Blog / beach start
How To Do A Beach Start For Hydrofoil
The Hydrofoil Beach Start
There are few more exciting maneuvers than the hydrofoil beach start, but it is not easy! It takes perfect technique, lots of practice reps and suffering through the occasional spill to get right.
Here Zane Schweitzer breakdown how he has learnt to perfect his hydrofoil beach start!
Step 1: Finding A Safe Area To Practice
Ideally when we are first starting to learn this maneuver, we would like to start on a dock or a platform where we can take a few steps and then jump onto the board without the foil hitting the bottom.
Once you have been able to practice that a few times and pull it off successfully then we can move onto the more difficult version of the beach start.
Step 2: Ensure The Foil Is Under Water
In this video as Zane takes his first few steps we can see him look down and check to ensure the foil is underwater. We need to ensure that as we run we don’t have any air under the wings as that causes turbulence and make the start nearly impossible to pull off.
Step 3: The Jump
The first step of learning to jump onto the board is first learning when we want to time the jump. We want to run out into the water until it starts to get a little uncomfortable to keep running, for Zane this is right about knee height.
Once we are starting to get out to this level in the water we want to prepare for the double bounce jump to get up and onto the board.
The Double Footed Plant and Bounce
Zane points out in this video that one of the most important techniques to getting the right hop came from gymnastics. He does a double hop into a “double footed plant” to launch himself up and onto the board.
We want to hop and land with both of feet at the same time relatively close to one another so that we can use the power of both of our legs to launch us up and out of the water and onto the board.
One of the most common spills we see riders make on beach starts is falling backwards off the board. Why does this happen and how can we prevent it?
The most important thing we can do to prevent this is to focus on our body and momentum as we jump. As we are jumping we want to make a conscious effort to throw our body and chest over the board, we want our head over the toe side of the board.
We don’t want to jump straight up and just land on the board, we need our momentum moving towards the toe side of the board to prevent the board rolling towards our heel.
We can see even in this video. Zane almost fell into this trap and had slightly too much weight towards his heels and the board started to roll back too far. But, he had just enough weight in his toes and caught the roll early enough to shift even more weight into his toes to prevent the board rolling too far back and causing him to fall.
Step 4: Start Bouncing Immediately
There is no time to waste here! As soon as we get our feet on the board we want to start our bounce immediately, we need to keep our momentum up.
The hard part here is to remember to not only start bouncing immediately but also that our bounces need to be fast and “high altitude” to start. We aren’t deep enough quite yet for a full bounce as we run the risk of bottoming out the foil still.
So, for a “high altitude” bounce we want to keep our knees high. This allows us to be fast with our bounce but not send to much force downwards which would cause our foil to bottom.