safety & foil etiquette

As the sport of hydrofoil surfing grows we feel that safety and foil etiquette should be at the forefront of every foiler's mind each time they enter the water. We're keen to safeguard this amazing sport and have created our own guidelines as written by KFC chairman James Darling and sponsored rider Tom Earl:

 1. Stay away from crowded surfing line-ups - go to beaches not popular with surfers. Look for small, weak waves which don’t interest surfers! 

2. Keep a good distance from others in the water - always go to a less busy area of the beach.

3. Communicate. Talk to other surfers & foilers in the water. Talk to any surf instructors teaching a group. Talk to lifeguards on the beach before you paddle out or if they’re in the sea. 

4. Always wear a strong leash. 

5. Always wear a helmet and impact vest, when learning. 

6. Learn to foil on a shorter mast. This will mean less distance for you to fall & allow you to foil smaller waves & in shallower water. 

7. All foilers should police other foilers who are dangerous, and educate them. Other foilers should back them up. 

8. Don’t take off with someone directly in front of you. You need a clear ‘Cone Zone’ extending out to 10m. Be aware of the 'Cone Zone' when paddling back out & don’t paddle through it; paddle around it. 

9. Be focused and hyper-aware of your surroundings and where everyone is in relation to you and your likely foil flightpath. 

10. Avoid foiling in strong winds, particularly strong offshore winds.

 11. Seek advice from local foilers and/or take lessons behind a boat or jetski on flat water. 

12. Especially when learning, avoid peak times when the sea is busiest, particularly middle of the summer/middle of the day. 

13. Learn to foil on bigger slower wings that require smaller waves to fly and are more forgiving to use. 

14. Learn to be a competent surfer before learning to foil. You need a good understanding of surfing line-ups, good board skills (paddling, duck-dive and take-off) before progressing onto a prone foil board. The same goes for paddleboarding and learning to SUPfoil. 

15. And sensitive and extremely respectful to all water users, many of whom will not be as excited as we all are about foiling. Until this sport is more widely accepted, this should be the protocol to mitigate any confrontations and maximise fun.