How to Switch your Feet on Foil Tutorial

Learn how to switch your feet while staying on foil, or improve your current foot change technique with techniques to make it smoother and more consistent. Wingfoiling toeside for prolonged periods is tough on the body and limits your ability to go upwind, so the foot change is a critical step to being more comfortable on foil and maximizing wave timel.


I don’t switch feet at all and I’m fine with it! There are backside techniques that give me just as much point and comfort as the folks switching and it’s a stylish and effortless part of my flow now.

I think if your prone foiler and a surfer first and are committed to the same program on wing(same breaks, same lines) it’s 100% not worth it.


I only work on switch when there are no waves. So I kind of agree. There are definitely times where it sure would be easier to get up switch though. Light wind mostly.

EDIT: to reply to below. When it’s light wind I’m going out to sea in my strong stance. My switch stance would be coming in with swell and would be able to use swell to get up. It would make a difference. Plus it’s just another tool in the bag. Like I said though, I don’t work on it often.

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Yeah but if it’s light wind and borderline like that you need 100%. are you EVER going to be 100% on that switch side? As a surf foiler 75% of my “get on foil” is my surf pump and I’m now on gear that I couldn’t learn “get on foil” switch. So to learn the foot switch id have to simultaneously learn to ride switch. Seems like a lot of wasted windy days to me!

Dropping my front hand and flying off the leash has changed my backside riding, to the point where I may have better point than my front. The extra distance relaxes my back arm, untwists my body, wing is in better and cleaner air, more detached from my body so I can foil pump more effectively. Swinging into the gybe off the leash is fluid and dropping the back handle to go into the tack is crisp and precise. Most importantly both feel cool and fun!

You guys are kidding yourselves about pointing and efficiency. You are only using half your brain. Hahaha

Winging both ways is an opportunity to unwind the back from all the asymmetric activity of prone foiling.


I love switching feet winging and kiting. I think it becomes smooth pretty quickly, is a good skill to have, it makes your riding look smooth and stylish, and most importantly - it’s fun.

And I definitely don’t agree that you can point just as high riding toeside. Unless your stance is so offset that you may as well just be riding switch anyway…


Before I started winging, I had friends with varying opinions- they didn’t switch at all, didn’t think it mattered and some that did and thought it was Important. Not surprisingly, those with mostly a surfing background previously didn’t. One friend whose opinion I respect advised me to just switch from day one. Made sense to me, so I did that- took the bad medicine in one dose while I was already floundering around anyhow and I am glad of it. Annnnd now a few buddies who said not to bother have changed their tune and now wish they’d learned to begin with.


Heck yea, foot switch 100%. There’s no way sending it 1/2 the time twisted up like a pretzel is efficient or good for your body in the long run, especially really trying to crank upwind. In a wave riding scenario I’m typically only switching feet to go upwind and then switch back and surf it up. If it’s flat water, I try to ride an even 50/50. I find it much easier to pump onto foil switch than toeside.


Switching feet is a basic skill of winging if you want to go upwind efficiently. I like riding toe side downwind in waves, but if you actually want to go upwind you have to switch feet. It’s really not that hard to learn.

The local physical therapists get plenty of clients who are wingers who never switch feet. Twisting your body one direction and never the other is definitely not a win as far as wear and tear on your joints goes.

Gave this a try. I like it and may start using it more to extend toeside upwind reaches.

Coming from snow/skate, riding switch is familiar and I just did it from day one winging. While twisting my body to ride toeside was new and difficult.

Is riding switch required? There are people worlds better than me that seem to just ride in their natural stance.

I definitely don’t switch as often as I should, but its a bad habit and definitely impacts upwind. Its also a necessary skill when wind direction doesn’t align with your natural stance, unless you are pumping up toeside. The tip on keeping hips back is a good one.

Planning to be strict about foot switches this summer and also want to gybe my unnatural stance.

due to local conditions, almost all of my starts are heading out to sea and therefore on my weak side… after 3 years of this, I’m significantly better at taking off switch stance vs my natural stance. Everything just feels a bit more awkward on my good side until I’m on foil. Just goes to show that if you practice anything long enough and it will start to feel natural

I could watch Keahi switching feet all day. Almost. I vote for it being important. Being able to point COMFORTABLY makes it so fun and gets you ready to surf quicker. I have found adding foot straps helps learning the switch a lot.

Pretty much required if you want to do long upwind and/or full speed powered up riding. If just fooling around in a zone, not required. I do both, big upwind legs hooked in and powered up switch stance and also toeside for short tacks onto a wave or bump

For me this was the case in the very beginning. Not sure why. I’m equally comfortable taking off both sides now, but initially for some reason my switch side was easier.

I watched this video many times when it came out a couple years ago: Now there are other good vids out there but Johnny is just so smooth.

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I didn’t have much choice, as all my launch spots and the prevailing winds force me to start out riding switch…seems easier than toeside starts, but I guess what you practice enough will be what is easiest

useful video, the lean back while switching feet is a super simple bit of advice

Foiling switch with straps is super easy, like snowboarding, windsurfing, kiting etc. Non issue

Without is much harder. I don’t own any boards with straps, so at this point I just ride toeside. I have my feet almost squared up when toeside, and almost have negligible amount of twist, but if I have a few weeks of flat water I’d take the time to learn. Maybe this summer.

Well worth the effort to learn. Allows you to rest a lot of muscles you don’t realize you’re using, especially when your back leg gets tired from riding waves. When I go switch, I have a super offset stance almost squared up like you’re talking about, so sounds like you’re basically there already. Going a little more switch lets you rest a little more and makes hooking into the harness easier.

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Can’t wait to try this. I’ve honestly been jonesing for a boom wing just to try riding backside with one hand on the wing. Haven’t been able to justify buying a new wing just yet, I’ve been spending way too much buying new foils and my wings still seem to work fine.