How long to spend learning to "taxi" while DWing?

Just picked up my first DW board, never SUPed before so my first session in the lake was pretty funny.
Three sessions in I can taxi around 50m without falling in, with a bit of wind and chop. I can ALMOST paddle in a straight line now with my best attempt at a Jstroke… suffice to say I have a lot more to learn.

What’s the consensus for the right time to start heading out in search of getting into some bumps and trying to get up on foil? Do I just go out and start trying? Or should I be feeling rock-solid in shitty conditions before even attempting?

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Take it out in the waves and catch some glides first. Once your fairly comfortable with that, start paddling out a km and then ride to shore. This will also help your paddle fitness ( witch your going to need). Once your getting good rides and connecting with that then go to your first send. Really try and find a run that is only a few km max. Better to be able to do the run a couple times than be completely exhausted and gassed out having to paddle half of a longer one.


Here is another thread with something about bumps, which I think is the under appreciated aspect for people new to downwind

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Be aware that when paddling into the wind before turning around, my gps had me going twice as fast prone paddling vs kneeling. Foil drive would be even faster!

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I paddled flatwater for 5 days before getting into bumps. I didn’t practice too much on trying to paddle perfectly straight. I practiced getting to my feet fast and I practiced 20 stroke sprints. Then I’d sit down and do it again.

I paddled up onto foil my first day in the bumps and would tell you that while all the training, practice, technique can help a bit in flat water, the hands down most important thing is learning how to read and feel the bumps so you know when to paddle. Being able to get to your feet quickly, and then stand there barely paddling while you wait, is more important than a perfect J stroke or paddling in a straight line. Once you get in the bumps and actually feel which ones you are supposed to paddle for, it’s really not that hard to get up.

So, get yourself out there and get a feel for it as long as you aren’t going to get yourself into safety trouble while doing so.


This is pretty much the essence of it

Today was the first day I actually went out in swell and I can see why you practiced the getting to your feet quickly and being stable enough to put down some power…

It was atrocious. I could barely stay on my feet for more than a few strokes before some weird cross swell or reverb hit me and I’d be falling over.

Really need some more time in open ocean swell. It’s nothing like windy chop or wind swell in a bay or lake… Yikes


It’s a shocker isn’t it?

For what it’s worth, I even practiced prone paddling and popping straight to my feet instead of going to my knees and then up to my feet with the paddle. Not sure how much that helped, but it did break up the monotony of getting to my feet with the paddle and made me more comfortable with the board.

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Why I always suggest paddling out a km or more then riding in. Once your comfortable and can ride in, then start your attempts at a run. Baby steps.
If you can’t get to your feet and put down pwr you will just get frustrated and exhausted leading to more falling and even more frustration :laughing:.
Once you can paddle out a ways, paddle up, make your first bump connections riding in to shore, then make the leap to open water attempts.
The only real way to learn DW is to get out and do it, but there are ways to do it to make it easier on yourself in my opinion.


SUP foiling in mostly unbroken tiny waves is a good way to accelerate the curve.

Sup foiling in river mouth where you have tide against wind is a very useful environment to lock down your paddle up in tiny bumps.

Regular trips back to the flat water paddle up if you have some large foils as i still think this is the best way to build confidence and technique.