Pump Stamina Workouts

Hi all!

I’m an Armstrong rider - who has FINALLY unlocked consistent linking of waves with new HAs (they are unreal!).

I can now easily link 2-4 waves now, with long pumps out the back.

Now, my stamina is the thing holding me back from reaching that next level of paddling out, catching a wave, and linking for a full session, like the boys in Hawaii do.

My question is : What exercises or workouts are we doing to improve pump stamina?


obviously dock starting will help.
you prob dont want to hear this, but if you have the budget and are able to try different foils, i would look into a “unibody” style foil, something like
f-one eagle, code R+S, Pure AFS, Unifoil, etc…

I recently went from axis art/artpro to Code R/S and I can suddenly link double the amount of waves just because the foil is way stiffer. I tried the HA Army and it didnt feel anywhere as stiff. For beginner/intermediates like myself I feel like its a huge difference. If you’re already a pro, you can still pump an hour on any foil, but if youre like me and just starting to link waves easily, trust me the difference in pump on these unibody foils is night and day compared to traditional foil systems. I wouldnt have beleived it until I tried it, so if you want to “cheat” and double your wave link overnight, then you now know what to do.

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The latest Armstrong performance masts are very stiff and the complete foil with a new HA is also very stiff…
Unibody is not the only way to make a stiff foil.

Get yourself a skipping rope!


Has anyone here gone from linking 10-15 waves to the hour mark? My local conditions are not really that great for this kind of thing, but I wonder what it would take from a technique perspective. Curious to hear from those that have done it what was the critical factor? I’m fit enough, but technique, conditions, patience, focus, interest…

(Gear aside, clearly it is possible on nearly any brand, obviously including Axis and Armstrong lol)

It would take very close waves. Clear water that allows you to pump easily. Minimal current. A very boring form of foiling where you only pump and then stand and go straight up in connection to lower your heart rate. Being bored also keeps your heart rate low.

Guys like James Casey have never chased this goal because who has that kind of time when there are more fun things to be doing. :grinning:

@foilwithme has done it in pretty bad pumping conditions here in Los Angeles. (Dirty water lots of current) He credits spin class to getting his cardio up.

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Yeah man, these new HA are soooo good. I’m having the same experience, and have found the Armie system to be the best I’ve tried, stiffer than any “unibody” type in my experience.

I have started doing hi rep/low weight squats to try to improve my lower body strength and cardio. I also think just about any cardio training will help, biking or running will definitely improve your capability there.

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Thanks, yeah those conditions I literally never see, about as novel to me as could be! @ foilwithme doing it in dirty LA definitely could my attention, and he did it on a relatively low aspect foil IIRC? Pp200, which I’ve ridden and felt super easy but still lost interest and start doing turns after 10 or 15 waves :joy:

Thanks for all the feedback! Squats and jump rope are great ideas.

I’m sure dock starting is great training - but personally just a bit hesitant (not sure why).

I’m gonna try to get back on a balance board and to high rep / low weight squats…can’t hurt. I guess I should just push to go longer than my longest links (which is about 3 minutes now).

Set some goals and someone else sort of suggested - 5 mins / 10 mins etc.

I just have learned a bit of a technique on these wings that saves a little Energy when I get it right: 3 stage pump cadence, with a big pump to get high on mast, a glide for one pump cadence, a small pump to come mid-mast, big pump to get high, glide, repeat. I think if I can master this I’ll be able to save some energy.

Cheers team!


I posed the 1 hr question to the LA Foil Club and the answer seemed to be keeping the heartrate low by maximizing the glide: stay as high on the mast as possible and only pump to keep the speed up.

I’ve done a little research on how to build stamina for pumping and a good exercise is a “wall sit,” it puts consistent resistance on the pumping muscle group.


longer pumping is strongly influenced by gear, conditions, and technique (not in that order).

Muscle and cardiovascular stamina helps cover for poor technique/gear/conditions but it’s much harder.

I have pretty bad technique (usually way too low in the water) but I can connect well because I have good gear and good stamina.

The 1 hour plus guys have the complete combination of good gear, good conditions, good technique, and great stamina.


Dock starting has let me improve technique and endurance. I do not have ideal conditions for pretty much any discipline so linking a set or two is about the most I can get and can focus all my energy on that.

Maintaining a low heart rate is key and as mentioned having time to recover when your getting near max hr during pump intervals. In a pump session I can be near 180 hr down to 100 on the same ride.

Aside from dock, I use the stationary bike for interval training, jump rope, and long hold iso squats. My goal with bike and jump rope is to hit the same range followed by recovery.

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I did an hour on the 1440 a while back. I agree with this, keeping the heart rate low is the key, that comes from different things.
Try to glide and connect to the closest wave possible. The longer you pump the longer you need to recover… keep it short. It means good read on the waves, backwash, side wash.
Once on a wave, stay high on the wave and on the mast, cruise along the wave to stay on top where the free energy is.
Pump as straight as possible to not engage the leg muscles too much, like jump rope. Narrow stance…
Train on the jump rope until you can jump rope forever.
Wear less neoprene to not overheat.

Beyond pumping forever, it becomes a great funcional skill to hunt the right section or wave you want when proning.


Thanks for that @foilstate ! Your last one is really the key for me - being up and riding already and seeing the set out the back - that’s the goal. I’m not necessarily looking at long distance pumping as the goal, but a means to an end to be up and riding when the set comes, and have enough energy to get (way) out the back.

When I got into foiling (maybe 3 years ago), I was as much more concerned with surfing than pumping; would just surf waves and paddle out the back. Just recently I’ve been able to consistently link on every wave - and wow! - what a world it has opened up. New froth level unlocked

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