The hydrofoil has opened up a new way to experience kitesurfing... glide silently above the water in the lightest breeze.
Protected flat water conditions and a moderately deep sandy bottom in Comox provide an ideal location to learn hydrofoiling.
The hydrofoil has a steep initial learning curve, especially if using a full length mast. Even very experienced kiters require an adaptation period to overcome muscle memory from using edging to turn a kiteboard to using yaw to control the foil.
The shape of a hydrofoil also makes it inherently more dangerous than a kiteboard. I teach hydrofoiling in as safe a manner as possible through the use of the Slingshot "Flight School" adjustable mast system, protective beginner-specific equipment, and zodiac support. By taking a progressive and calculated approach, the risk of injury can be minimized. Lessons start with a short session learning to swim with and carry the foil before progressing in the following fashion:
- body-drag techniques
- techniques to avoid the foil when falling
- board starts
- controlled riding with the foil submerged (short mast)
- short foil rides and touch downs with (medium mast)
- controlling the foil over long tacks (long mast)
A Ride Engine harnesses, Protec helmet, and PFD is provided during the lesson. Your signature on the provided liability waiver is required before participation, it is recommended you review with your lawyer prior to attending.
WHY TAKE LESSONS?
Aside from benefiting from zodiac rescue and instructor feedback, the best foils for learning are not ideal for progression in most disciplines. Aluminum hydrofoils with adjustable masts make learning to foil much easier, safer, and timely - however, once you are riding under control carbon fibre construction offers significant benefits:
- incredibly reduced weight results in major performance and handling improvements
- higher wear resistance
- no galvanic corrosion
- higher part tolerances lead to less vibration and smoother riding
- generally better quality of construction, fit, and finish
El Norte Adventures offers kiters the best of both worlds: lessons are taught on an adjustable mast foil while the lesson's cost is credited towards the purchase of a foil package of their choice from LP or Slingshot.
Zodiac supported hydrofoil lessons are $300 for each four hour session. The cost of the first lesson will be applied as credit to the purchase of any LP or Slingshot hydrofoil and board package.
For experienced kiters looking to travel to Vancouver Island, we also offer hydrofoil instruction and equipment as an adventure tour in the same packages as kitesurfing, with a $150 per day discount if you use your own kites.