Tow Foiling Tips in the Ocean

Do any of you guys have any useful tips for tow foiling in the ocean?

Day one behind a jet ski in the ocean was much more tricky than I first imagined. It took about 15 or so attempts to get it down. I am a very competent on prone foil but behind a ski took some time to adapt correctly from both myself and the driver.

Direction of approach to the bumps and length of rope was what I found to be the most important. Shorter tow rope (maybe 35ft at most) and directing the ski 45% head on seemed to work real well.

We go out a ton in NJ, We prefer to pull the person up side shore, not against or with the waves because that will slack the rope up. The armstrong tow rope was a great purchase about 30ft id guess, has a bit of stretch to it so it has some give. I prefer a sinker start, some guys do the wake board style start.

We basically poach the waves from about as far as you would want to pump out to prone foiling and just go back and forth across that zone until we see a set we want and will usually whip the guy in with a 90 or 180 degree turn so they come in with good speed. It makes it easier on the guy towing if you keep him on his toe side of the wake and always turn to the side he isn’t on so he doesn’t have to cross the wake. Have fun, its a blast and great way to level up.


That’s great advice. I appreciate it!

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hey buddy. so a shorter rope is better cos it wont go slack as much but theres a point where a rope which is too short is a pain because your foil is sitting in the turbulence when you take off. just play around with it. a good rope is a must. being cheap and using shitty small rope will only end in it getting sucked up into your prop. get a nice fat buoyant tow rope. they last way longer too. agree with poitn above, if there is alot of swell its easier to take off paralell to the waves so the rope doesnt pull your mates arms out of the sockets when ski goes over a wave and you havent yet. sinker start is hard to master but its like a long term investment. put in the time and i promise you its 10000 times better than any other of the creative starts ive seen. as for approaching waves, it depends on the setup. we tow alot of bommys here so we can head straight out into the swell then do little 180 whips to drop the person off onto the wave. it really doesnt matter as long as u make sure the rider knows to stay on preferred side of teh wake and you only ever turn in a manner that keeps the rope as taut as you can. my favourite drop off is coming at the peak from front on and slightly to the side then doing a 180 whip turn (slowed down of course so rider doesnt get boosted) and then once they have let go of the rope i continue to 270 degrees and straight off the back of the wave so no wash in wave face. remember you have a sled and can use that to get people out of the impact zone but also remember you can only go about 6 knots and under with a foil in the water before it starts lifting up and making the ski fish tail. stick with it mate and only go out in easy conditions at the start. its really quick to pick up but also remember that stuff can go wrong REALLY quick so you gotta keep your wits about you.


Thanks for all of the advice wollongong_foil_club. When getting towed coming at the peak straight on with a little angle is the best when its smaller out. Its got the same feel as prone foiling pumping back out for the second wave and banking off the face into it. I need to invest in a better tow rope now!