Hydrofoiling:  Learn to Sit on your hydrofoil - Ticket to Glide Ep 02

Hydrofoiling: Learn to Sit on your hydrofoil - Ticket to Glide Ep 02

The printable steps are at the bottom of this blog 

Learning to sit on the foil is one of the first tricks everyone wants to learn. It's not that intimidating, it looks awesome and its really fun to try and incorporate this into transitions later on

Step 1 – Practice getting low 

This isn't a trick you want to just dive into. You'll want to work your way into it progressively. You can start by building muscle memory and squatting while riding. Simple bring your knees to your chest and stand roughly shoulder width apart. The placement of you 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. 

Start small and work you way lower over time 

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! 

Add some style while you practice

Step 2 - Loosen your straps 

You'll need to be loose and have freedom of movement to learn this trick. If you currently ride with foots traps I highly recommend loosening your straps and remove the back strap. Or better yet, go strapless. Not only do you need freedom of movement but you want to be able to fall away from the foil when you mess up and no doubt, falling is a part of learning. 

Straps will just get in your way

Alternatively, you could use a  foot hook to give you some support. Some riders prefer to have a point of connection. Foot-hooks help as you can get support when you need it, move your feet freely and they won't lock you down when you do crash. 

Step 3 – Put your front hand on the back of the bar 

To do this properly, you'll be taking your back hand off the bar and placing it on the board. Before doing that, you'll want to place your front hand on the opposite side of the bar. Just behind the centerline. This will give you the control you need when turning away from the kite. 

This stops the kite from falling 

The kite naturally wants to fall down on this trick and it's much easier to counter this by moving your hand back. It's easier to gently pull up than it is to push the bar. Also leaving your hand on the front of the bar will actually cause the kite to dive a bit and it will pull you off your edge. 

Step 4 – Place your back hand on the board 

It's time to bring it all together. For this step, you're going to place your back hand next to your foot. You want to keep the pressure even as you shift the weight from your foot to your hand.  This is another point that will vary from foil to foil but the trick is to match the pressure you had from your foot. 

Has anyone ever seen Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom? Well that's what you're doing here.


Step 5 – Sit down 

There are few things to consider on this step. Your front hand is on the back of the bar, you're in the squat position and your back hand is now weighting the back of the foil. As you bring your back leg forward you can sit down on the foil. Keep your front foot down and maintain balance between your back hand, your front foot and your butt. Now bring both legs forward and use them to control the balance of the foil. You'll be using the weight of your core and the pressure from your front legs to keep the foil under control. 

Use your legs to weight the front of the board


It's important to keep the hydrofoil low on this step. This is the most difficult part of the trick learning to shift your balance from so many different points. The reason you want to stay low is the falls are much nicer and it's simply easier to control the board. When you sit down, the extra weight will naturally make your foil  rise and you don't want the wings to breach. 

There are other ways to sit. For example some keep both legs off to the side. When learning, I recommend keeping your feet forward. This way you will have full control of your board and the lift while sitting. 

To get back up, just do this process in reverse! 

Thats it! Have fun and practice. 

Tuckers take 

Heads up, there is more than one way to do this. Tucker has a take as well. Expect a video on this later. 

While Blake prefers to tame this pony western style, personally, I prefer to roll side saddle. Maybe it’s my sailing background or perhaps the fact that he is a lot more flexible than me but whatever the reason, I really like to at least start sitting sideways on the board. Here is a brief breakdown on how I do that.

  1. Get foiling at a comfortable speed, kite at around 45 degrees.
  2. Find the “sweet spot” by bringing your feet close together. That is where you are going to want to sit.
  3. Bend your knees and get low.
  4. Fly your kite with your back hand
  5. Quickly sit down with your front hand toward the front of the board to help balance the board and block any sketchy bucking movements.
  6. Sheet in and ride away with your feet pointing downwind like you are hiking a sailboat.
  7. Once you gain some speed riding perpendicular to the wind, you can cut upwind more aggressively if you prefer
  8. If you encounter waves or chop, use your front hand to help steer and maneuver the board over them.

Printable steps 

Step 1 –Get low

Practice getting low progressively. Build the muscle memory and get used to standing back up.

Step 2 - Loosen your straps

Go strapless or use foot-hooks. So you can fall safely and to keep the freedom of movement with your feet. 

Step 3 – Put your front hand on the back of the bar

To do this properly, you'll be taking your back hand off the bar and placing it on the board. If you keep it on the front, you'll inadvertently dive the kite. 

Step 4 – Place your back hand on the board

This is all about shifting the weight from your foot to your hand.  

Step 5 – Sit down

Focus on shifting the weight as you sit and bring your legs forward. Back leg first as your butt touches. The front leg can then stretch out. Use your legs to keep front pressure. 


- Start with the foil low. 

- Accept that you will fall while learning this. 

- Control the foil with your front legs 

Written and produced by: Tucker Vantol, Ryan "Rygo" Goloversic and Blake Olsen 

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.

Webpage: BlakeTheOlsen.com

Instagram: @BlakeTheOlsen

Facebook:  BlakeOlsen

25th Oct 2018 Blake Olsen

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