At The Foil Board Shop we are proud to bring you boards from the world’s best foil board shapers. We only sell products that are the highest quality. In this article, we have put together a few points to consider before getting into Downwind SUP Foiling.
What is DOwnWInd SUP Foiling?
Downwind SUP foiling is an exciting and challenging sport that has been growing in popularity over the past few years. It offers the opportunity to explore open ocean swells making it ideal for foilers who want to ride empty waves out in the open. This article will discuss downwind SUP foiling and how open ocean conditions can impact your experience.
The key principle of downwind foiling is harnessing the power of the open ocean, by positioning yourself alongside a swell, you can use its power to propel you forward, reducing your effort and conserving energy as you travel. it’s important to pay attention to the wind direction to ensure that you are aligned with the swell and not fighting against it.
While it may take some time to master the technique, once you’ve got the hang of it, there’s no better feeling than flying along with a swell as you carve through the open ocean. When selecting a destination for your downwind SUP foil trip, pick an area with consistent winds that blow parallel to the shoreline and predictable waves that vary in size but aren’t too dangerous for your skill set. If possible, avoid large storms or strong wind gusts which can cause turbulence and make it difficult for beginner-level riders to stay afloat on their board.
How to start?
You must practice your flat water paddle skills before trying any downwind SUP foiling in open ocean conditions. Working on your paddling technique will help you get comfortable on the water and build up your confidence in all types of conditions. When paddling downwind, it’s important to maintain good board control so that you don’t lose momentum allowing you to catch even the smallest lumps and bumps.
Once you feel confident on flat water, it’s time to hit the open ocean! Start with small swells and learn to read the waves. Understanding how the wind and swell interact is something that will help you to maintain your speed by taking turns on the waves. As far as equipment is concerned, always make sure you check your gear and make sure they are in good working order. Particularly pay attention to any cracks on the mast, fuse, paddle and in/around the foil box.
What Downwind board to use?
The type of board you choose for your downwind SUP foiling experience will depend on the size and shape of waves in the open ocean. If you’re planning on riding a rolling open ocean swell with moderate to light wind, a longer and slightly narrower board is best. However, if you are planning on riding short-period wind swell, opt for a shorter and slightly wider board that offers more manoeuvrability in tight conditions.
what Size foil to use?
When it comes to choosing a foil setup for your downwind SUP foiling journey, the key is to find one that provides enough lift and stability for your weight. It’s recommended to practice with a large high-aspect wing, especially at the beginning. This should help you to get up on the foil quicker. A larger foil will also provide stability, especially when riding a narrower board with less volume.
As you gain confidence, swap out for a smaller wing for more speed, acceleration and manoeuvrability, especially when carving through some fast-moving swell lines. When using a larger wing it is perhaps good to opt for a stiffer mast to eliminate any flex and provide more control. We believe that Unifoil Hyper2 with the super stiff Katana mast is an outstanding downwind foil that will make your progression easier!
Safety is paramount when attempting downwind foiling attempting this feat in unfamiliar waters requires an understanding of basic navigation skills, as well as knowledge of potential hazards such as rip currents, large waves, and beaches with limited access/exit. It is important you can get out of the water safely and return to shore with minimal effort. It is recommended to use a leash, wear a life jacket or a personal flotation device and carry a whistle or waterproof communication device so that help can be called upon quickly if needed.
Additionally, always tell someone when venturing out into open waters and always check the weather and sea conditions before heading out; if the conditions are too rough for you to safely navigate, it’s best to stay on shore.
Downwind SUP foiling is an exhilarating experience like no other. With a bit of practice and knowledge of basic safety protocols, you’ll soon find yourself flying effortlessly over waves without needing much effort. Don’t forget to practice your skills in flat water before taking it out into open ocean conditions and always inspect your gear before riding. Be sure to keep an eye out for dolphins and other marine life; you may even be lucky enough to spot some whales!
why trust us?
At The Foil Board Shop we are foil experts and confident we can help you choose the best foil or wing board for you. We have sold many boards to surfers around different parts of the UK and we know how much the conditions vary. If you are unsure and/or just want to chat foil, feel free and get in touch at email@example.com.