Learn how to Wake Foil: A Beginners Guide

April 18, 2024

As the sun rises on a new day, a new thrill waits for those seeking adventure on the waves/ Foiling is a relatively new water sport that combines the excitement of wakeboarding with the calmness of surfing. 

Whether you’re a seasoned water sport enthusiast or a beginner looking for a new challenge, mastering the art of foiling opens a world of excitement. In this guide, we’ll dig into the basics of foiling and provide you with the essential steps to get up on a foil and riding like a pro. 

What is Foiling?

First, let’s discuss what exactly what wake foiling is. Foiling is the perfect combination of a challenge and thrill all while avoiding the painfulness of wakeboarding. Since you ride at slower speed (similar to the speed you wake surf at), injury is not as frequent as wakeboarding. 

Just like wakeboarding or surfing, you will have a rope that pulls you out of the water. However, the difference is that instead of riding on top of the water, you’re several inches to feet above it.  

The wing, or hover is just below the water's surface while foiling. This design allows you to smoothly cruise through the water, regardless of how choppy it is. You are able to carve back and forth without hitting any unexpected waves. 


Now, to prepare for foiling. There are several things you’re going to need to give this exciting sport a try. Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Wake Foil Board: Choose a board that matches your skill level. 
  • Foil Wing: Different size wings are better for different levels of riders. Make sure to find one that fits your level. 
  • Tow Boat: Most boats are capable of pulling a rider on a foil. 
  • Life Jacket: Safety should always be the number one priority. Make sure you have a life vest that fits properly before you head to the water. 
  • Foil Rope: You will need a rope to pull you up from the water. If you don’t have a foil specific rope, you can use a wakeboard/ski rope or a wake surf rope. 

Body Positioning to Start

Just like any other water sport, getting up is the hardest part. To make it even more difficult, foiling requires a different start than wakeboarding or wake surfing. Here’s how to start foiling: 

  • In the water: Start by flipping the foil on its side so you can comfortably set your feet on the board. Then get into a crouched position with your knees bent and arms extended. Hold onto the rope between your legs. 
  • In position: Make sure to keep your weight centered during the initial take off. Sometimes it helps to almost put more weight on the front foot than the back foot to keep the foil from shooting out of the water.  
  • Boat starts pulling: As tension gains in the rope, put pressure on your feet and allow the boat to pull you. 
  • Lifting out of the water: As you lift, start to shift your weight to the back foot as you begin to balance on the foil. 

Maintain the Balance 

Now that you’ve mastered the start, it’s time to master riding. The biggest part of that is balance.  

  • Keep your knees slightly bend and your core engaged to maintain stability. 
  • As needed, make small adjustments to your stance or your weight distribution.  

Master of Foiling 

As you begin to feel more comfortable on the foil, you can start trying more difficult movements and tricks. Before long, you’ll be pumping from wave to wave behind the boat with ease. With the help of this guide, you’ll have proper form and will be able to take your skill level from beginner to pro in the matter of a summer...depending on your commitment. Get out on the water and enjoy your newest favorite water sport.