How Do Hydrofoil Surfboards Work?

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Surfing is hot again. How hot? It’s as hot as it was in the 1960s. In fact, it may be hotter than back then. The reason: hydrofoil surfboards. They’re transforming this water sport and driving renewed interest in it. Hydrofoil surfboards create a unique riding sensation for surfers, who say they feel like they’re floating on top of the water when riding these foilboards.

Hydrofoil surfboards have expanded the sport beyond the big waves of coastlines and beaches to inland lakes and rivers. This expansion is fueling the sport’s growth and pumping up user demand for these boards dramatically. Researchers expect the global market demand to reach US $2.3 billion by 2030, with a CAGR of 3.4 % over the forecast period.

But meeting the increased demand is proving challenging for hydrofoil surfboard manufacturers. They face numerous production challenges that can bottleneck output. One critical challenge is curing the board’s resin shells. Another is the board’s size. Foilboards are big and bulky, which makes oven volume and fast loading/unloading hard.

A critical step for manufacturers, then, is finding a reliable, high-performing oven with a Class A rating that can help them beat foilboard production challenges. Savvy manufacturers, however, are taming these production challenges with help from innovative turnkey solutions like Despatch’s Industrial Walk-In Ovens.

What is a Hydrofoil?

Hydrofoils are wing-like lifting surfaces that help a boat function efficiently. They’re mounted on struts below a boat’s hull or across a catamaran’s keel. Safe and efficient, hydrofoils help a boat cut through the water swiftly and smoothly. They provide a great ride with even a moderate increase in speed.  

Hydrofoils deflect the flow of water downwards, which exerts an upward force on the craft. The upward force decreases board lag. As the boat speeds up, the hydrofoil eventually lifts the boat’s hull out of the water. It eventually balances with the craft’s weight, however, reaching a point where the hydrofoil no longer lifts the boat completely out of the water.  

How Do Hydrofoil Surfboards Work?

Today’s new surfboards leverage hydrofoil technology for better rides. They have a traditional surfboard design but include a metal hydrofoil secured to the board’s bottom. The hydrofoil generally shoots out a couple feet from the board and has a small model-airplane-like structure at its tip. The hydrofoil’s simple but innovative design pays off for surfers in a better ride and more speed.

Hydrofoils eliminate the water’s full impact on a surfboard as it cuts through water—choppy or otherwise. That produces a unique feeling, one you can’t get with traditional surfboards. With foil boards, users feel as if they’re floating on top of the water. Surfers get not only a superior ride with a foilboard but also a safer one.

Another foilboard advantage is that surfers don’t need to be moving to stand up on the board. Nor do they need a big push to start off. That’s a huge plus for users. It means they don’t have to wait for the crest of a wave to get going. It also means surfers can use foil boards on inland lakes and rivers where there are no big waves.

Taking the Wind Out of Kiteboarding

Hydrofoil surfboards are also great for kiteboarding. When strong wind hits the water, things can get dicey even for experienced kiteboarders. Foilboards, however, help smooth out these choppy waves. Kiteboarders get a more enjoyable ride than with traditional kiteboards even on windy days. That means kiteboarders can go out almost anywhere they want and still enjoy a great ride.

Surfing is hot again thanks to hydrofoil surfboards and their ability to provide a unique ride. These boards are popping up on beaches, coastlines rivers, and lakes all over the place. Surfers get a smooth ride regardless of the wind and the waves’ size. Some hydrofoil surfboard manufacturers are taking foil board design a step further. They’re adding motors or driving them with help from electric rechargeable batteries.

Design innovations like these are pumping up foilboard demand. That’s pressuring board manufacturers to ramp up output despite the board’s production challenges. Hydrofoil surfboard manufacturers, however, are meeting their challenges with help from innovative solutions like Despatch’s TFD3 48-inch-high composite curing oven with an integrated vacuum bagging system. This oven provides an ROI much faster than other large composite curing ovens.

If you have questions about industrial ovens, you can check out our field guide to buying an industrial oven. Or, you can call our skilled customer service team to assist you.

Image by TitusStaunton from Pixabay