Foil surfing rides high

Water-skiers, biscuits and tubers were back on Lake Wanaka yesterday but the it was the novelty of foil surfing that grabbed people’s attention.

For the past few weeks, Wanaka real estate agent Kelly Gooch has been demonstrating and teaching foil surfing (foil boarding) on the lake and said it was attracting a lot of interest.

"This is an all-carbon-fibre product which is designed to handle high pressures and fly pretty much on the waterline.

"The technology used in foil surfing is actually very similar to the technology used on the foil boats in the America’s Cup," Mr Gooch said.

Kelly Gooch demonstrates the newly available activity of foil surfing on Lake Wanaka yesterday....
Kelly Gooch demonstrates the newly available activity of foil surfing on Lake Wanaka yesterday. PHOTO: KERRIE WATERWORTH

Similar to water-skiing or biscuits and tubes, the foil surfboard was towed behind a boat or a jet ski but, unlike the other activities which skimmed the surface, the wing-like foil under the board cut through the water, lifting the board and rider up to cut through the air.

Mr Gooch said the best description of foil surfing was like "hovering" above the water.

Foil surfing was becoming an increasingly common sight at beaches and lakes around the world but Mr Gooch said this summer was the first time it had appeared on Lake Wanaka.

"Foiling is the future for water sports," he predicted.

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