The foot drag is an entry level hydrofoil trick that feels amazing and doesn't take too long to learn. If you know how to sit on your foil, you're already halfway there.
We recommend you download the attached PDF on your phone. Check it before your next session!
Step 1 – Practice getting low
Just like our sit on a hydrofoil video, you'll want to work your way into it progressively. You can start by building muscle memory and squatting while riding. In fact, this is the exact same first step from that particular trick. The only difference is you'll be doing this while riding toeside. Bring your knees to your chest and stand roughly shoulder width apart.
The placement of your feet and the weight distribution will vary depending on your foil. This is the time to get used to the equipment you are using as this will change greatly from wing to wing and a little from board to board.
You can start small and progressively squat deeper. The lower you can go the better. Just make sure you take your time on this step. This is often the most awkward part. As you get comfortable with this step, add some style to your riding by adding a grab or bending on knee more than the other. This is more about building the muscle memory and mastering control over your foil. That doesn't mean you can't make it look good!
Put your Back Hand Behind Your Foot
Put your Back Hand Behind Your Back Foot
The key to this trick is body positioning and balance. With your front hand on the bar, you want to get low like step one. Now practice placing your back hand behind your back foot. You might be tempted to place it between as it's easier to reach but that will only make the trick more difficult.
Half the battle here is getting the balance and weight distribution correct. Get used to staying balanced and riding in this position before moving on to the next step.
Transfer your weight
Transfer Your Weight
This is the crux of the trick. You might spend a while on this step before advancing. Practice lifting or sliding your foot off the hydrofoil. You want to shift your weight from your back leg to your arm. The key is to maintain the same pressure you had in your leg in your arm. This will take a little practice.
A huge tip here is to keep the mast about six inches to a foot out of the water. This is to give you some room for error. If you push to hard, you'll bring the board up and if you don't match the pressure, the board is going to dive down a little.
Another helpful tip on this step is to place your front hand on the back side of the bar. Sometimes, it's easy to pull down too hard while attempting this trick. Doing this will prevent the kite from crashing if you happen to pull a little too much while balancing.
Keep your shoulders over your hands
Keep your shoulders over your hands
Now that you have the weight transfer and control you need, it's time to get your body positioning correct. Practice putting your shoulders directly over your hands. It's time to practice extending your leg. I don't recommend going for a full extension right away. Instead, start by bringing your back knee into your chest and practice progressively poking your back leg out with a slight bend. If you put the full leg out right away there is a good chance you'll loose balance.
As you get comfortable start poking the leg out more and lowering it until your toes are lightly dragging in the water. Go slow on this step and don't get to ambition with the foot drag right away. Until you have the muscle memory, it's easy to catch your toes on some chop and fall.
It's useful to loosen your front foot-strap, use foot hooks or go strapless on this trick. You don't want to be attached to the board when you fall. While practicing this step, stay focused on maintaining balance with your shoulders over your hands and the pressure you are applying with your back hand on the back of the board.
Stand Back up
Stand Back up
Just work your way backwards through all the steps. Slowly bring your back leg back to the board. Slowly transfer the weight back to your back leg and slowly stand back up into your riding position.
Remember to keep the hydrofoil at a medium height so you have some room for error. If you're going to fall, fall with the foil. Don't try to save it. You don't want to fall on the foil if things go wrong. Just go with the flow.
Don't forget to download the free pdf to your phone so you can review these steps before your next session.
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Written and produced by Tucker Vantol, Ryan (Rygo) Goloversic and Blake Olsen
A Michigan boy through and through (even though he was born in Saudi Arabia), Blake is a youth with a lifetime of experiences and adventures. Not only that, he's passionate about sharing his zest for life with others. He is proficient at many fields, including kiteboarding and acting as concierge to any who simply ask. Looking for an adventure? Well, Blake is your guy. From sailing the Gulf and the Caribbean to backpacking Hawaii and Southeast Asia, he knows his stuff and can make your vacation into an adventure.