No Wakeboard Boat, No Problem – Welcome to the Foil – Boating
Over the past few seasons we’ve seen an increase in what at first can seem somewhat bizarre … riders around the world floating across the water, and having a blast doing it. Say what you want about the wake foil, the truth of the matter is it’s really, really fun because of how different it feels. And the best part is it works behind EVERY type of boat. From a PWC to a bow-rider runabout to your uncle Ronnie’s sparkly “plum” bass boat … if she’s got a motor, she’ll do the trick. Why? Because the excitement of the foil doesn’t come from launching off a wave or wake, it comes from the floating sensation you experience at speeds as low as 5-8 mph. It’s a whole new balance point and stance unlike anything else behind a boat – keeping you constantly focused, engaged, and most important, stoked. All jokes aside, we know once you try it, it will have you and your crew geeking out all summer as you try to master watersports’ latest challenge. To see what kind of fun we could have we met up with Slingshot team rider Louis Floyd and a local ripper named Bennett O’Connor. And we pulled them with a pontoon boat.
As you can tell, the guys had fun. And that’s the point, with the foil it doesn’t matter what’s pulling you, just that you can get pulled. The closest thing we can compare the feeling of foiling to is powder skiing or snowboarding down a mountain. The ride is buttery smooth – like surfing through the clouds – with long drawn out turns and the added sensation of floating from the top to the bottom of the foil mast. And as if it can’t get any better, the feeling is achievable almost every day of the year! Even on Labor Day weekend with countless other boats on your water way throwing rollers everywhere, the foil is still fun. This is because foils are not affected by chop as they fly just below the water’s surface, giving every session that glassy day feeling.
You know it’s fun when legends of the sport are getting into it and having a blast experiencing the water in a whole new way.
“It’s the funnest thing I’ve done behind a boat in 20 years,” said legendary former pro wakeboarder Chase Heavener.
Even the Godfather, Scott Byerly, has been bit by the bug. “I’m having dreams about flying these things,” he said.
“The foil can open all sorts of new doors” said Slingshot Brand Manager Jeff McKee, “It will have you looking at every body of water with a whole new perspective … from pumping ponds to riding swells to simply rising above the choppy waters for a buttery smooth session.”
Because of a foil’s efficiency and minimal drag (plus a whole lot of hydrodynamic formulas and properties), foils are also able to surf much smaller waves than traditional wakesurf boards. So if you’re the owner of a ski boat with a smaller wave looking to get into wakesurfing, the foil is a great option. Even on a basic I/O you can set the rope length to 70 – 80 feet and the speed to 11 MPH and surf the second wave back – a perfectly safe distance from the back of an outdrive and still loads of fun!
Slingshot CEO Jeff Logosz has experienced the effect of the wake foil on the watersports realm. “We’ve seen an overwhelming amount of people re-engaging with watersports through the intrigue of the foil,” he said. “And several who start in lakes and end up in the oceans participating in our other foil categories like surf, kite, wind, and SUP
The moral of the story: riding a foil brings new excitement to all types of boats and waterways. From a pontoon to a cabin cruiser, you’re guaranteed to look at things with a whole new perspective!