Foiling (hydro-foiling) has been the biggest development in water based activities in the past decade. From big boats competing for the America’s Cup to Kai Lenny pumping his hydrofoil surfboard on wave after wave, foils are only growing in popularity.
Windsurfing has been heavily influenced by the introduction of foiling and after a few years of improvements it is now open to the masses and more accessible than ever before. A completely different sensation to normal windsurfing, foiling 1 -2 ft above the water creates a unique silence. This new feeling of flying has generated a buzz in the windsurfing world and now intermediate and advanced windsurfers want to have their own taste of taking off and getting up on the foil.
Watersport holiday companies and windsurf centres around the world are now offering foiling as part of their holiday package. This extra service requires specialist Windsurf Foiling Instructors to run clinics, making sure everyone flies, has fun and are safe.
In September 2019, Flying Fish organised the first ever RYA Windsurf Foiling Instructor Course abroad in Vassiliki, Greece.
7 Windsurfing Instructors came to our training centre to gain this new RYA qualification. Some were working in Vassiliki already, others coming from different centres around Europe all wanting to improve their personal foiling ability and gain the latest RYA certificate.
The 4 days, taught by Sam Ross, saw a variety of conditions that is unique to Vassiliki. From the morning onshore breeze, gusty offshore to windy cross shore, there was everything to test the instructors foiling skills.
The first day was all about getting up on the foil and making sure everyone was up to scratch. Being all very good windsurfers, the guys had no problem getting to grips with the equipment and conditions. Although it looks challenging and is very exciting, windfoiling is not particularly any more difficult than normal windsurfing, it’s just different.
The 3 other days were all about refining techniques and developing best teaching practices in the safest manner. There were also great chats and discussions about windsurfing; being on top of trends in the industry is important for any instructor who wants to make a career out of teaching.
There was continual assessment throughout the training, as the course is only 4 days long. This means there was no final day exam or presentations, which made sure all students had the maximum amount of time on the water.
We are happy to report all 7 Flying Fish students passed the Windsurf Foiling Instructor Course and are now qualified to teach RYA First Flights or higher (depending on personal foiling level).