How to Pump Better Hydrofoiling

How to Pump Better Hydrofoiling

Success in foil surfing is not the number of waves caught but how well one surfs the waves they do catch. - Ewan Jaspan. 

Hey there, I'm Ewan Jaspan. Today we're going to look at a bit of surf foiling and, in particular, pumping, coming off the wave, and looking for another one to try to get that elusive link-up.

So when you're surf foiling, the feeling and sensation of surf foiling, riding above the wave, and riding these tiny waves, is amazing. 

Exit the wave on the shoulder

What got a lot of people hooked is the ability to come off a wave, turn around, spot another wave, pump out to it and catch it, and then you get two waves for the price of one. So I'm going to give you a little bit of technique for that and a few things to look at when you are doing that.

So, obviously, you want to catch the wave, go along, be stable, have some nice speed, and then you want to be at the shoulder of a wave. You don't want to be turning off it and punching through the whitewater to come out; you want to come nicely off the shoulder of a wave where there's no whitewater.

A common mistake is that a lot of people try to turn really sharp to face straight out to sea again and pump back out to sea. You actually want to do a slow turn while you're pumping back out so that you can stay balanced and controlled. If you're trying to pump and turn really hard at the same time, a lot of the time you're just going to lose your speed or go off-balance and fall, so you really want to come off the shoulder with some nice speed because the faster you start, the easier it is to maintain the speed. 

You want to come off the shoulder with nice speed. Stay high on the foil so then, when you come off the wave and go behind, you can start pumping down. And then, as you slowly make your way back out to sea, you want to spot a wave and, depending on how you feel your pumping is going, if you feel like you can go for a while you might want to skip over some waves and go out to a good one. At the start you just want to pump to the first wave and then turn back onto that and then progressively get better and better. 

When you are pumping out to sea, obviously, going out and navigating the waves is hard, but what I find is best is to ride up the wave and, as you're going up the wave, kind of take a break from the pump, stay balanced, then, when you go back down the wave on the back, you can pump down the wave. Not only do you go down the back of the wave, which actually gives you a bit of speed, but then you've also got a lot more room to do a really nice downwards pump before building speed again to the next wave. 

There are a few techniques as well with the pumping. It depends on what wing you're on: high aspect, low aspect, or how good you are at the start. You'll see a lot of people, myself included, sometimes swinging their arms to get extra leverage going up and down; you want to time that with your pumping movement. It helps you, when you're going on your upstroke, to swing your arms to take some weight off the foil to go up, and then when you push your arms back down, it's pushing extra weight into the foil to give you that extra power through the pump. If you get into the rhythm of it, it does help a bit with balance. Eventually I want to get rid of that; personally I just don't think it looks great, but it is definitely a great help at the start. If you're really going for a long pump out to sea or you're catching a lot of waves, it gives you a bit more endurance.

The main thing is to remember to catch the wave, pull off the shoulder--not straight when you're on the peak of the wave, you want to pull off the shoulder nice and high with lots of speed--and just gradually turn and bank out to sea. Don't do a sharp turn. And then it's just all about spotting where you want to go and gauging if you're going to make three waves out, four waves out, or just the first one. Obviously, the more you do it, the fitter you get, the more you can do it.

Also, if you are looking at pumping out and catching more waves, it is definitely easier to pump and maintain your speed on a higher aspect foil. 

The one thing that you lose is a little bit of turning ability and that surfing ability. Eventually the aim for myself is, I like to be able to pump on the surf foils, so I've got a lower aspect foil that turns really nicely, but I can pump it out the back. If it's a really small, flat day or small waves or you're just learning to pump, a high aspect foil definitely makes that--just the pure pumping aspect of it--easier.

I hope you guys enjoyed the video and it gives you some tips and ideas on how to surf foil better, catch waves, and what foil you'd use for it. Hope to see you next time. Hit that like and subscribe button... see you soon!

6th Jul 2021 Rygo

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