What is Downwind SUP Foil ?
The downwind is a term used in several sailing and paddling nautical sports. This term means the realization of a nautical run going from an A point to a B point following the wind direction (down wind).
Similarly to downwind on a racing stand up paddle board, downwind with a stand up paddle foil (SUP Foil) aims to glide on the bumps created by the wind and swells. The difference is that the hydrofoil allows the board to take-off over the water and to surf the bumps while hover over them. Downwind SUP Foil is practiced on a short but wide enough stand up paddle board to have stability.
The principal interest of the foil is to bring new riding feelings, but also to increase the speed, maniability and possible trajectories during downwind runs. The situation above the water allows to have a better point of view than a classical stand up paddle board, to analyze the water movements and optimize the trajectories.
First of all, you need a good carbon paddle, a hydrofoil with good gliding performance and a board adapted to the water and your level. The smaller the board, the harder it will be to get going but the more enjoyable the flight will be.
Some of us, in order to be autonomous, use the Wing to go upwind and downwind on the descent. This allows us to be autonomous on the water and avoid having to travel with two cars or being two people. There are two techniques to do this. The first is to keep the Wing inflated during the downwind. This allows you to recover some power if you miss a section. The second option is to fold the Wing upwind, put it in a water bag, and paddle it downwind. This way, you won’t be hindered by the wing.
In which weather conditions can we practice Downwind SUP Foil ?
It is advised to learn Downwind SUP Foil in medium wind and swell conditions (from 20knts of wind and 1 meter of swell), or strong wind without any swell (close bumps). Its is mandatory for the downwind run goes in the same direction than the wind and swell.
Floating seaweed are an important obstacle to practice Downwind SUP Foil, same as anything else floating in quantity on the surface that can bother the use of the hydrofoil or damage it during the downwind run.