Water skier rides a stand up foilboard , 1995

A foilboard or hydrofoil board is a surfboard with a hydrofoil that extends below the board into the water. This design causes the board to leave the surface of the water at various speeds. [1]


Laird Hamilton, a prominent figure in the invention of big wave tow-in surfing, later discovered the foilboard's capability to harness swell energy with the use of a jet ski, pulling the rider into a wave.[2]

The stand-up design allows the rider to glide with the moving wave by harnessing the kinetic energy with the underwater swell. Hydrofoil kiteboards allow the rider to achieve the same result with the use of a kite.[3] The hydrofoil minimizes the effects of choppy or rough conditions. Due to the hydrofoil's underwater characteristics, the rider can angle higher into the wind than on traditional kiteboards which ride on the surface of the water.

Foils are used on wind-surfboards through design development from Neil Pryde Maui, inventors of hydrofoil sailing "windsurfing" boards[citation needed]. Using a moderately sized sail, a foil windboard can achieve speeds over 6 knots faster than the apparent wind. With advancements in hydrofoil design the energy required to stay on foil was reduced to levels achievable by human power alone. Kai Lenny pioneered a technique now called "pumping" in which the rider shifts their weight over the axis of rotation, driving the foil through the water column which generates lift. [4]

In 2017, Lift Foils, a small company from Puerto Rico, introduced to the world the first commercially available electric powered hydrofoil surfboard. [5]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ TonyKlarich (2012). "Stand Up Guys". Adventures in Water Skiing: Part 4, Hydrofoiling. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  2. ^ Scott Bass (2009). "Laird Hamilton: A exclusive interview". Surfer Magazine. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
  3. ^ "Carafino Hydrofoils". Archived from the original on 2009-06-14. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  4. ^ Ekona (2019). "A Brief History of Hydrofoil Surfing". Ekona. Retrieved Aug 25, 2019.
  5. ^ Nicholas Leason (2017). "How We Built an Electric Flying Surfboard from the Ground Up". Liftfoils. Archived from the original on August 14, 2017. Retrieved Aug 14, 2017.