lot of speed to attain buoyancy. A taller mast, 70 centimeters or more, is ideal for learning because it provides the necessary height and prevents pearling in choppy waters.

The foil is comprised of a fuselage, mast, and wings. When selecting a foil, go for stable foils with excellent glide and plenty of lift.

As you advance, you’ll be able to switch to a smaller, more mobile inflatable board. But if you’re a seasoned water sports enthusiast, you might be able, to begin with, a slightly smaller inflatable board. Many professional surfers use inflatable foil surfboards with less volume.

Final Thoughts.

One of the latest and most exciting extreme sports is inflatable foil surfing. The inflatable foil board hovers above the water’s surface thanks to a foil, creating lift as an airplane wing does.

Although it is related to typical foil surfing, inflatable foil surfing is very different from riding a wave on a regular surfboard or stand-up paddleboard.