More and more attractive in the ocean or on the lakes, these vertical boards are inspired by the sky which literally allow you to fly on the water. Perfect for surfing, kitesurfing, wakeboarding, or even windsurfing, foils are found today on any type of boat or craft. Just fight? “No, a strong trend”, explain Victor Daviet and Edgar Cheylus, pro riders who are more powdery than bulky, but certainly efficient and reassuring. So with Steve Robert, photographer and photographer addicted to this new culture, they founded the Annecy Foil Team, a unique team in the mountains that is gaining more and more followers. It must be said that they have a good argument.
The script is gaining traction in the outside world. First seen as a machine by the purists of the slip, it offers incomparable freedom and softness, penetrating those who use it. A little technique at first first of course, but safety is adapted to many activities on the water. So, if you already master one, don’t panic, you already have all the information you need to get started.
Known for being placed under the hulls of boats, transforming them into real yachts, the foil can be attached under many types of boards – allowing everyone to progress according to his skills, so in the fertilizer. Today, there are five main types: pump, wakefoil, surffoil, wingfoil and kitefoil. How it works? We explain to you.
Five disciplines, one principle
Basically: pumping. Simply put, it’s like surfing… but without the waves. It is a board similar to those used in surfing, under which a foil – this famous wing which allows the board to be carried above the water when a person causes a movement. Starting from the edge of the water, from a pontoon on the lake for example, you have to give enough energy at the start to move, then generate your own speed. You continue by repeating the movement of bending the knees and giving force with your body. Pumping is therefore both a discipline that can be practiced alone, on any surface without the need for waves; but it is also a concept that is associated with four other disciplines: wakefoil, surffoil, wingfoil and kitefoil.
As for these tasks, there is no rocket science. Once the foil attached to the wave, kite, windsurf or wake, it is started as in traditional mode. For example, in surffoil, you move like a surfer to catch a wave. Once standing on the board, you can continue the pumping principle: bend your legs, straighten up to give power, and repeat the action to maintain your speed and feel the wave.
Recently it has arrived in the lakes, as in an area where a group of snowboard artists and Schoers have created an environment to test skills to test skills. Because the other advantage of the protection is that it allows you to continue training outside the snow the rest of the year.
The AFT was also born during the first arrest. In the spring of 2020, photographer and photographer Steve Robert, already a fan of cinema, convinces Victor Daviet, his friend and neighbor, to take a boat with a foil, and try to experience it on Lake Annecy – a benefit for Steve, his direct house. he looked at the lake. “We weren’t allowed to go boating, but it was bad. We went to the pontoon in front of our house to learn how to pump water every morning. And as soon as a drone or a helicopter passed over of our heads, we were hiding under the boat. We started to rot like that. On the one hand, we have something to do, and on the other, it quickly impressed us.
Very quickly, partners are supported by the duo, in particular Fanatic, manufacturer and fan of sailboard, SUP and foil since 1981 – major player in the market. And the rest of the riders joined the small group, which started with Edgar Cheylus, Scott Cheminal, Lalo Rambaud and Roy Hummel – all bewildered by the incredible foils. No need to be a pro to get started, explain in detail Steve, Victor, and Edgar, who never stops having fun foiling.
For whom, how, why? The foil explained to dummies
“You feel free, it’s very soft, like turned powder!”, when the Annecy Foil Team talks about foiling, it makes you want to get started. Because if you ever want to slide, you will definitely want to destroy, a trick more effective than you think.
What prerequisites do you need to have to practice these disciplines?
Steve: The most important thing for me is to have a good balance. I encourage those who have never managed to train online before. As for the beauty of the wing, a good knowledge of the wind is a huge advantage.
Victor: I completely agree on the balance, it’s important. But contrary to what Steve said, I don’t think slacklining has a real chance, because slacklining is already very technical. But skateboarding, snowboarding or surfing, or even wakeboarding, is good practice for everyday things. Knowing that losing is a game that requires you to be very careful and precise, you must use your emotions, combined with a basic balance.
Edgar: From the moment you know how to destroy, it’s easy to follow up with different disciplines (it’s easy to start at the back of the boat). The required step, I think above all, is courage, knowing how to find your bearings in space, and working on your reception. Those who already exercise will find it easy – even if you have to take two or three pies at first!
What does the foil improve in terms of feeling on the water?
Steve: The system offers unique pleasures because the speed and gliding are improved compared to other sports water sports without harnesses (windsurfing, kitesurfing, surfing, etc.). If I compare this feeling to others, surfing is like snowboarding in perfect, unmarked powder. Here there is no day, we are in the waves without violence, with the possibility of developing and generating our own energy to continue thanks to the “pump”.
Victor: It’s definitely more fluid, like walking on water – it’s amazing when you experience it for the first time. There is no longer any conflict with the water as soon as the boat climbs onto the fence, so the feeling is special. I never felt this in other skating games. Technically it’s a good challenge, because it’s fair. You must have a fair share in the balance sheet. Especially for pumping, where you have to master all the technique to learn to generate its own speed from the pontoon.
Edgar: It’s very watery, no water junkies, no stress, it’s smooth, that’s the fun part. Also, it is less weak at the muscular level. We seek this water.
And what are the similarities with snowboarding or skiing?
Victor: We’re going to have the same tricks as doing flips on the screen; and know how to stay on board. The standards are different, but there is a common root – after all, the foil, in terms of pleasure, like when sliding in the snow. Me, my biggest dream in life is to go powder on a snowboard. And in detention, I found that a bit like summer: once you get up on the water, you feel free, it’s very sweet. It turned like powder!
Why are riders interested in foiling?
Steve: Since bleaching is mostly done in the summer, it’s a good idea to keep the lights on all year round.
Victor: Skiers and snowboarders are, I think, looking for new experiences. New things like the foil encourage us to discover the essence of these new pleasures. And from a technical point of view, it is also a challenge. In mountain sports – and extreme sports in general – people are addicted to adrenaline, to personal challenges. So we are interested.
What movements or snowboarding techniques are found in foil?
Victor: In a wakefoil for example, taking off to board is like snowboarding. Then, as we talked about a little earlier, we found that this basic rotation, even in confinement, is softer, so you really have to measure its strength. For numbers, they look like those of surfers.
Since when did this passion for foiling appear in Annecy?
Victor: Climbers are interested in 4 years – around Annecy anyway. In our group, Steve is a big fan of foiling, a tradition he developed here. He is really a fan of this game, and he tries to write it, to showcase it with his skills as a photographer and photographer.
Are there many foil practitioners? Where can we find a club to learn?
Steve: There are still a few workers in France, we’ve been hearing about them for two or three years, five years maximum. But the surffoil and the wingfoil are very democratic. Kitefoils are mostly those that are already padded. Pumping is probably the most difficult skill to master at first, but it attracts quite a few people, very few clubs are known to me – well, at least in the mountains. We must be alone around. They are often found by the sea, mainly in the south for kite and wing. Some wakeboard clubs still teach wakefoil for a year or two.
To learn more about Fanatic foils, visit Fanatic.com