STARTING TO EFOIL SURF
STARTING TO EFOIL SURF
Can you surf the efoil? Yes.
Is it hard to figure out? Maybe, but we will try to help with this article. Riding waves without any motor power is an amazing sensation that you don’t want to miss.
I know that we are more fortunate here in Hawaii than many other places around the world when it comes to surf conditions. With that in mind, I thought it as Hawaii’s responsibility to share how we ride the waves on the Lift Efoil in Hawaii. The assumption is that we do it more than most (not all).
This article will focus on how to start riding waves. There is a lot to learn, so take it one step at a time, and be patient. When it comes to board selection, it is really simple… go as small as you can handle.
To get started on the right foot (applies to goofy and regular riders), the Lift lineup of SurfV2 foils is a fantastic way to learn to ride the waves. Choosing this stable foil platform is always a plus when working with the fluid dynamic of the ocean waves and currents. Spend lots of time on the SurfV2 and learn how to feel the wave’s energy. You can do this while staying on motor power.
- Choose a small wave that is not breaking
- Turn on the face of the wave
- Ease your speed to match the speed of the wave
- Choose a line that transitions across the face of the wave, not straight down to the bottom
- Ride from the peak towards the shoulder of the wave
- Turn off the wave, aka kick out, and find your next wave
Did you feel the wave’s energy? Did it cause you to go a bit faster? It may have even caused your board to rise up in the water. You may have even released your trigger a bit so you don’t speed up too much. If you didn’t feel any of this, don’t worry. Try again and really focus on your senses. Try to notice the change in how the board feels.
Your next step is to release the trigger and allow the folding propellor to fold. If you don’t have the folding propellor, what are you waiting for? The Lift Efoil was designed to surf. Riding waves without any motor power is an amazing sensation that you don’t want to miss. Repeat the steps above but add the following.
- After easing your speed to match the speed of the wave, release the trigger completely all at once
- At the same time, shift your weight more towards your back foot. You are trying to keep the board level.
- Focus on a maintaining a level board
- Ride towards the shoulder, and then kick out
Were you floating above the water without any sound, without any vibration from the motor? If your nose dove straight to the water, that is normal. You just need to shift your weight more, or more in sync with the release of the trigger. Did the wave energy carry you? Or did you fall off the back of the wave? Falling off the back of the wave is an indication that you are too close to the top of the wave. You should try to ride the top half of the wave face. Avoid riding at the bottom of the wave, and definitely steer clear of white water (turbulence).
Here are some final tips to help you adapt to this new way of riding your efoil.
- No matter your surfing experience, take it slow. You are a kook all over again.
- Don’t focus on speed
- Focus on maintaining a level board for the duration of your ride
- Notice how you slow down as you approach the shoulder of the wave
- Do you feel more of the wave’s energy when you are higher or lower on the foil?
- Avoid bottom turns (leave that to the surfers for now)
- Avoid white water. This will only throw you off your board.
- Never ride through the surf lineup
- Get to know your surroundings, especially rocks, reef, and other underwater hazards
Once you ride a few waves, you will quickly learn how to read the waves with your eyes and your other senses. There is a power band in every wave that is discovered through experience. The power band allows you to enjoy all that the wave has to offer. Be grateful.
We love the ocean, and all that it has to offer. We appreciate the time that we have with each efoil surf session. Hopefully, this short article was helpful in your journey to find the ultimate wave.