Foiling can be leisurely too. It's as easy or as extreme as the rider wants to take it. The foils will fly with light riders at speeds as low as 10 mph. That means that ANYONE can ride a foil.
Riders in the sport today are as young as 3 years old and as old as 81! For Mary Murphy's 80th birthday, she decided she would ride out to Catalina Island & back to the mainland, a trip of 52 miles! Check out our tips on age and safety.
The aerodynamic hydrofoil significantly eases the pull on the rope. That means that, once you're moving, much less upper body strength is needed than with conventional water skiing.
Of course, you may wish to jump and fly too. Check out our recommendations about physical strength.
Because hydrofoil skiing is more like sitting in a chair than standing on skis, lots of less-able people with little or no control below their waist can ride for long distances or pull off wake jumps. Check out the recommendations for the less-able.
The foils themselves can be as expensive as $1800 (US) for the best ones available. But for beginners, used foils can be as inexpensive as $200 - $300. Some skiers will help to train you and lend their equipment.
You don't need a boat - not at the outset any way - check out our advice on equipment and boats.
So what do I need to be able to do?
Well, you need:
- The desire to "fly".
- The ability to swim (but you'll be wearing a life vest anyway).
- That's it
To start hydrofoiling you need to borrow or rent a foil (from your local ski shop if you live in the US). Take it out to the water & practice getting up & "flying the foil".
Other equipment varies for every rider. EVERYONE should wear a life vest for flotation. If you get cold, wetsuits & even drysuits are available. And gloves, helmets & boots are not uncommon.
As with any sport, good equipment makes a rider better & protects them in case of adversity. Many riders are eager to teach new riders & some willing to share equipment (such as foils). However, it's common for riders to own their own wet/drysuits, vests or gloves & share boats & foils.
You can get these basic items in our Kit & Caboodle section. There are also many things you may want to get as you start to go hydrofoiling regularly, and we can help you find the best of these as well.
You can of course invest in a good hydrofoil video first.
Now you have the basic things you need there are only three things to decide: who to hook up with, when to start, and where to go.
|Where to learn to hydrofoil||Again, many riders will help teach and train. If you want to take some time at a training centre, then you can find schools in Arizona, California, Colorado, & Florida|
|Who will I go with and who will help train me?||Rider's groups are all across the USA. The Hydrofoil E-mail list is becoming a big way of hooking them all up. See http://hydrofoil.listbot.com. Check out these local clubs|
South California - Century City Ski Club
Please let us know of any more clubs.
|When do I go?||To begin with, you'll probably start when the weather is warmer and at weekend when there are other riders around to help. However, you can start almost any time. Check out www.airjunky.com for a list of events worldwide.|
|Where do I go?||The sport is very US based, but it is also becoming very popular in Mexico, Canada, & Switzerland to name just a few places. In fact, one of the major investors lives in Switzerland.|
If you live in the UK, other parts of Europe or elsewhere in the world, then either check out JoJaffa's companions for someone to link up with, or contact your national water-ski federation.
If you're based in the US, then you're in luck. In particular check out these lakes as the top destinations: