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Man riding a Ronix Wakefoil Board

The Ultimate Guide For Beginners: Wake Foiling 101

Are you looking for a new way to experience your favorite outdoor activity? Do you want to take your boating experience up a notch and explore what’s out there? Are you adventurous enough to try the newest and biggest craze in the watersports industry? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then wake foiling may be the perfect solution for you.   

In this blog post, we’ll explore what wake foiling is, the basics of wake foiling, as well as how wakefoils have become so popular.  

Man riding a Ronix Wakefoil Board

What is Wake foiling?

Wake foiling is an engaging activity that combines the fun of traditional wake surfing with the latest technology. Wake foils are unique mast-mounted foil wing systems that attach to compression molded boards, much like the air chair we used to see back in the day. The wake foil is a wing system, with a similar effect as the wings of an airplane, except these ones are submerged in water which creates lift at lower speeds giving the rider a floating feeling.

Unlike other surf-style counterparts, wakefoiling doesn’t limit you to what type of boat you have. It can be done behind any moving water vessel such as a wake boat, fishing boat, pontoon boat, or even a jet ski since you do not need a ton of speed to create that lift and glide. Wake foilers can have a great time exploring the buttery smooth feeling of this cutting-edge invention and push themselves to new levels. 

Man jumping on a Ronix wakefoil

Experience the Freedom of Wake Foil Surfing

Wake foil surfing is quickly becoming the latest and greatest phenomenon in the boating industry, allowing riders to glide or float across the top of the water with or without a rope up to 15 to 20 feet behind their boat. Wake foils allow water enthusiasts to reap the benefits of freedom and mobility whilst tearing across currents that do not even matter! Wake foiling gives you control over your environment like never before, independent of glassy or choppy water surface – so shred away with joy. With wake foil board innovation reaching its peak, we can’t help but anticipate everyone hitting the waters this season on their own wake foil. Now let’s get down to the basics. 

Wake foil surfing Basics

The Driver

One of the most important parts of getting up on a wake foil is the boat driving. In most towed watersports, the boat driver’s job is to get you up on the plain out of the water as efficiently and quickly as possible. When getting up on a foil, you want to have a very gradual pull. The faster you pull onto the plain, the more lift out of the water the foil will create by speed. The slower you get up, the more controlled, the more stable, and the easier time you are going to have to get up on your wake foil. 

Another important aspect the driver needs to pay attention to is getting the person who is wake foiling up on the same side of the wake as he intends on riding. You do not want to have to get up and be pulled through turbulent whitewash and prop wash. You want an effortless pull right into your riding position.

Deep Water Starts 

While you are in the water with your surf foil and swimming around, always be aware of where the foil mast is. When getting up and the rope pulls tight, let the boat gradually pull you up at slower speeds. As you are getting up at low speeds, make sure you put more body weight on your front foot. Weight on your front foot will decrease lift and increase stability. Once you are up, slowly drift out away from the wave, ensuring line tension, which will also give you stability. 

Body Position

Let’s talk about your position and weight distribution on the foil boards. Comfort and stability are key, so we recommend a stance of about shoulder length apart. Also, to be more secure, you can use the straps provided on your board. Stance is very important because the slightest movement can trigger the surf foil up or down. 

Mast Length

Different masts offer different riding styles. A short foil mast size will always be easier to get up on as a longer mast size will be more for advanced riders. The traditional mast length is 24 inches, and most companies will have shorter and longer masts to best suit all skill levels. 

foil mast length

Mast Placement 

For beginner masts, start out by mounting your foil mast closest to the tail of the wake foil board as possible for more stability and less lift. As you get more comfortable, you can mount your mast forward for a more playful, experimental feeling to get more out of your pumping and a more reactive ride. We recommend doing this as you become more experienced riders.

Rope Length 

Starting out with a long rope gives you more space in between the prop wash and the wake is always going to be easier than starting out in the first wave position. Also, starting out with a long rope demagnifies everything that is happening with the foil so it will give you a smoother more stable takeoff. A traditional 65’ ski rope or 75’ wakeboard rope would be perfect while starting out. You can always go shorter if you would like, knowing that these ropes usually come with 5-foot sections to be able to shorten the rope depending on which rope you purchase. If you need help choosing the correct rope, please do not hesitate to call us.

Now you’re up and riding

Once you have successfully gotten up, always be aware of where the prop wash bubbles are. Trust us, they are not your friend while wake foiling. Now that you are up, what you want to focus on is opening your shoulders to the boat. When you open your shoulders to the boat, you are going from front foot to back foot controlling your lift. 

What you do not want to do is have your shoulder open and face the wave. When you face the wave, it gives you the tendency to go from toe to heel and break at the waste making you go down and crash. As you advance to a first wave session, just be aware that the energy of the wave will increase when you get closer to the boat.

Why do we choose wake foiling you ask? Let us tell you! 

Here are 12 reasons why we choose wake foils and why you should too! 

Wakefoiling is solitude. The undiluted feeling at 80 feet from the boat and the only sound you hear is coming from the water changing course as you begin your pump to an upcoming travel. 

Wakefoiling is strategic. A grand design with endless methodical scenarios awaits. As you elevate your mast at the end of the wave – accounting for the speed, time of travel, and where to cut back calculate the trajectory that will take you to your next swell. 

Wakefoiling is subtle. Knowing that every finite nuance can alter your ride in endless situations. 

Wakefoiling is a memoir. Whether you are transferring, pumping, gliding, carving, or pointing- there is this constant unwritten adventure of opportunities each fulfilled with its own atypical biography.

 Wakefoiling is difficult but in time is the most rewarding experience you will ever experience. With finite weight, alterations can amend the course of your balance foil altitude and direction. 

Wakefoiling is rewarding. Very few things compare to unraveling the cause and effect of foiling’s idiosyncrasies. 

Wakefoiling is easy. You are flying on the water with as little as 4 MPH of pull with this effortless strain on your body. 

Wakefoiling is expansive. High aspect, mid aspect, added lift, increased speed- the styles of wakefoils and their personalities are limitless. 

Wakefoiling is uncharted. Flight has been around for ages – but we are still in the beginnings of where this amazing sport will evolve to. 

Wakefoiling is inclusive. Foiling does not discriminate boat wake, size, age, fitness, and talent to have a good time. 

Wakefoiling is soulful. A chance to get lost in the moment of confronting every encounter with a renaissance of unrestricted movements. 

Wakefoiling is happening. There is a groundswell movement of excitement. The feeling for wake foils is like the mid-’90s for wakeboarding or the early 2000s for wakesurfing. 

Expert Wake Foil Board Selection and Setup at Wakesports Unlimited

We know it can be difficult and sometimes overwhelming to choose the right foil with so many different wake foil boards on the market now from companies like Ronix and Phase 5. We are here to help get you the best wake foil board setup and instill the confidence you need to have the best time out on the water possible.

Here at Wakesports Unlimited, we understand that you may have some questions about wakefoiling and want to ensure that you make the right product choice for your needs. 

Our team is made up of watersports enthusiasts with decades of watersports experience. We live for this and are one the only shops that only specialize in this industry. 

Reach out to us any time by calling 858-277-5757, emailing us at, or visiting us on our website

***Just remember that wakefoiling is fundamentally different from most towed watersports. So please do not get frustrated as it takes time to succeed. Be patient and remember it is a new, fun, liberating experience that you are going to enjoy on the water. 

Let’s get behind the boat and we will see you all out on the water! 

– Wakesports Team 

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