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Surf Etiquette with Foil Drive™Updated 9 days ago

Surf etiquette has been respected and acknowledged for many years and is incredibly important. As hydro-foiling continues to grow across the world, this etiquette is evolving to include guidelines for both traditional hydrofoils and e-foils like Foil Drive™.

Whilst Foil Drive™ might eliminate the difficulty of getting on foil, it certainly does not eliminate your obligation to follow surf etiquette. If anything, you will need to practice this more so than before. Remember technology advancements are not the problem, how it’s used can cause people to become upset. 

There is already so much discussion around foils, where they fit and the overall safety in the line-up. With good practice and strong role modelling, we're all in a position to educate our peers and display etiquette, to ensure lifelong enjoyment and growth of such an incredible sport.  

As a company producing these devices, we have the responsibility to aid our community with the right tools to not only enjoy their time safely, but to be considerate of others, the environment and their gear.



Let's start off with the basics, some things to consider for surfers and foilers alike.

1. When you're learning, stay away from others.

2. ALWAYS wear a leg rope. We'll cover the only circumstance when we recommend not to in the learner's etiquette below. 

3. Right of way - The person closest to the peak of the wave always gets priority.

4. Don't drop In - If someone is going for a wave, or already on it, don't drop in - there will be another!

5. Don't snake - Snaking is when someone paddles inside of another surfer in order to steal priority and take off closest to the peak. 

6. Paddle back on the outside - Always paddle back to the line-up of the outside, don't cruise back through the guys where people are surfing.

7. Communicate - Have a chat, encourage and apologise if necessary! Everyone's out there to have fun!

8. Keep it clean - NEVER litter. It's as simple as that. Infact, if you see some rubbish, it takes two seconds to pick it up! 


1. Wear a life jacket/impact vest and helmet - Foils can be unpredictable and you will fall off. You'll need to learn how to avoid your own gear and fall safely.

2. Take a friend or purchase a lesson - It's all well and good to head out by yourself and give it a go but for the safety of yourself and those around you, we suggest finding someone who can give some pointers. There are so many foiling schools around now so be sure to educate yourself first!

3. Start on small rollers away from everyone else - the less obstacles the more successful you'll be and less risk of injuring someone. 

4. Leg ropes - The only time we recommend NOT using a leg rope is your very first session. With no one else around and no risk of your gear hitting someone when you fall, your safety is next. The first few times you fall, you'll want your board and foil to head the opposite direction. As soon as you work out how to fall safely, pop that leggie back on!

5. Be aware of your surroundings, including the tide - scout your area first, if you have quite a low tide, head out at high tide to minimise the risk of hitting the ground. Also be aware of any submerged banks and features (rocks, branches etc.)

Learning to foil is challenging and can be pretty messy (Legs, arms and foils go flying!). For more tips and tricks on learning to Foil, check out Caitlyn's blog here.


1. Read the Manual - It's there for a reason and it's your responsibility to fully understand your product and how it works BEFORE heading out for the first time. With features like Cruise Control, you'll need to know how to turn it on and off to avoid unnecessary events.

2. Don't be a hog - One of the big selling points is that you can catch any wave you want and boost around in half the time. If there are others around, be mindful of the line-up, don't drop in, and wait your turn!

3. Use the power of the Foil Drive™ to your advantage and catch waves further out where other surfers can't OR  go further left or right down the line and catch more rounded waves that again other surfers can catch.  Again with the added power of the Foil Drive™ there is NO need for you to take off in the pocket where other surfers tend to congregate.  

4. Choose to foil other waves and breaks that are completely empty or unused swell lines that, unless you have a Foil Drive™, are considered not rideable. We have many breaks like this here in our home state and often they can be a lot of fun, especially without the competition.

5.When it's busy, leave the bigger sets for those who need them to catch waves and spend more time riding the less peaky waves that others often can't make use of.

Because we have a motor, we really need to give way to anyone who is physically paddling (Sup, prone, body boarders etc). Busy surf breaks are best left to surfers. 

And remember: Respect - Always.

Related Articles - Click to read:
 Take Off Technique
 Getting Started
 Optimising Your Foil Drive | Throttle Usage
Transition Between Motoring & Free Foiling

To learn more, check out the other articles on our Help Centre which can be found under the 'Support' tab on the website.


As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to us at [email protected]


Happy Foil Driving!

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