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Things to know

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How and where start to kitefoil

How and where to start with the kitefoil

You have decided to give the hydrofoil board a chance and would now like to learn how to kitefoil. Very good :D. But where and how do you start?

After giving you 10 reasons why and when you should start kitefoiling in my articles about the hydrofoil board, I’m now going to talk about where and how you can best learn to kitefoil.

Unseren ersten deutschsprachigen KITEfoilkurs findest du ab sofort in unserem KITEshop. Hol dir gleich deinen Zugang für unseren Mitgliedsbereich und schau dir die Videos ein Jahr lang, so oft du willst, an.

Here’s how to get started

There are basically three ways to gain your first experience with a kitefoil.

  1. You go to a kite school that offers kitefoil lessons
  2. You have an experienced foiler show you how
  3. You simply learn it yourself(not recommended)

1. the kite school option

+ competent training
+ beginner and intermediate hydrofoils
+ Already testing first boards
+ Tips to help you avoid mistakes

additional costs
– is not yet offered that often

Find out how to find a good kite school and what you should look out for.

2. the option of experienced foilers

+ lots of experience
+ usually no costs (at most a crate of beer :P)
+ Tips to help you avoid mistakes

– usually not a beginner board
find someone who really takes their time
not everyone likes to give their board to a foil beginner

Sometimes it is helpful to already have a hydrofoil board, in this case a used one will do at the beginning. But more on this later.

If you can’t really find someone to help you learn to kitefoil, just grab the hydrofoilers at your spot and squeeze them. Get tips, especially how to avoid beginner’s mistakes. Watch additional videos and ask for possible assistance.

3. the option of learning to foil yourself

Dangerous due to ignorance
– Hydrofoil is not a twintip

However, you should think carefully about the third option: “I’ll just teach myself”. If you can’t be talked out of it, then at least get tips from other foilers or videos and don’t just start foiling, but approach it with sense and understanding.

I was lucky that my friend Hannes started foiling before me, so I was able to choose the second option. In addition, he used to be a kite instructor and has so much experience with teaching that he was able to teach me how to kitefoil.

However, it’s not always so easy when your boyfriend teaches you, but we’ve seen that before and that’s another story.

Once you have ridden your first few metres, you can certainly continue practising without an instructor and gain more and more flying experience. And tips and experiences from others are always helpful, no matter what level you are at.

Have fun with it 🙂

TIP I have now created the Kitefoiler Germany group on Facebook. There you can invite others, exchange, give tips and share experiences.

The right Kitefoil Board

There is no right or wrong here, as with all other boards and kites it’s about what you want to spend, what you like in terms of design and what you are most comfortable with.

At the beginning it is always said that a short mast (40 – 60 cm) is easier. This is correct because you won’t get as far out of the water, you’ll be able to keep your balance better and you won’t fall as deep. However, you will need this for a maximum of one day, depending on your skill. That’s why I advise you to buy a longer mast between 70 and 90 cm.

At the beginning, you should make sure that the board has a high volume and is longer, so that it carries you better, helps you at the beginning and forgives mistakes.

The wings should be larger for learning to kitefoil, so they give you a better grip and you will learn faster. Manoeuvres are also easier because the larger wing is more stable in the water and forgives mistakes.

If you attend a kite school, this material is certainly available and you can choose a mast length according to your needs. If you learn to foil like this, then this comfort is not required, but I learnt it with a 91cm mast, for example, and it worked. 🙂

From expensive to very expensive

Yes, it’s true that hydrofoil boards are expensive, but this is also because you are buying two things: quality and performance. There are beginner boards from €1500 and very good boards for €3000, depending on the design, mast length, wing and board.

This sounds a lot at first and you don’t have to buy the super racefoil with the smallest wings, but you shouldn’t save money here, otherwise you’ll take the fun out of hydrofoiling.

If you don’t want to go all out, there are also used boards for less than 1000 euros. This way you can gain initial experience and then buy a better hydrofoil.

If you can, I recommend a high-quality hydrofoil made of carbon, it is lighter and you will notice it in the riding characteristics.

My tip

1. carbon instead of aluminum
2. interchangeable wings and masts, depending on skill level
> you notice the qualitative difference not only in the price

Kite, harness, what do I need?

At the beginning you can use your hip harness and your tube kite, provided it is suitable for light winds and can be relaunched easily.

Wave kites are also a good choice here because they can stand alone in the sky and are used to being pulled around.

As you get better and better at riding, you will realise for yourself which direction you want to take. Racing, tricks, cruising or simply everything together.

In light winds you will also discover the Foilkite for yourself, I did too, I love my 13er Sonic 2. In addition, I also ride a seat harness again, it went back to the beginning, but it is better for the back. 😛

The right kite spot

Everyone has their favorite spots, either with waves or with nice flat water. Both are only partially suitable for starting foiling. The wave is self-explanatory (wing and wave = dangerous) and shallow water usually means that the water is not deep. However, it is important that you do not get stuck with your wing.

Your kitespot should meet the following criteria:

  • Deep shallow / choppy water
  • no waves
  • 10 to 15 knots
  • constant, steady wind

My beginner foil spot recommendations:

I can recommend several kite spots in Sardinia where you can learn to kitefoil.

Now it’s time to find the right spot for hydrofoiling. Maybe it’s right on your doorstep. In another post, I’ll tell you my TOP 4 Kitespots in den Alpen. You might also find suitable spots for you in my kitespot guide.

From now on our KITE travel guides: Kitesurfing in Croatia, Kitesurfing in Greece,Mainland and Kitesurfing in Sardinia, are available in our store.

Alle drei Kitereiseführer

How to get off to the right start

You’ve found the ideal kite spot with a constant 10 knots wind, now it’s time to learn to kitefoil.

Before it starts

What you should wear

I recommend a long neoprene and shoes. That way you won’t end up with cuts when you get to the foil. I also recommend a helmet and an impact protection vest for better buoyancy.

With straps or without

The preference is up to you, but I recommend two straps at the front to start with. You should only put the rear one on if you can still stand directly on the mast in front of the strap. It can be helpful for turning the board in the water. Otherwise, leave them out at the beginning so that you have a better footing.

Foot position and mast position

You shouldn’t stand too tightly on the board, it’s best to choose a wider stance. The rear foot on the mast and the front loops correspondingly to the front. This gives you better leverage, easier exit from the water and better board control.

Board type

To start with, it should be a board with a lot of volume that also rides well on the water. This makes planing easier and the board is more forgiving.

The wings

The most dangerous parts of the foil are the wings and the mast. Here you should always make sure that you stay as far away as possible, especially with your feet in the water. Therefore, swim higher.

Large kite instead of small kite

As you will be riding in light winds (10 to 15 knots) at the beginning, it is advisable to start with a large kite.

It sounds strange at first, but it has the following advantages:

  • launching is easier because a larger kite has more lift.
  • if something should happen, you can be pulled away from the board more easily with a large kite
  • a large kite reacts more slowly and so small steering errors and imbalances on the board are more likely to be forgiven
  • you have a good lift upwards, so you can keep your balance better on the board
  • you don’t have to sinusize it


However, it is important that you always set the large kite to 12 o’clock, because you don’t need more pull when you are on the move.
This tip does not apply to STRONG WIND!!!

If you can drive back and forth well and have a secure feeling, you can drive with less pressure, then smaller is better because you only need more pressure to start.

First attempts in the water

Handling in the water first without a kite

When you go into the water with the hydrofoil for the first time, it’s best to start without a kite. Swim with the foilboard, turn, flip and pull it into the right position to start. This will give you the first feeling for it and always keep your feet up.

First attempt with kite and foilboard

For the first few attempts, it’s best to just stand on the board and stay at the bottom of the water. Keep the weight further forward for this. This will give you a good feeling for how the board reacts. At the beginning, the wing acts more like an anchor, but then you pick up speed and even gain some height.

The journey begins

Bend your knees and put light weight on your back foot

If the back and forth on the water works well, the next step is the first ascent. The best way to do this is to go into a kneeling stretch and lean on your back foot. The board rises out of the water, it’s going to get wobbly here.

Kangaroo flies over the water

Because you apply too much pressure at the beginning or don’t have the right feeling yet, the nose will always break down and the board will hit the water. I affectionately call it a kangaroo. Here we have to keep at it. After a few rides it suddenly clicks and the wing holds you and you can control it. A Damm good feeling!

Upwind, downwind, safety in flight

The more often you make your turns, the more confident you will become and you will be able to ride downwind as well as upwind. Now you can start the first tack’s and jibe’s. Welcome to the group of hydrofoilers, you are Wonderfoil!

The jibe

At the beginning, I recommend jibing on the water. This will give you a sense of security for the maneuver. It’s best to always add a downloop, so you get a nice train after the changing direction and can continue straight away. And the kite doesn’t pull you upwards.

The turnaround

It seems a bit strange at first because you turn on its axis. To do this, ride the board towards the wind and then change over there. At the same time, the kite should be at 12 o’clock. This will give you a lift that will stop you and help you to change. And don’t forget to steer down and keep going.

Infinite tricks

Now it’s up to you whether you want to race, cruise or freestyle, there are no limitsAlways be Wonderfoil!

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Who writes here?

My name is Sabrina and I am a passionate kiter. I report about cool kitespots, funny experiences and give tips about kitesurfing, kitefiling and life in a camper.

kiteprinzess | hydrofoilgirl | kreativjunky | part time nomad

Now it's your turn

Would you also like to learn to kitefoil? Or are you already a pro on the hydrofoil board? Do you have any suggestions, additions, experiences or tips on the topic? I look forward to your comment.

You found this post helpful or entertaining? Then feel free to recommend it. I am grateful to you for this support!

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