Foil Pumping

DSC01506-Ollie Surf Foil - LR

The whole world is going FOIL SURF crazy – and all over social media, we are seeing videos of guys using their own body weight to power themselves along, sometimes for very long distances! It’s interesting to see where this harnessing of kinetic energy will take things.

We asked Ollie Murphy-Kurth from WindSwell Kitesurfing Australia for some tips on the technique to this:

“It’s all about speed and technique. The key to pumping on a foil lies in the timing, keeping your rhythm as well as what many call “unweighting.” Number one is having your initial speed, without it, you won’t be able to keep going for more than 20m as you fight the foil for lift, it will stall like a plane. When you have the initial speed (off the back of a wave or from a running takeoff), you make it a lot easier to engage the foil.

Once you have mastered getting top speed for your takeoff, you need to focus on your technique. Notice my arm swing…. this is deliberate to achieve the most efficient ‘pump’ I can, I use my arms to pull my entire body up, and lunges forward, this allows the foil to lift naturally and rise under my feet, accelerating forward with me, I then ‘compress.’ This is the crucial part, I don’t actually push, I throw my arms down with my body weight as if I am landing from a jump off a small ledge, this drives the foil down with minimal leg drain, and creates a smooth transition from lift to dive.

The smoother you are, the more speed you maintain as jerky movements will just cause drag. Finally, make sure your feet are centered, and your back foot over the mast or sometimes just in front (this depends on your wing size and angle of attack though, play around with your own setup). Make sure you have some fitness behind you or else you will get dead legs for hours after your first good pump 😂.”

Good luck and happy pumping everyone!