foil board parts

Foil Boarding

So how did it all start? From what I can gather, there were early pioneers of hydrofoils behind boats in the 1960s already. Mike Murphy played a prominent role in the development back then (WWW.NEXTFOILS.COM/READ-THIS/). The stand up variety never took off so to speak, but sit down hydrofoils became rather popular in the 1990s. Then big wave surfers in Hawaii took these sit-down hydrofoils, changed it back so that they can stand on it and started surfing some very big waves. Soon after that, someone must have tried it with a kite and the sport was born. These early foils had boots connecting the board to your feet. Obviously with kiteboarding still new (and dangerous), adding a metal sword to the bottom of your board and binding yourself onto it was more extreme for most people to try so the hydrofoil side of things did not become widespread just yet.

Soon after this, Carafino was launched which was the first hydrofoil dedicated for use with a kite. It moved to carbon fiber instead of aluminium, and you only required straps for these instead of bindings. The sport did not explode, but slowly gathered more riders who enjoyed the uniqueness of foilboarding.

As with most advanced technologies around sailing, the French were the next to really develop the sport. They advanced the most difficult part of it: the speed. And with increased speed you also need improved handling. They developed the foilboard from something that could maybe reach 18 knots, to something that goes around a course faster than any kite race board, going multiple times faster than the wind speed and definitely faster than most sailing yachts. Finally the Americans woke up to this new sport and as you can see in these videos, they are really embracing it:

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