Urban Foiling Trend 2022

We talked about this in our spring 2021 issue (#19)

Urban Foiling – by Mike Jucker and Frank Sorge

No paddle – No wave – No boat – No sail –  That’s pure foiling!

A lot has happened since our foiling special two years ago in issue #16. I also still remember how we stood at boot show in January 2019 and showed the public for the first time how foiling works. A year later, the Wing came to the boot show and the number of foils and their suppliers multiplied by a lot. Thanks to the Wing, the interest in the “underwater flying machine” became even greater. If you want to understand the Foil to its depths, you now almost have to enter the spheres of aeronautics.

This story is about foiling, for which you don’t need a wing, a paddle or a wave. It’s about pump-foiling, where you fly over water propelled by your own power. It is the art of foiling, which is currently mastered only by a small but rapidly growing group of people. (*as of 2021) Despite the level of difficulty, flatwater pump-foiling paradoxically has a lot in common with SUP. Even though it’s harder to get started than SUP, if you can master the technique, this sport is doable anywhere regardless of conditions or body of waters. I mean this seriously! As long as the water is deep enough, you can foil pump wherever you feel like it. Just like you can SUP anywhere you want to paddle.

A few years ago, when the first “freaks” showed how to do a “dock start”, I thought this can’t be true. But the development went so fast, that I now believe that this is just the beginning. We are shedding light on a topic here that still has many shaking their heads. But in the years to come, we will remember the moment when we first really took a close look at the subject.

The specialist

I sat down with Frank Sorge from 2wave.de to get to the bottom of all of it:


Frank Sorge founded his surf school 2Wave eleven years ago. He has a boat specially designed for a surfable wake, with which he teaches his students to surf. For Frank, however, it was not about fat airs behind the boat, but about surfing as long as possible with colleagues. Behind his boat, up to three people can ride a wave. His concept was very well received and one day Frank discovered a video on the internet of someone who could maintain speed on his foil without external power. Frank was immediately hooked .

He had to try it right away and was enlightened, he couldn’t think of anything else.

If you observe surfers, you will see that the longer they stand on the board, the greater the pleasure.

Frank Sorge

Here we talk about what I already said in the introduction and what I meant by saying that pumpfoiling shows a commonality with SUP: You are absolutely free from any conditions.

Frank: “You can not only ride a wave, but criss-cross the entire lake surfing completely independently, driven by their own “horsepower” – over and over again, with or without a wave is the greatest. Just jump on and go! With every pump it feels for a moment as if you are surfing a wave. To be able to surf almost independently on almost any body of water, even in the middle of the city, in any weather, is just a great feeling and a real revolution in water sports. And it’s just a good training for other sports,”

I’ll let our imagination run a little further: There are people who manage to pump 600 m in under three minutes. I personally know people who can stay in flight mode for as long as they like with the help of small waves. It is unbelievably fascinating what is possible with the foil and it is exactly this detachment from external energy that makes pump-foiling so exciting. Once you jumped on it and off you go, as far and as long as you can. If you find a small boat wake on the lake, you can use it to take a short rest and surf it. Then you pump to the next boat and the journey continues. There are no limits to the imagination here.


Foil as ice breaker. Foilexpert and Youtuber Devon Manz (Wake Thief) on his lake upstate New York. He is a real foil professor.

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