The latest craze in watersports is the foil. A board with long aerodynamically shaped fin underneath, allowing the board to rise out of the water, and you begin to surf above the waves. Foil is another thrilling experience to add to the choice of nautical activities in The Islands of Tahiti.

There are six different versions of foil board: surf, wing, paddle, kite, paddleboard and wake. The design evolved from the technology used for yacht racing, and enthusiasts say that the sensations are the same as the original sports but gentler, and there’s less pressure on the legs. The speed is the same, but the fact that your board is out of the water means there’s less resistance and so it’s less tiring. Although it’s a little difficult at first, most people get the hang of it quite quickly. There are several nautical centers in The Islands of Tahiti where you can hire boards and have lessons in the different disciplines. The waters in and around the lagoons in The Islands of Tahiti are perfect for every kind of nautical activity, so your vacation is the ideal time to give foil surfing a try.


You’ve put on your protective helmet and life jacket and you’re ready to take your first lesson in wakefoil, the extremely popular new nautical activity in Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea. A large fin (or mast as the professionals call them) is fitted to the bottom of a surfboard and a boat tows you across the water like a waterskier. As the boat picks up speed, the shape of the fin causes the board to rise out of the water. You look and feel like you’re flying at speed above the waves. Your monitor will explain the theory behind the practice in greater detail.

You don’t need to be an experienced surfer or kitesurfer to ride a foil. But you do need to be in good health and you might need a little patience at first! The best type of foil for beginners is wakefoil, because you can hold onto the lateral bar of the boat as you get used to the sensation of riding above the waves. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can be towed behind the boat and have some real fun. After that, you can move on to some of the other disciplines like kitefoil or paddlefoil.

Where to try foil and
other nautical sports

The best places to try these new sports in The Islands of Tahiti are in the Society Islands, notably Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. There are several watersports schools with classes for beginners, as well as those wishing to improve their technique. Your accommodation will be able to put you in touch with the nearest school.

If riding above the waves on a foil seems a little ambitious for you, don’t worry, there are lots of other ways to have fun on the lagoon in The Islands of Tahiti. Paddleboarding is easy once you get the hang of it, provided you have a sense of balance. Windsurfing adds the thrill of speed and an outrigger sailing canoe gives the fun a cultural dimension. If you’re a surfing enthusiast, but you’re not quite ready to take on the world’s heaviest wave at Teahupoo, then head for Moorea, Raiatea, Huahine or the Tuamotu Islands.

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