I learned to ride a foilboard about three years ago in the Outer Banks. My good friend and business partner, Jon Beery took me out one day and helped me get my first sustained rides and I was hooked. After about a month of face plants and drinking gallons of water, it finally clicked. We learned on an aluminum foil with a tall mast, which made the learning curve steep and the crashes big. There was no recipe, no how-to YouTube videos, and not many people to ask for instructions. We were developing it all as we dialed it in ourselves.
Since then, the introduction of shorter masts and lower aspect foils that fly at a slower speed have drastically reduced the learning curve. We can get pretty much anyone flying these days and have a very refined, step by step way of teaching it safely and efficiently. It’s best to start out towing behind a boat, which allows you to isolate the board, find the balance point and learn how to carve it.
A few months after I learned, Jon and I took the foils and some kites out to the ocean for the first time to experiment in the waves. Conditions were heavy, there was an onshore breeze, and shoulder high sets. People on the beach watching thought we were crazy. We got beat up and pounded that day but we learned a lot. Riding the wings in the waves became my new addiction.