Downwind SUP Foiling for beginners

SUP Downwind Foiling is THE big thing right now on Hawaii and we see how fast the boundaries of what is possible are being pushed. Unlike “normal” SUP this sport comes with a set of challenges. Just like regular foiling, SUP Downwind Foiling requires a set of skills that have to acquired prior to jumping on a SUP Foil Board.

In the upcoming video I show you guys what it means to be a beginner and we discover together if this sport can be mastered by a mediocre talented and middle aged person like myself.

In this video we look at the ARMSTRONG Downwind Board and take it out for a first try and figure out how to paddle around with it. We quickly learn the challenges and frustrations, but also get a small success with the help of tiny waves.


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The board used in this video is an Armstrong 121 Liter 7’7″ Downwind Foil Board at a width of 21″. I personally weigh +/- 75kg. The board has plenty volume to float me and the width of 21″ is just about right. I do have many miles of downwind experience on a 14′ board at 27″ width.

My main concern was to be able to stand on a board this narrow but was actually positively surprised the foil underneath the board also acts as a stabilizer.

For those who are interested in this board, the sizes are the following:

  • 85L: 6’3 x 18 ¾” x 5 ⅜” , rider weight 65-75kg (145-165lbs)
  • 96L: 6’8 x 19 ½” x 5 ⅝” , rider weight 75-85kg (165-190lbs)
  • 107L: 7’2 x 20 ¼” x 5 ¾” , rider weight 85-95kg (190-210lbs)
  • 121L: 7’7 x 21” x 5 ⅞” , rider weight  95-105kg (210-230lbs)
  • 135L: 8’3 x 21 ½” x 6” , rider weight 105-115kg (230-255lbs)

As a note to these sizes and the rule of thumb for volume: Weight in KG plus 20 liters for good flotation. I specifically went for a larger board due to beginner status and unlike in winging I do not aspire to work my way down to a smaller size.