Pumping effectively

Published on 7 October 2021 at 09:48

Nothing will boost your performance, especially in low wind conditions, then when you are able to pump effectively and efficiently. By no means I consider myself an expert, but I am normally able to get going in quite light conditions, with quite small gear. In the video below I am using a 60 liter board, an HA925 foil with 50cm fuselage and v200 +1 tail and a 4.5 A-wing. Wind was light. I am 81kg's.


Let me start of by showing you a video in slow motion before breaking down the two elements that for me make an efficient pump.



I consider 2 main movements. One is the movement of the wing, the other is the movement of the board. Both should be aimed at generating forward momentum. How much momentum/speed you need depends on which foil you are using.


I pump the wing, not only towards me, but also forward to backward. In fact I'm doing kind of a rotating motion with my arms. The below screengrabs explain:


Move the wing forward (watch the arrow in the picture)

Extend your arms away from you and pull the wing backwards

Pull the wing towards you to generate the power. When the wing is all the way towards you, bring it forward again to set up for the next pumping motion.


Next to the movement of the wing, the movement of the board is critical. Weighting and unweighting makes so much difference to get going. An unweighted board will pop on the foil almost instantly. Of course you want a board that releases as quick as possible.


The below screengrabs show you how the board is weighted/unweighted:


Extend your legs/body to create room for movement. You do this at the same time as moving the wing forward. You also see my whole body is aimed forward (back leg is extended).

When moving your wing backwards and towards you, pull the board up with your front leg (yes, straps are going to help here). Push down with your back leg. This should release the board from the water, especially to front of the board. 


Since the power of the wing is now going to support your weight, it should be possible to unweight the board.

When the wing is all the way back, you need to move it forward again, push down on the board. The surface of the board will hit the water and give you the leverage to repeat the movement.


The board hitting the water acts like a spring to set up up for the next movement.


When you are able to combine both movements at the same time you will be able to get going as quick as you possibly can. 


Which foil you use is going to impact how quickly you will get on the foil. A bigger, lower aspect foil will get you on the foil quicker. Therefore you would need less repetitions of pumping. A small and/or high aspect foil will require you to repeat the pumping movements more frequent to generate enough speed to get going.


Have fun improving your skills!