Until recently foil-boarding was one of those sports, like live pigeon shooting or horse long jump, that appeared to be well on its way to being consigned to the history books.
Although it has enjoyed brief moments in the limelight over the last decade or so, courtesy of Laird Hamilton, nobody paid much attention to it until earlier this year, when a clip of Kai Lenny dropped online, featuring him catching two consecutive waves in Fiji without touching the water.
‘What sorcery is this’ cried the internet! ‘I wanna go!’ cried the world’s best (and Richard Branson) and thus a new craze was born. Indeed nothing signals the activity du jour’s arrival into the mainstream more than its addition to the sign of things you’re not allowed to do at the MOD owned K-Bay in Dorset, and earlier this month, hydrofoils were added to the list!
Many still consider it a gimmick, and a seriously dangerous one at that, with the foil being accused of having the potential to cut through unsuspecting fellow water users like a hot knife through butter.
However the sport seems to have amassed a team of ambassadors money couldn’t buy, including the likes of JJF, Kelly Slater and JOB, and featured it on the cover of STAB, so we’re guessing it’ll at least be around for a little longer.
Whether it will open up any new opportunities in our sport (hello foot-strap backflips) remains to be seen, but we’ll be watching closely and, as with any questionable fad, whether it disappears into the ether, or becomes a wave riding main-stay, we’ll pretend we’d known what was going to happen all along.