Windsurf foiling is yet another ‘fly above’ water discipline that has revolutionised the watersports industry. Windsurf foiling pre-dating the wingsurfing explosion of recent years attaching hydrofoils to windsurf boards was (and is) seen as futuristic and highly addictive. One of the main benefits to windfoiling is being able to sail in much lighter winds.
This opens up a host of additional water time opportunities for those with a penchant for sails. But the big question for anyone interested in windfoiling taking part in a Watersports Nomad instructor course is: can you add windfoiling to your teaching qualifications list?
Windsurf foiling prerequisite skills – what are they?
Unlike wing foiling, which is its own discipline, with its own set of muscle memory and skills, budding windsurf foilers already have much of the base experience to fly. Being a windsurfer, with an understanding of the rig and board, gives a massive headstart. The only component part needing to be ‘learned’ is the foil.
With all foil sports that protruding (initially daunting-looking) pendulum attached to your board’s underside is the key to unlocking flight. It may seem impossible at first but with a few sessions under your belt windfoiling straight lines will start to become sustained. It’s then onwards and upwards to wherever you fancy going with it. So as far as taking your first windsurf foiling steps all you need is a solid windsurfing skillset. A few have argued in the past you don’t even need to be at the planing in footstraps and harness stage to foil…
How does windsurf foiling look in 2023?
The watersports industry as a whole is constantly evolving. Trends come and go with others ‘changing their spots’ and morphing to what the industry deems is ‘market fit’. Windfoiling these days is compromised of a few core disciplines, in order of participation.
IQ Foil racing.
It seems odd to label a discipline after the name of the equipment. Yet with IQ Foil gear being the chosen Olympic gear this is (mostly) what windsurf foil racing has become about. Boards are pretty wide and sails on the large side – relative to what IQ Foil race class is being discussed.
It’s all about going fast on foil, in light wind, on open upwind/downwind race courses. A few other windsurf foil race formats can be found but these are generally fewer. Having abandoned traditional fin boards for foil most windsurf foil races see riders piloting IQ Foil kit, or as close to it. Below is the vid from the recent IQ Foil race event held in Lanzarote. Check it out.
This is by far a much more niche area of windfoiling than IQ Foil racing. That said there are pockets of foil stylers dotted around the globe in certain locations. Vass has a decent scene, so when on a Watersports Nomad instructor course you’ll be quite likely to see a few foil stylers out on the water. Foil style is essentially windsurf freestyle but done on foil. The same contorted, twisting moves can be seen, only all this is done in much lighter wind. Some foil stylers suggest that freestyle moves on foil are easier than with finned boards due to the additional pop (height) you get from the foil. One thing’s for sure it certainly looks impressive! Check out some of the French rider Sam Esteve’s foil freestyle in the vid below.
Freeride windfoiling is perhaps an area that’s suffered at the hands of wingsurfing. Many freeride windsurf foilers see winging as an easier, and slightly free’er way to fly. It’s also suggested that windsurf foilers can’t foil on waves like wingers can who flag their ‘engines’ out behind them when on swell. This is true with some wind directions, as windfoil sails are always attached to boards. But it’s still very much possible to ride waves in windfoil mode none the less.
But we digress. For most freeride windsurf flyers it’s about back and forth in light wind with small sails (7m or less) and gybes at either end. Pretty much the same kind of windsurfing the majority do on the fin, only this time in light breeze and with kit you wouldn’t hope to get planing in. As a windsurfer, there’s very much reason to get involved in windfoiling as it’ll increase the number of days you get on the water. And then some!
Can I windfoil with Watersports Nomad?
Watersports Nomad don’t offer windfoiling as part of our courses (yet). We do give some of our pupils the opportunity to try eFoiling with our friends at EVass. This in itself will deliver the experience of what it’s like to fly above water.
Vassiliki Bay, where Watersports Nomad is based, has a huge reputation for being a watersports centre of excellence. Each summer, when the wind blows, you’ll see all sorts of craft on the water – windfoiling being no exception. If windsurf foiling has pricked your interest we may be able to arrange something but you’ll need to speak with us first. Watersports Nomad is super keen to accommodate our guests as much as possible, especially if it adds more strings to your coaching bow.
Can I become a windfoil instructor?
The RYA currently offer windfoil courses at certain times of the year. These would need to be completed in the UK. And probably after you’ve gotten a certain amount of hours teaching standard windsurfing under your belt.
It’s also necessary to have your personal windfoiling skills polished. Hence time on the water doing the thing is essential. Depending on where you end up getting employment you may have the opportunity to use windsurf foiling equipment regularly which sets you up nicely for your windfoil instructor course.
Do watersports centres offer windfoil instructor jobs?
We increasingly see watersports holiday companies, schools and centres offering foiling. We’d urge any of Watersports Nomad’s trainees to further their development and gain more coaching accreditations regardless. This will stand you in good stead for further and/or higher employment opportunities.
In resorts with applicable kit windfoiling may be taught to some guests. So businesses do require qualified instructors. If you manage to get your windsurf foiling instructor ticket then you’re job prospects will improve and you may be able to request which locations you go to (if the company in question has multiple resorts).
Whatever your ideas about working in the watersports industry Watersports Nomad are here to mentor and guide you. Therefore it doesn’t matter if you have zero personal skills to start. We can get you up to speed pronto. You may like the idea of windfoiling, in which case Watersports Nomad will be able to signpost ways of getting to your goal.
Give us a shout to discuss any opportunities and how we may be able to help.
Don’t forget to check out more from Watersports Nomad’s blog here.