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How to Start Wake Foil

Originally, the foil was mainly used to fly over the water in surf-towed sailing. Its democratization has given rise to many variations of water sports, including Wake Foil. Adapted from Wakeboarding, this new practice consists of sailing with a foil on the wake and the waves created by a boat. The way it works is simple: towed by a boat, the rider will pick up speed. This speed will generate a lifting force that will allow the foil to take off and make the rider fly. Understanding how a foil works is an essential step for successful learning. Find all our information in this dedicated article. Now all you have to do is learn how to start the Wake Foil.

Why start WakeFoil?

Like all foiling disciplines, WakeFoiling requires a minimum of learning, but remains very accessible to all, and at all levels. The progression is fast: a 20-minute session of towed foil will be the equivalent of at least 2 sessions in the waves. So it’s a very encouraging sport, the sensations and the achievements come very quickly. You will also have time to observe and understand the behaviors of your foil under your feet. In addition, this sport will allow you to enjoy the sensations of foiling, wakesurfing as well as surfing. If you’re new to foiling, start with the Wake Foil, towed behind a boat with a rudder pedal (don’t try to play in the wake wave at first). You will then learn much more easily the other practices such as SurfFoil, SUPFoil or Wing Foil.

Video Presentation

How to start Wake Foiling?


The start is in the water, at the back of the boat. Stand on the side of your preferred stanza. Move away from the wake of the boat so as not to disturb the hydrodynamics of the foil, especially with the swirl of the engine. Stand in a squat position with your legs bent and your back straight. The nose of the board must be pointed towards the sky at the time of departure in order to get the board out of the water. You need to put pressure on the back leg while controlling the direction of your board through the front leg. The board, sunk in the water, is perpendicular to the axis of the boat and the rope. Rudder in your hands, looking towards the boat, you’re ready to go


When the boat is about to start, hold the rudder pedals vigorously in your hands (arms outstretched), but do not pull on the arms. Let yourself be pulled along. Shift your weight to the back leg. Your back foot is against the kick, on the back of the board, on the pads. For novices, this step may require several tries, to understand traction and speed (no need to have a high speed of movement).

At the same time, direct your gaze over your front shoulder and straighten up, keeping your back straight. Your knees should be semi-bent and your ankles should be flexible. You will gradually pull the board out of the water.


Before you get your foil off the ground, your position should be as follows: standing, always with your knees semi-bent and your ankles flexible, your torso is slightly open outwards and your arms will be straight.

The board should be kept flat. To do this, you need to keep your body weight above the board, moving your pelvis forward slightly. Once you’ve found your balance and stability, shift your weight and pelvis to your back leg to get the foil off the ground. Your back foot is placed above the mast, and your front foot is the same distance from your shoulders.


While holding the rudder pedals in your hand, start making small turns, leaning on the ball of your foot or heel. The technique is similar to snowboarding or skateboarding. Press down on the toes, the board will turn to one side. Press down on the heels, the plank turns in reverse. Do not lean your torso forward, it should remain as straight as possible above the supports. Understand that it is the whole body that is bending over and not just the chest. With technique and practice time, you will be able to accelerate your turns by separating the front and back foot.

wake foil sur le lac d'Annecy


Still held to the rudder pedals, you can start pumping movements. While keeping your board relatively flat, with the foil halfway up, press down on the front foot to go down, then on your back foot to go up. Little by little you will feel a slack in the rope. Go and position yourself a little more in the trough of the wave and gradually, let go of the rudder.

You can then have fun making big turns, or tighter turns, as you move away, and then pump back onto the waves and go from the first wave to the second, and so on.

Use your arms to help yourself by swinging them to give yourself momentum. The movement should be both forward, to propel you, and upwards to lighten you. The movement should not be up and down, at the risk of sinking the foil. You need to keep the foil high, because the higher you are on the mast, the less drag the mast will generate. Indeed, the closer the foil is to the surface, the more efficient your glide and pumping will be.

If needed, you can find all our detailed explanations for pumping in this article. You are then free to get back on the waves of the boat, carve, and then get out of the wake again to pump.


To determine the right foil for your Wake Foil practice, several criteria must be taken into account. First, the fuselage. It should be short (62 cm) to ultra-short (56 cm), to have both manoeuvrability and stability, while having a capacity of sustained pumping frequency. The shorter the fuselage, the more manoeuvrable it will be to make sharp turns.

Beginners looking for lift and stability will equip themselves, depending on their size, with a Mid Aspect fin type 1750 (XL) or 2000 (XXL). An intermediate (to expert) level will head for a High Aspect fin with lift such as the
1190 Lift.
Its profile allows for efficient pumping and a glide that is both smooth and powerful. Finally, the
HA 1190 Speed
will provide excellent sensations of speed, glide and absolute control for the most experienced practitioners.

front wing fuselage and foil for wakefoil

If you still have questions about this, or for any other request, please do not hesitate to contact us !

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