EFOIL TURNING ON WATER
This article is part of our “How To Efoil” series where our intent is to help anyone that is new to the efoil to make progress in their training without the need for hands-on coaching. There is no true replacement for quality coaching, but we believe that anyone can learn the basics fairly quickly with the right amount of repetition and quality tips.
Before you start carving out big, beautiful turns on foil, we recommend that you keep your board on the water during your turns first. This simple tip will help all new efoil riders to safely progress, avoiding the most common injury of falling on your foil. When you stay on the water during your turns, you will have full support of the board and water beneath your feet. With this support, you can focus on your body mechanics that initiates and maintains your turn.
We tell our students that there are many ways to turn, and that they will develop their own turning style over time. We recommend that you first start with a shoulder turn. This simply means that you initiate your turn with a roll of your shoulder to one side, and allow your body to follow. The easiest way to explain this is to take your arms and spread them out like you are pretending to be a bird or an airplane. Now lean slightly to the left, dropping your left arm and raising your right arm, like you are flying an airplane. Do the same thing to your opposite side. Allow your body to engage in the roll, which will transfer your weight shift through your feet and into the board. If you do this successfully, the foil will literally follow the roll of your shoulders and arms. Sometimes it helps to slide your hips slightly in the same direction as your intended turn. Wash, rinse, and repeat this movement until you get the hang of it.
Once you are comfortable with your turning with the board on the water, you will be able to translate your body movement to turning with the board off of the water. The most important part about turning the efoil when the board is off of the water is to maintain control of your pitch, or elevation over the water. We cover pitch control in a separate article. When you start your turn, you should notice how easy the board turns and rolls into your intended direction. Your movements should be small and slow. Once the turn is initiated, it doesn’t take much to maintain the turn. We recommend that new efoil riders perform small turns by turning a little left, and then straightening out. Then turn a little right, and then straighten out again. By doing small turns, you will be able to notice if your efoil board rises or falls during the turn. Your goal is to stay on foil above the water during each turn. Once you can maintain your foil over water, you can start to make larger turns, and maybe even start to connect turns back-to-back.
It is true with efoiling as it is with every other activity: practice makes perfect. The trick to becoming comfortable and proficient is repetition. Slow and steady progress will take you much farther than a fast and furious approach. You will soon be carving on your efoil as good as your turn on your skateboard, snowboard, or surfboard. We hope that you found this article helpful. We will see you out there… on the water. Aloha.