What's all the fuss about with Hydrofoils?
So why SUP? What was wrong with floating on the waters surface, going slow, paddling with ease? Here's three reasons why everyone is so stoked on SUP Foiling right now.
1: It's new! Stand Up Paddling has been around for something close to 10 years now. Those who got into it at the start have tried racing, they've paddled into big waves, and they've ridden the crossover racing wave that was BOP. These paddlers might have even tried Yoga or Whitewater paddling, but while all those disciplines are new and exciting at first - it's not a totally new feeling like hydrofoiling. Everyone knows the stoke that comes along with a new sport is incredible. You get up early, knock off work early, let the dishes pile up in the sink. Whatever it takes to get more time doing whatever the 'new' thing is. SUP Foiling is just like that, but it takes a long time for the stoke to wear off because of our next reason.
2: It's challenging. To go along with the 'new' factor, hydrofoiling presents a real challenge. It's not easy. Nobody claims it to be, yet everyone expects success on their first try. You can't appreciate how difficult it is until you've found yourself teetering on a SUP, a meter above the waters surface and terrified. That challenge turns some people away, but it keeps many more coming back for another try.
3: It came at a critical time in the sport. When was the last 'big thing' to hit Stand Up Paddling? If you thought of the inflatables that hit the market around 2011, then you'd be right. Before that, around 6 years prior, the sport was brand new; and 6 years after the inflatables is now. Foils are the 'big thing'; and boards, paddles, leashes etc are all very similar to when the sport began. Sure, they're faster, lighter - improvements would have started out at 5% a year in the sports beginning, and now, we're talking maybe 0.5% a year as we reach the limits of technology. Add a foil to the bottom of a SUP and you've got a 20% performance increase (or something close to that anyway).
This cycle happens in a lot of sports; take windsurfing for example. First, it was invented with the big old 'Windsurfer'; then, 6 or so years later, people worked out that you could make really small boards with high performance sails, and get up on the plane, even surf them - jump them! Fast forward another 6, jumps turned into loops, flat water freestyle and formula boards. Another 6 years, we're getting close to present day windsurfing and guess what: Hydrofoils. Kiteboarding? Invented. Bow Kites. Surfboards. Hydrofoils.
So whether you clicked on this article because you're feeling the 6-7 year itch, after a challenge or because it's new and exciting; get out there and give it a try. You're going to love SUP hydrofoiling.