Foil Safety Video – For those about to fly, watch this

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When the Hawaiian watermen come together to offer their mana’o, or wisdom, in order to keep you safe, it is generally a good idea to listen.

Here are foil pioneers Kalani Vierra, Leleo Kinimaka and Sam Pa’e joining together for a talk story session to promote foiling safety.

Foil Safely:  Tips from Blue Planet Surf

“Heading out to foil?”

That’s a phrase you might hear more often on the beach or catch yourself saying on windy days when the chop might put lesser humans off.

As the foiling phenomenon grows, we’ve watched the pros take to the water to experience the latest innovation.  Now, it’s our turn.

Foiling has gone mainstream. Set ups are sold in almost every surf shop worth its salt. It’s accessible and attainable, but there are safety limitations and things one should know before purchasing a foil and paddling out.

Foil Safety 101:  a crash course from the watermen who know

With pointers on choosing the right equipment, safety gear, situational awareness, etiquette, choosing the right conditions, avoiding potential beginner accidents, tips for beginners and for more advanced surf foilers, this video covers a lot of ground.  Foiling is an innovative new sport, but it can be challenging and potentially dangerous for beginners without proper guidance or instruction.

This video attempts to fill the void for those of you that don’t have a friend, coach or mentor to help you get started.

Watch the foil video in one sitting or break it down into clips

Approximately 1.2 hours long and including discussion from Edmund Pestana, Todd Bradley, Reid Inouye, Rex Shinmon, and Robert Stehlik, this video is a comprehensive look at the tools, safety equipment and techniques to give the beginner a knowledge base to get started.

There is a glossary of topics covered below. You can fast forward to the time to go directly to each topic:

Introduction/ Purpose: 1:03
Getting help/ coaching from others: 3:21
Sharing knowledge/ Man’ao: 4:00
Getting started without coaching/ getting gear online: 5:40 Getting to know the spot before going out: 6:45
Learning by towing first/ lessons: 9:17
Paddling in/ taking off: 11:15
Short mast for learning: 13:25 Controlling the foil: 14:00 “Dominating” the wing 17:26
Comparison to snowboarding/ front foot pressure: 17:57
Bail out quickly if foil lifts too fast: 18:53
“Low and in control”: 20:00
Choosing the right wave to foil on: 21:50
Getting in/ out of the water: 23:19
Paddling out through the surf: 24:20
Risk Management Process: 25:40
Rex on getting started: 26:40
Coaching/ helping beginners: 27:53
Self regulation vs. legislation: 29:45
Going over shallow reef with foil upside down: 33:35
Using a tail handle: 35:55
Checking the depth: 37:40
Avoid damaging the reef: 38:28
Stay humble, we’re really not that good: 39:35
Put a leash on it!: 42:10
Use a long leash: 44:40
Keeping the leash from tangling around foil/ floater: 46:04
Coil leashes, floating, retracting leashes: 47:50
Dangers of offshore wind and juicy waves: 50:23
Look for Bunny Hills: 51:50
Sand off sharp edges: 52:38
Wearing protective gear- impact vest: 53:07
Why a helmet is a good idea, Josh Seymore crash footage: 53:55 “Crash Reel” footage: 54:50
Downwind Foiling: 57:50
Avoiding Rolling Falls on the Foil: 58:58
Squaring off the Body: 59:06
Placing the feet in the right place: 1:00:58
Marking foot placement without straps: 1:03:30
Pointing into turn with knees: 1:05:50
Mast sizes: 1:06:17
Wing Sizes: 1:08:00
Comparing Easy Foiler 1440 to Kai and Iwa wing sizes: 1:09:16 Sam’s Tail Handle: 1:09:54
Sam’s Paddle Clip: 1:11:09
Different ways to carry a foil board: 1:13:15
Foil size depending on rider weight and conditions: 1:17:00 Tandem Foil Surfing: 1:18:30

There is always more to learn and this video in no way guarantees your safety, but if you’re going to fly the foil, it’s best to have some knowledge before you go.  We wish you all the good spirits that dancing on the water can bring.

Mahalo, brothers.  Thank you for your knowledge.


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Evelyn O'Doherty, editor & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0 is a former school teacher gone rogue. She left her career as a teacher in order to spend more time near or on the water after learning to surf turned her life around (upsidedown?). She is a year-round surfer and paddler living on the eastern tip of Long Island in NY who is a certified SUP instructor, seasoned SUP racer and avid longboard surfer. Evelyn was hired as Online Editor to Standup Journal in 2016. Her passion for the project quickly led to her success and eventually taking over the mag herself in Oct. 2018. Today, as editor, publisher and chief bottle washer at Standup Journal, Evelyn keeps her toes wet writing, traveling, paddling, surfing, and learning to foil. You can find her most days paddling out on Gardiner's Bay or surfing Ditch Plains in Montauk, NY.