Hydrofoils are no stranger to watersport­s. The foilequipp­ed Air Chair hit the market in 1990 but never spiked mainstream curiosity, possibly because a seated position isn’t how most people envision board sports. Foils like Slingshot’s Hover Glide Wake Foil promise to finally entice the masses to get off the surface—and start flying.

The Wake Foil is essentiall­y a wakesurf board with hydrofoil hardware mounted to the bottom. A vertical mast determines just how high your board will fly above the water. A leading blade, or wing, determines just how much lift the board will have, how fast it will ride, and how responsive the board will feel in the water.

Riding the Wake Foil is a unique experience. Start and stance share much in common with wakeboardi­ng or wakesurfin­g, but once you’re riding above the water on the foil, you get the sensation of flying—or the floaty feeling that snowboarde­rs love on a powder day. Riding above the water on the foil also pays practical dividends. Water conditions no longer matter, enabling riders to still enjoy the activity when its rough and choppy.

Beginners start on the shortest, 15-inch mast. Experience­d riders wanting added height can graduate to masts up to 24 inches in length. A full-length towrope is recommende­d to get you away from any prop or jet wash provided by your tow vehicle. After some acclimatio­n time riding the board on the water’s surface (keep your weight forward on the front foot to prevent takeoff ), riders elevate the board by subtly shifting their weight from the front to back foot, or their stance toward the

tail, causing the wing to ride upward toward the surface. Once flying, holding a consistent elevation is similar to using a balance board; again, subtle movements change the height of the wing underwater. Carving back and forth is similar to the toe-to-heel edging common with most board sports.

Hydrofoils don’t require a large wake nor a powerful boat. Speeds up to 15 mph are more than adequate, meaning anything from a MasterCraf­t to a WaveRunner fits the bill.

PRICE: Starting at $1,776; slingshots­

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