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How to Self Rescue on a foilboard: Foil Fridays EP 12

Posted by Ryan (Rygo) Goloversic on

Self rescue printable steps

The Self Rescue is your ace in the hole when it comes to kiteboarding.When in doubt, if you’re in trouble you can count on this method to systematically get yourself and your gear back in safely.

When it comes to foilboarding, the process is mostly the same but there are some subtle differences. I originally intended this video for riders who already know how to do a self rescue but it occurred to me that a full recap is always a good idea. I’ll break down all the steps below and the differences between twinips and foilboards.

Note, this is not a replacement for a real kiteboarding lesson. I highly recommend you learn this process with a certified school or instructor.

Tucker Vantol "Demonstrating" a self rescue at North Shore beach

Step one: Pop your quick Release

The mechanism will vary a little from brand to brand but the result is always the same. The kite will fall out off the sky onto one single line. This is your flag line.

The control bar will also fly away from you leaving that single line attached to your leash.

If for some reason the kite does not lose power, as a final resort, you might have to pop your secondary release on your leash. Note if you do this, your kite will blow away.

Step two: Secure your board.

This is where the self rescue varies depending on what board you are using. If you are using a twintip, its best to simply leave the board on your feet if possible. If you were using a foilboard, simply swim over to the board and mount it like a surfboard.

At first, it might seem like more work to self rescue with your foilboard but It’s actually kind of nice to have a little floatation during this step.

Step three: Secure your flag line

Now you’re going to want to climb up your flag line. Do this by going hand over hand and remember to never wrap the line around your hand. Once you reach your control bar it’s important to keep one hand on that flag line. This is what is keeping you safe.

With one hand on the flagline, pull the control bar snug to the quick release.

Now start wrapping your flag line around one side of the bar. It doesn't matter what side. You’re simply securing that flagline and cleaning up all the extra line in the water behind you. Do this until you reach your leash.

Step four: Wrap your bar up like normal

Here is another variance from a twintip. When using a twintip, I like to take my leash of the control bar and secure it somehow to my board. Now the board is simply floating behind you and you no longer have to deal with it.

If you are on a foilboard or surfboard continue to straddle that board and use it for flotation.This step is no different than on the beach, just wrap your bar up like you would when you’re putting it away.

Step five: Decided how you want to get back in

Now that you’ve reached your kite, you have a few options for getting back to shore.

  • Sail the kite back in
  • Make the kite into a raft
  • Swim back in
Sail the kite back in

This step is not as hard as it looks. Simply toss your control bar inside the canopy and grab one of the bridal lines. While holding onto the leading edge, grab a bridal line and bring one wing tip up with the leading edge facing the shore.

The kite will slowly pull you back to the shore. You can either sit on your foilboard for this step or simply float on the kite and hold onto the nose with your back hand. I recommend the nose to help keep the foil from riding up if you have any speed.

Make a raft

This step is slightly more involved but useful at times.

Before you ride, you’ll want to make sure your struts are clamped down and secure.

When doing a self rescue and you reach your kite. Deflate the leading edge. Now, roll the kite up from wingtip to wingtip with the still inflated struts. You can use your harness to hold the kite together or simply hold onto it. You can secure the kite on top of your board and swimback in holding onto the foil

Swim back in

Lastly you could just swim back in. Some will hold onto their leading edge and the foil while swimming. I recommend taking your leash and securing it to the rope that you would attach your pump to when setting up.

Now the kite will simply float behind you while you swim your foil back in like a surfboard. 

Rygo's 2019 gear picks 

Kite North Dice  I Twintip  Naish Stomp I Foil Cloud P27

Ryan (Rygo) Goloversic

Just a dude from a kite shop testing all the gear one session at a time.

Many people dream of quitting their job, traveling the world and pursuing their passions. Rygo is one of those people who pulled the trigger. About eight years into a postal career, he decided to change everything and travel as a freelance videographer & writer. This took him from coast to coast and a variety of countries. Nowadays you can catch him on the phones, doing lessons, or working on videos. Of course, he still makes a point to travel as often as possible. His mission is to help people and share the stoke with his customers and students alike. Get out there and kiteboard.


Producer of: Ride with Blake I Sessions I Versus I Destinations I Foil Fridays