TURNING ON FOIL
We consider turning on foil as an intermediate skill. The reason for this is because you must first master the two skills of roll control and pitch control before attempting to turn on foil. In our opinion, this is why so many foilers get hurt when they first try to “surf” the foil.
Once you have complete confidence in your ability to control your roll and your pitch of the foil, then turning on foil becomes much easier. It is just a matter of starting the turn while you are on foil, and then maintaining pitch control so the board remains level. In most cases, you will unknowingly apply more pressure to the foot that you are turning towards. If you have a goofy stance (right foot forward), and you start a foil turn to the right, you will likely apply more pressure to your right foot. Since your right foot is forward, you will inadvertently change the pitch of your foil downward and find yourself back on the water.
An easy exercise to help you foil turn better is a simple snake trail while on foil. This is just a series of small turns to the left, and then straight, and then right, and then straight. This creates a “snake trail” in the water without changing the direction of your path much. As you start this exercise, pay attention to how the board reacts to each turn. If your board is getting higher, it is because you are applying unnecessary pressure to your back foot. The opposite is true also. Simply be aware of your weight distribution and make slight corrections at each turn until you can maintain a confident foil height through each small turn.
The next exercise helps you to hold a longer foil turn. Your new pattern will be a figure eight. Start with a large circle to one side, and as you complete the circle, level out, and change to the opposite side to create another large circle. Steadily trace your figure eight path while focusing on a level foil height. When you feel like you mastered the figure eight, tighten up your circles. You may begin to find new ways to turn the foil.
It won’t be long before you really get the sense of how the board reacts to your movements. Carving the efoil is one of the best feelings on these machines. Have fun and share the stoke!