After watching a video produced by Eric Terrien (in French), I have finally figured out what the key to pumping a SUP foil is.
For the past 6 months, I would kind of pump my way on a wave but I was never able to carry the momentum after exiting the wave.
Since it's a new sport, I ran into some misinformation on my way to learning how to pump. "Move your weight back and forth from one leg to the other" or "push on the rear leg" were well intended tips but, after 6 months, I felt like my "pumping" was not progressing.
And then I saw Eric's video. ( I am putting the link here and, if your French is rusty, I posted my translation of it on the StandupZone forum .)
After trying his tips, I got it!
Here is the essence of it, with my personal take on it:
The goal is to make the foil rise and, to do so, you have to lighten yourself up. How? Just bring both of your knees (at the same time) up to your chest as fast and as much as your arthritic knees will allow. The foil will rise up, nose first, on its own. No need to try and "push on the back leg". Then, naturally, as your weight settle back on it, the foil will come down and gain speed. Repeat as fast as you can.
The smaller the foil (and its lift) the faster you have to repeat the sequence.
The motion of bringing up the knees is, in effect, a squat because the foil, like an already loaded spring, will push the board against your feet (no foot straps required).
First , practice while riding the wave, without even using the paddle. You will immediately feel the momentum created.
Then, start planting the paddle (initiate while you are squatting). This will create even more momentum.
Then, try a clean exit out of a wave and keep that motion going. You will figure out how to turn while doing it ( I am still) and, with some practice, you should be able to pump into the horizon.
I think that the difficulty I had in figuring out the proper sequence came from the fact that, when you pump, the head (your brain's reference point) moves in a direction opposite to the foil's. You have to squat (head comes down) to raise the foil. And when you rise (head comes up) the foil goes down.
My mistake was to rise (effectively straightening the legs) at the very moment I should have lowered myself instead. Inverting the sequence on exiting the wave just made me come to a stop no matter how hard and fast I tried.
Just remember to squat (pull both knees to your chest) as fast as you can and initiate your paddle entry in the water at the same time.
That's all there is to it!
I hope this helps.
P.S.: If you are still not able to maintain your momentum after applying this tip, you need a bigger wing. I find it much easier to pump, at my weight (95 kg) the Maliko 200 wing than the Iwa wing. The M200 allows for a much slower motion sequence.
Great explanation Dialy! I've also been confused why my ugly gyration efforts on pumping have just been an exhausting way to delay splash down. What was more depressing was I made myself a new prone 4'11" foil board expecting that was the magic remedy for too much swing weight on my 5'11" RMS epoxy?? - it wasn't.
Frothing to give the knees-up unweighting a run next time out!
This is another good video where Kai shows how to pump and swinging the arms downwards while pulling the legs up to un-weigh and lift the foil up:
Yep, pretty spot on. I call it un-weighting. It is the essential part of pumping. People always ask how my legs are after pumping for 4,5 or 6 waves in succession. It's not your legs if you're doing it right, it's your cardio that gets a working.
Unweight in kind of a skateboard ollie in style, if you can slightly launch yourself forwards also, this will accentuate the acceleration as you compress then join gravity and return your foil to it's lower gliding position. To ensure your launch/unwieghting is sufficient, I like to spring so far/hard that my back foot ends up on it's toes (nearly leaving contact with the board).