From fine to great with multiple wave pumping…

I prone in FL. Im 203lbs and have a high fitness level. I ride the Takuma 1210. I can easily link 2 waves and sometimes 3. VERY occasionally 4s & a couple 5s. I want to do better and technique is absolutely my issue.

I think my area off opportunity is “keeping my foil higher” in the water column. I hear this pumping tip often, and I’m not sure how to implement this?
I’m starting off great (can even grave dig well) but at my best I still probably have 25% of my mast in the water. Is that too low? When I begin to get tired (wave 2 or 3), I’m dropping to 50-75% of the mast in the water and I don’t know what’s causing this?

Has anyone worked through this?

You kick out of a wave. You have speed, you have height. 25% of your mast in the water sounds ideal. You get tired, you make a mistake, you grave dig, you have lost speed. 50-75% of mast in the water. That’s twice the drag on each pump. Find energy to help you get speed. Then you’ll be back to 25% of mast. But now your heart rate is spiked. You need to find a way to conserve energy and lower heart rate. How fast can you lower your heart rate? Did you stop breathing through all of that grave digging?

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You bring up a good point Hdip. Gordon Harrison, who’s a pumping phenomenon, pointed out to me that I may be not breathing well once I get tired. …so I have been trying to focus on breathing better.

As far as getting my HR back down… Oskar_foil said on Casey catch-up that once he redlines, it take him 5-6 waves after that to get his heart rate back down, which is crazy!

Are you using the stock mast? When I was on a garbage takuma mast on that setup if hit a piece of chop or something and the mast would flex out of column causing me to have to pause, recover, and then pump back up to speed. 220 lbs South Carolina here. Stiff mast helped loads. After the stiffer mast I could pump circles on the outside waiting for a set.

Also, shim tail up for more speed /efficiency. A must for heavier guys for almost any foil.

How often are you breaching?

The feeing of pumping at/near the top of mast I find pretty distinct, notably less friction, and I think it’s like most “on the limit” type feelings, you need to push over the limit many times to know where it is, IMO the only way to really do this is by pumping so high that you breach.

Easier said than done to deliberately breach the whole session but if you can find an easy way to repeat this (wing /dock / ski) instead of waves then I think useful?

I’m actively trying to figure this out, breaches are a pain so not sure if I outright recommend this

This is great advice. Breaching sucks, it means tons of extra work. It is also one of the places in foiling where you can get hurt. But the alternative is riding safe to avoid breaching, you never get that intuitive feel where the line is, and the feel and sound of just-about breaching where you can save it. And as someone who rides safe and struggle with pumping … .

Of the cross-training alternatives, I think winging is the least work to do repeated fails on purpose. Just have to be extra careful to keep wing away from board. Boat / ski would be optimal, but requires a massively patient boat/ski driver, as that’s a painful way to spend the day, circling back over and over for water starts.

re “As far as getting my HR back down… Oskar_foil said on Casey catch-up that once he redlines, it take him 5-6 waves after that to get his heart rate back down, which is crazy!” That makes me feel a little better, as a 54 year old in medium-poor shape, my pump efforts have at times pushed me to the point where I have trouble recovering. Light headed, hyperventilating, session ending, medical testing, etc! Now a strict policy: have to wait and rest and catch breath before madly paddling out for more. Also need to get on the cardio training for sure. This pumping is the most intense physical exercise I’ve attempted since hockey days.

Do you move your back foot ? I like for pumping to narrow my stance and have my back back foot forward, it is easier to unweight, better glide, better momentum.

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Narrow your stance to have less than shoulder width appart, and stand straight to use you calfs instead of the quads. If you slowly go down on the mast then you need to move both feets back. If it really lacks pop on each pump you can shim the front bolt of the tail slightly more. Also, avoid any arm movement to save energy if possible. Finally, keep the pumping time as small as possible between each wave, as the cardio recovery time increases non linearly with the time you pumped, so use the waves to reload on speed and glide to the next one.
Train on the jumping rope, try different postures and see how it affects your cardio. If you can stay forever on the jumping rope, so can you on foil.


Thank you all for the input so far. I already have a narrow stance. I do move my feet too, so I feel balanced with good weight distribution.

Fitness at it’s core probably is not my issue. I do understand it can always be better, but like I said I’m over 200lbs and I can run a sub 6 min mile. I am also good at jumping rope.

Just trying to figure out this mast height thing. I’m going to work on getting my wing just barely below the surface next session. …also breathing better perhaps