For many surfers the term Find the Stoke is a term often used to depict the wait for that once in a lifetime perfect wave.
After 45 years of waiting for that perfect wave I find myself re-evaluating that catch phase into Keep the Stoke which is the basis the title of this article.
Many times I have contemplated throwing in the towel, so to speak, with the surfboard – but something pops up and keeps that stoke going for a few more years.
Longboards, Stand Up Paddleboards and now… Foil Surfing.
Foil Surfing has taken the world by storm, opening up a whole new meaning to the art of surfing a wave to a point where you now can surf an unbroken wave, called a swell, using this strange spaceship looking contraption attached to the underside of your surfboard .
Picture the majestic Manta Ray of the ocean effortlessly gliding through the big blue… and that’s the concept that has been adapted into a fin form allowing the surfboard to lift clear of the water, reducing much of its drag and enabling it to glide effortlessly along.
The foil is a three part piece of equipment, the first of which is a long aluminium shaft similar to a yacht keel, then there is the front foil that looks like a Manta Ray in flight and, linked to that, a tail fin much like an aeroplane tail wing that aids the steering and lift.
Foils are not new to the maritime industry as many craft have adopted foils to improve the drag co efficient that a ship has to deal with.
In the 70’s a foil concept was attached to a chair that was towed behind a water ski boat, then after that someone applied that concept to a water scooter where you bounced it along to keep momentum .
Hawaiian surfing legends, Laird Hamilton, Dave Kalama and Derick Doner, started working on applying the foil concept to surfing and… bang… today we see an evolution onto all different types of surfing and paddling craft and a whole new way of riding waves and swells.
The foil allows you to effortlessly glide on swells or waves far longer than the conventional wave riding opening up options on your equipment that you thought could only ride waves.
So next time when the wind is up and it looks too much to get out there to surf, grab your foil and go surf some wind driven swells down the coast.
Seaweed Steve, AKA Steve Honeysett presents the Daily Surf Report on 88.0FM