What is a Foil Surfboard?

Hang tight, fellow shredders! Today, we’re going to talk about a revolutionary type of surfboard that’s been causing a stir in the surfing world: the foil surfboard. Now, you may have heard about it through the grapevine, or maybe you’ve seen a few folks gliding on these magical boards on your last trip to the beach. Either way, you’re in for a treat because we’re going to dive deep into everything you need to know about these wave-sl

What is a Foil Surfboard?

A foil surfboard, also known as a hydrofoil board, is a type of surfboard with a long, wing-like structure mounted to the bottom. This structure, called a hydrofoil, lifts the board out of the water as you ride, reducing drag and allowing for much faster speeds and longer rides. Foil surfing is becoming increasingly popular among experienced surfers looking to challenge themselves and take their surfing to the next level.

What is a Foil Surfboard?

Imagine gliding over the water on a magic carpet, the wind in your face, the sun on your back, and the world disappearing behind you. Well, that kind of surreal experience could be a reality with a foil surfboard. But what exactly is it, and how does it work? Let’s dive deep into the world of hydrofoil surfing.

What Makes a Foil Surfboard Different?

A foil surfboard is different from regular surfboards in several ways. The main difference is the hydrofoil attached to the bottom of the board. This hydrofoil has a curved front wing and a flat rear wing, which generate lift and reduce drag, respectively. The hydrofoil creates a lift force that raises the board out of the water, reducing the drag and allowing for faster speeds and longer rides.

Another difference between a foil surfboard and a regular surfboard is that a foil surfboard is usually longer, thicker, and wider. Foil boards also have a different rocker, or the curvature along the bottom of the board, to accommodate for the added lift generated by the hydrofoil. Most foils also come with a larger fin to stabilize the board and keep it from tipping over.

How Does a Foil Surfboard Work?

A foil surfboard works by using the hydrofoil to lift the board out of the water. This reduces the drag and allows the board to travel at much faster speeds than a regular surfboard. The hydrofoil creates lift by pushing water downwards as it moves forward, according to Newton’s third law of motion. The hydrofoil also creates a suction effect that pulls the board upwards. These forces combine to lift the board out of the water when it reaches a certain speed.

To ride a foil surfboard, you need to start by paddling out as you would on a regular surfboard. Once you’re in the lineup, you need to catch a wave and start pumping up and down on the board to generate enough speed for the hydrofoil to lift you out of the water. Once you’re airborne, you need to maintain your balance and steer the board using your weight and foot placement.

Who Should Ride a Foil Surfboard?

Foil surfing requires a certain level of skill and experience, so it’s not recommended for beginners. It’s also recommended that you try out a regular longboard or a fish surfboard first to get comfortable with surfing before trying a foil board. If you’re an experienced surfer looking to challenge yourself and take your surfing to the next level, a foil surfboard could be the perfect option for you.

Foil surfing is also great for anyone looking to get more speed and longer rides out of their surfing experience. The reduced drag and lift generated by the hydrofoil allow you to travel at speeds that aren’t possible on a regular surfboard, giving you a whole new level of excitement and thrill.

Where Can You Get a Foil Surfboard?

If you’re looking to pick up a foil surfboard, you can buy new ones from specialty surf shops or online retailers. However, foils can be quite expensive, and they’re definitely not for everyone. You should also consider looking into used surfboards for sale, as you may be able to find a good deal on a foil board that’s still in great condition.

When buying a used surfboard, make sure to inspect it thoroughly for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Check for cracks, dings, and other signs of damage that could affect the board’s performance. You should also make sure that the board fits your size, weight, and surfing style.


Foil surfing is a thrilling way to experience waves like never before. With a little practice and the right equipment, you can be gliding over the water like a pro in no time. Whether you’re an experienced surfer looking to challenge yourself or someone looking to add a new level of excitement to your surfing experience, a foil surfboard could be just what you need. Just remember to practice safety and have fun!

Choosing the Right Foil Surfboard

When choosing a foil surfboard, it’s important to consider your skill level, surfing style, and the conditions you’ll be surfing in. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to choose a foil board that’s larger and wider, as it will be more stable and easier to balance on. If you’re an experienced surfer, a smaller and more maneuverable foil board might be the better option.

You should also consider the type of waves you’ll be surfing in. Foil surfboards work best in waves that are clean and have a good amount of power. They’re not recommended for surfers who prefer small waves or waves with choppy conditions.

How to Care for Your Foil Surfboard

Caring for a foil surfboard is similar to caring for other types of surfboards. You should always rinse it with fresh water after each use to remove salt and sand buildup. Never leave it in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, as this can damage the board’s materials and shape.

You should also inspect your foil surfboard regularly for any signs of damage or wear and tear. If you notice any cracks, dings, or other issues, you should have them repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage and maintain the board’s performance.

Learning to Foil Surf

Foil surfing can take some time to learn, so it’s important to have patience and practice often. It’s recommended that you take lessons from a qualified instructor to learn the proper techniques and safety precautions. You should also start out with a larger and more stable foil board and work your way up to smaller and more maneuverable boards as your skills improve.

The Future of Foil Surfing

Foil surfing is still a relatively new and niche sport, but it’s quickly gaining popularity among experienced surfers who are looking for a new challenge. As the sport continues to evolve, we can expect to see more innovative designs and technologies that will make foil surfing more accessible and exciting for everyone.


Whether you’re already an experienced surfer or just getting started, a foil surfboard is a fantastic way to take your surfing experience to the next level. With its ability to generate lift and reduce drag, foil surfing allows you to ride waves like never before and experience the thrill of flying over the water like a bird.

Just remember to practice safety, choose the right equipment, and have fun! Foil surfing is an exciting and challenging sport that’s sure to keep you coming back for more.


Now that you know everything there is to know about foil surfboards, let’s answer some common questions surfers may have about them:

1. How fast can you go on a foil surfboard?

With the reduced drag and lift generated by the hydrofoil, surfers can reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour on a foil surfboard.

2. Do foil surfboards work in all types of waves?

Foil surfboards work best in waves that are clean and have a good amount of power. They’re not recommended for surfers who prefer small waves or waves with choppy conditions.

3. Can I use a foil on a regular surfboard?

No, foil surfboards require a specially designed board that can handle the added lift generated by the hydrofoil.

4. How difficult is it to learn foil surfing?

Foil surfing takes time and practice to learn, but with patience and the right instruction, it can be mastered by anyone with experience in surfing.

5. Can I use a foil surfboard for surfing big waves?

Yes, some experienced surfers use foil surfboards for big wave surfing, but it requires a certain level of skill and experience.

6. How much do foil surfboards cost?

Foil surfboards can be quite expensive, ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 or more, depending on the brand and size.

7. How do I know if a foil surfboard is the right size for me?

You should consider your height, weight, surfing style, and skill level when choosing a foil surfboard. It’s recommended that you consult with a qualified surf shop or instructor to help you choose the right size for your needs.

8. How long does a foil surfboard last?

A well-maintained foil surfboard can last for several years, but it’s important to inspect it regularly for signs of damage or wear and tear.

9. Can I use a foil surfboard in competitions?

Yes, there are now competitions dedicated to foil surfing, and some surfing events include foil surfing categories.

10. Is foil surfing dangerous?

As with any extreme sport, there are risks involved in foil surfing, and it’s recommended that you take proper safety precautions and have the right instruction before attempting it.

11. Can kids ride foil surfboards?

Foil surfing is not recommended for young children, as it requires a certain level of skill and experience. Children should start with regular surfboards before attempting foil surfing.

12. What brands make the best foil surfboards?

There are several brands that make high-quality foil surfboards, including Lift Foils, Naish, Slingshot, and Cabrinha.

13. Where can I find used surfboards for sale?

You can find used surfboards for sale at surf shops, online marketplaces, and through private sellers