Stay up-to-date with all of the latest foil surfing tutorials, news and information from Blue Zone Foil Surf by following this blog. For our first post, I’d like to share the history of Blue Zone Foil Surf and my introduction to foil surfing.
I grew up playing basketball and eventually ended my career at a collegiate level in St. Pete, Florida. A chance decision to learn to kiteboard during my sophomore year would lead me to a new life of enjoying water sports. From the time I learned to kite, I was hooked on spending time on the water in ways that maximized fun and local conditions. St. Pete is a kiting playground with plenty of wind and great spots to enjoy the sport.
After becoming a kite instructor, I quickly found a particular love for kiteboarding in the waves on a surfboard. When I graduated 2 years later, I started a SUP rental and lesson business called Water Monkey. When there was no wind I would paddle around and enjoy the small Gulf waves on my sup. I was soon making trips to the east coast of Florida whenever I could for better surf.
During this time I also began to compete in sup racing events. I soon became sponsored for sup racing and began traveling around the country, and eventually the world, competing. While sup racing allowed me to travel, sup surfing was always my passion. The lack of surf on the Gulf prompted a move to San Diego for more surf opportunities.
San Diego is not a particularly windy city, so I sold all of my kite gear before moving out west. I continued to sup race professionally, while enjoying the consistent and fun surf of SoCal.
My first introduction to foiling was through kiteboarding. Kiters were some of the first early adopters of recreational foil surfing technology on a large-scale. I tried kite foiling several times as far back as 2010 when friends would let me borrow their gear. Kite foiling was not extremely appealing to me as it was mostly done in flat water and my heart was set on riding in the waves.
SUP racing and surfing kept me away from foiling until it caught my eye again in 2016. Kai Lenny released this video of downwind sup foiling and a spark was lit under my feet, as it was with many other water sport enthusiasts, to give foil surfing a try.
Unfortunately, foil surfing is cost and time prohibitive. I didn’t have the money to invest $2k+ in a sup foil setup and I also didn’t have much time with a new daughter, work and racing.
Finally, in the winter of 2018, the stars were aligning for my dive into the world of sup foil surfing. I was fortunate enough to get a team set up from Slingshot Foils and I no longer had to worry about the cost part. Now I just needed the time to dive into the sport.
I had made an effort in the summer of 2018 to foil surf behind a boat while I was downwind sup racing and coaching in Hood River, Oregon. These first flights behind a jet-ski gave me the confidence and skill that would set a foundation for my introduction to sup foil surfing in the waves.
With all of my foil surfing gear in Nosara for the start of our 2018 – 2019 season, I was ready to roll. We had a 4-week gap in our Blue Zone sup surf camps from December to January and this would be my time to dive in. Conditions are perfect for learning to sup foil surf from December to March. I was going out nearly everyday for 4 straight weeks, honing my skills and fully addicted to the glide of sup foil surfing.
You can check out a few of my early foil surfing videos here:
Needless to say, I was hooked on foil surfing. Fast forward 6 months and I’ve completed over 100 sessions during this time. I’m now confidently pumping back out to waves, turning and progressing with each session. I’ve applied the same methodical approach to learning and progressing as we apply to our sup surfing clients. Video analysis of many of my sup foil surfing sessions has helped me improve at a fast rate.
During this learning process we have been delighted to have our assumption that we lived in a foil surfing paradise confirmed. Our primary sup foil surf spot works 90% of the time with fun, safe and uncrowded conditions.
We are excited to launch Blue Zone Foil Surf to help guide clients through foil surf progression and to share our amazing foil surfing spots.