Learning to Efoil... Is it difficult?


Aloha from Hawaii Efoil Experience. We have received many comments over the past few weeks that inquire about the level of difficulty in learning how to foil on an efoil. We think that is a very fair question for anyone to have, but we have a very simple response...


We know, we know, "that's a lame response."

We don't think so. We could say...


but we know that is not necessarily true for everyone. We could also say...


but that also is not necessarily true. So we will break down our first response, "it depends", into three categories.

#1 - Are you comfortable surfing on a wave?

We have found that surfers have very good balance, have athletic abilities, and are used to popping up from a prone to a standing position. This should make it very simple for a surfer to learn how to efoil... not so fast.

Surfers will be able to learn how to efoil very quickly, but there are several obstacles that they have to overcome. First, they have to adjust their riding stance  a bit to allow their shoulders to rotate forward. This will give them better control over the roll axis of the foil. Second, they have to adjust their tendency to lean on their back foot as the board accelerates. Normally, a surfer will instinctively lean back on the board as they pop-up into their stance to keep their nose from pearling on the drop. If they do this on the foil, they will quickly learn that doesn't work. Lastly, surfers will need to learn not to "fight the fall". A surfer wants to make the most of a wave, especially if the line-up is packed. When losing your balance on a foil, fighting the fall usually results in a fall for the worse.

#2 - Do you have fairly good balance?

Even if you are not a surfer, most people have fairly good balance. As we get a bit older, balance can become an issue. It is safe to say this about any sport requiring a board to ride... balance is essential. In our efoil lessons, we train to three basic skills: trigger control, balance, and a neutral position. Balance is critical at each position on the efoil, so if you don't have good balance, learning how to foil becomes much more difficult.

#3 - Can you transition from a prone to a standing position fairly easily?

The ability to transition from prone to standing is a mobility issue. Some of us are very fit, but may have tight joints, or poor strength in the knees. Others may not be very fit, but have a lightweight body that moves very easily between different positions. Regardless of your body type, weight, or level of fitness, there are only a few variations of how anyone can move from a prone to a standing position. If you have a mobility issue, then learning to efoil may be limited to a kneeling position.

We say it again... IT DEPENDS

We believe that everyone can fly as it applies to the efoil, but it does require some basic abilities that we often take for granted. You still have to be able to adapt to a very different sensation of controlling a surfboard that rotates on pitch and roll axis. You still have to maintain control of your own body and maintain balance as you smoothly transition between multiple positions.

As instructors, it is our absolute goal at Hawaii Efoil Experience to help everyone overcome every obstacle that prohibits them from flying on our efoils. The feeling of flying over the water is such a thrilling experience, we believe that everyone should enjoy the sensation. We have tricks and advice that you can try to make this experience truly enjoyable. Our students fall into one of three groups:

  1. Flying during their first lesson from a standing position
  2. Flying during their first lesson from a kneeling position
  3. Not flying during their first lesson, and thrilled to skim across the water from their knees

Regardless of their level of achievement during their first lesson, every single student that we have worked with has walked away happy, and excited by their first experience on an efoil. Most of them ask if they can have a second lesson. All those that have had a second lesson has been successful in flying from a standing position.

We love what we do, and we love sharing our time with you. After all, we are living the dream of working in the beautiful ocean waters of Hawaii. We don't have many complaints.

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