Hydrofoil Bikes 101: Where to Ride
Most of you have probably come across our Learn To Ride series by now. We’ve put this together to teach you how to get up and foiling in the safest and simplest way possible. Foiling naturally comes with hazards, be it water conditions, other water users or generally learning to use a brand new product for the first time.
As a company that is paving the way for hydrofoil bikes, we’re committed to getting your up and foiling correctly so that your experience is a safe and fun one – all starting with choosing a location that is actually suitable for a beginner foiler. With our first hydrofoil bikes in the hands of customers and our international deliveries heading out in early 2020, we want to make sure that you’re out scoping locations with a few things in mind.
So, what to look for? Apart from the obvious things such as avoiding places known for rips, large waves and any places where water users are packed like sardines, there are a few other things to consider when scouting for riding spots.
- If you wouldn’t swim there, don’t ride there. We’re sure you’ve heard this a few times by now but seriously, your safety is paramount. This is a world-first product and although most people pick up riding pretty quickly, the additional stress of too many swimmers, other water users, additional wake etc. just isn’t worth it. Stick to calm waters when learning and explore more as you grow more familiar with the bike.
- Unseen hazards. This is a big one, the last thing you want are scratches or chips in your beautiful carbon fiber foils or to run the front tiller aground because of what’s underneath you. We always recommend a foiling depth of 1.5m of clear water, this way you can ride around, have an epic time and not be hyper-focused on what’s below rather than around you.
- Swimmers. Bobbing heads in the water and a 2m long rear foil are not a match made in heaven. Keep clear of the swimmers and when beach launching make sure to get up and foiling from a place where you’re not going to have to come to a grinding halt because a swimmer cut you off.
- Where you’ll be launching from (and where you’ll be landing). Launching is great. Beach launching, platform, boat, the options are endless. And whilst taking into account where you are launching from is important, also make sure to look for suitable places to land. When learning to ride you will need to stop riding and slowly sink down into the water to then swim your bike to shore (after a few rides & practice you’ll soon be able to slowly coast into shore and gently land and dismount your Hydrofoiler without damaging it).
- Waves. We know full well that some of you are going to make history surfing a hydrofoil bike, but let’s try and leave that one for the professionals if that’s not too much to ask. Small rolling waves, moderate ocean chop or deep swell you can foil in. If you’re staring out at 4 foot waves, we recommend heading to the next spot.
By taking safety aspects into account when looking for epic riding locations you’re going to have a much better ride experience. We can’t wait to see you all foiling all around the world, racing, carving and exploring new locations with your hydrofoil bikes.