Foiling or hydrofoiling is a water and wind summer sport and outdoor activity. The name comes from the words "foil" or "hydrofoil" and "moving" (on the surfboard or a boat/ship).
In foiling, you move on the board equipped with a hydrofoil (underwater fin) under the action of the traction force of the kite or sail or the power of the waves itself literally rising above the surface of the water. Therefore, the wind/swell is a must for this sport. So you take a board, inflate a "kite" (something like a parachute), which you hold with a rope, or hoist the sail, or just stand on a surfboard, and... the wind/swell carries you over the waves. There is also efoiling with a battery and a small motor on the surfboard, as well as sailing/boating with a foil.
You can practice foiling on any large open water where there is also wind/swell. Such places are called "spots". Usually it is a beach on the shore of the sea or a large lake. That is, the same spots are suitable for foiling as for kitesurfing, windsurfing and surfing (or sailing and boating). The main foiling spot in the world, a mecca of this sport, is Tarifa, Spain. There is always a good wind/swell also in Mui Ne (Vietnam), Maui Island (Hawaii, USA), and many others places.
Foiling is usually done in the summer when the water is warm and there is a wind. To do it all year round, you need to travel to those spots with appropriate weather conditions.
The faster the wind or the more powerful the swell, the faster you go. You can even jump or fly over water. This is one of the main pleasures and reasons of doing foling. It also differs from other sports by a close and friendly community where everyone is willing to support each other. However, learning the sport is not as easy as it seems at first glance, especially by yourself. In addition to wind, water and board for this sport, you need good physical training and courage. The sport is considered extreme.
Text: Ivan Kuznetsov, Natalia Kirasheva contributed to this guide
Cover photo: Uniqsurface / Unsplash