Flatwater Paddle Up Thread

Having come from zero sup experience, the sup side of downwind foiling has been a huge bottleneck for me. I have finally gotten over the hump of consistently being able to flat water paddle up and am going to keep practicing to go down wing sizes, tune gear etc. One of the most useful things in progression for foiling is surrounding yourself with people who are better than you and learning from them, so please feel free to post your tips/feelings/gear etc here to help others battling the good old sup bottleneck.

  • Currently on a 7’3 sunove elite 23 wide and takuma 1900 LOL. Have an ono ava 105 cut to eyebrow level.
  • Have found a shorter fuse is easier to paddle up so have been finding my @mikepedigo fuse shorteneing tail the go to. Currently have only tried 1.5 degrees shim for more lift. plan to go down shim sizes.
  • Have found a shorter mast has more lift and easier to dig out of those first few strokes when you start taking off so have paddled up on the 70cm LOL takuma alu mast but also found it easy on my no limitz 78. i think the stiffness of the no limits actually negated any benefit i got from the shorter alu mast in this instance.
  • Am thinking of the benefits of slightly longer paddle for longer mast, i may try my smaller blade adjustable paddle for paddling on my no limits 78, i have a theory that eyebrow level may be a fraction too short and hindering being able to get my paddle way out in front when i start gettign lift off and need to scoop those last few strokes.

Taking all these feels into next session,
tried the 1440 kujira.
-find i need to get going faster before i start paddle pumping. more emphasis on the first 5 or so strokes to get more speed first.
-got to the paddle pump stage with board off water for about 10 strokes but couldnt scoop out of it yet. will be trying again tomorrow to see how i go.

another random tip: make sure you stack your shoulders on top of each other and dont paddle with a real straight stance. i was doing that for ages and it prevents you from really reaching out right in front of your feet for those powerful strokes. plus it fucks your shoulders.


Could you expand on this?

Watch his shoulders.


hey mate yea exactly that video. for so long i was standing square shouldered and doing weak paddles next to my feet whereas i needed to be doing shoulders like the video and reaching as far forward as i could without overbalancing. on my new board its not quite at the nose. old board was 6’2 i could get slightly out front of the nose.


You’re in more of a surf stance though yea?

I’d say it’ll be more of a hybrid between the two stances. Back foot a bit further forward at first, but turned sideways to the stringer. Front foot ahead, with toes pointed a lot more towards the nose than typical for a surf stance.

Super narrow board here. But you get the idea for how the front foot is pointed forward.


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yea mate. kinda surf but feet facing forward. i just posted this got some footage finally. might be too far away to see my stance though.


I’ve got a board that has its tracks a bit back, and I can’t match up where I want to stand for the foil and where I need to stand to have the board float flat. I tried this the first day I got it, and I could stand correct for the foil, with the tail in the water and nose out, or stand with it flat but I never felt the foil lift because I was in front of it. Am I correct in thinking matching that up is key? I made a track extender but haven’t tried it in flat water yet.

ive actually felt that i like paddling a bit forward of where im going to have my feet for foiling and when i start sprinting and feeling liftoff i slide my front foot back. i was doing this in the ocean so that i could really lean forward to get onto the bump and then sliding foot back. hope that makes sense? have you balanced your board/foil position up?

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It’s pretty important to balance up the big paddle boards. Less important on small prone boards.

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That is interesting, I’ve heard that before but not sure I like moving my foot/feet at that critical moment. Also it felt silly trying to pump with so much board out front. I also later tried the extender in waves and liked it better but I was really standing on my front foot until I took off. Perhaps I need to try more techniques and mast positions.

definitely do some experimenting mate. but the foot shuffle is probably something your going to have to come to terms with unless you want to use straps. you can minimise it by balancing hte board up but there will still be a subtle movement i believe.

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What is everyone’s experience around choosing volume compared to weight for the longer type boards?

Maybe weight in kgs x 1.3?

Hey mate I’m on 128 litres and I’m 77-78kg which is 170 pounds. This is my 4th board. So that’s 1.5 body weight approx. I would consider my sup skills intermediate now and I can balance on this board in cross up/backwash pretty well but still occasionally fall off. No way I could have stood on this thing 6 months ago.

@FoilMad The key is definitely to use the MULTIPLIER RULE- 1.x your weight in kg based on your ability.
Don’t use the ADDITION RULE e.g ‘your weight +20 litres’ rule.
Half the guys you see doing flat water starts on Instagram and YouTube on 100L boards with GoFoil 2400cm foils weigh 60kg. And even the guys flat water starting, or down wind supping on Lift 120’s, weigh 60kg.
It’s all about the kilograms per litre of board and kilograms per square inch of foil.

60kg rider, 100L board, go foil 2400 foil (372in²).
That’s multipliers of 1.67 for the board volume and 6.2 for foil.
So for a 90kg rider, the equivalent is 150L board and 558in² foil- or 3600cm²- which doesn’t exist.
A lift 120 for a 60kg rider is the same as a 180in² foil for 90kg rider…

Im 87kg and started with no sup experience on 8’0 X 24" and 155L. About 1.8x weight. After a few surf sessions I had as easy time on the ocean as possible paddling up in ocean bumps. Second board was 6’10 X 23" X 125L and I have the basic idea already.


So not strictly flatwater but paddle up practice today in mediocre glass off (wind died) bumps was able to paddle up the 1210 kujira only once i rode out of it*. another 4 or 5 times got on foil but couldnt scoop out of it. felt pretty similar to the 1440 paddle up but just needed a bit more juice and few extra strokes to scoop out of the initial phase. had my mast in the same spot i set it for the 1440 which i think was a mistake, think i will move it forward a few cm next time i try. ive been finding with the kujira wings that i like it a little bit forward of balanced.