Kai Lenny’s Foil Boards

Tracks - - Tracks Ride Guide 2018 -

“The beauty of hy­dro-foil­ing and what I love most about it is that it opens up an en­tire new realm of places to go surf­ing. You don’t need to go to a crowded break – in fact you don’t even need a good wave to go hy­dro-foil­ing. It’s about find­ing new waves that have never been rid­den and mak­ing the most of the con­di­tions you have,” says Hawai­ian water­man, Kai Lenny. In our in­creas­ingly crowded line-ups that’s a big ad­van­tage. Hy­dro-foils work in ev­ery­thing from tid­dly beach breaks to big Jaws to un­bro­ken open ocean swells. Skilled rid­ers – and none are bet­ter than Kai Lenny – can ride con­tin­u­ously, flick­ing off a wave and pump­ing fu­ri­ously out the back and onto the next swell.

Lenny’s record is 11 waves in a row or six min­utes of non-stop rid­ing. Foil boards, of course, are noth­ing new. Laird Hamil­ton (along with Dave Kalama, Rush Ran­dle and Brett Likkle) came up with the con­cept in the late nineties us­ing a wake board fit­ted with snow­board boots. Hamil­ton looked god­like in those early im­ages, like he was lev­i­tat­ing on wa­ter. His stated goal was to surf be­tween is­lands on huge un­bro­ken swells. Ini­tially it looked like foil-board­ing was just too weird or dif­fi­cult for mass adop­tion, but Kai Lenny has kicked it along in re­cent years. He’s got his buddy John John Florence on board and you can only imag­ine where he might take it. Florence, a keen sailor, pic­tures him­self sail­ing around the planet, foil board­ing in the mid­dle of the ocean with just the seabirds watch­ing.

Photo: Ser­vais Photo: Ser­vais

Main: Kai Lenny tak­ing his foil to a whole new place. In­set: Foil board un­der con­struc­tion.

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