Its foiling Jim but not as we know it! UK specific tips, tricks and foil set up

Ever since watching Kai Lenny and Connor Baxtor chop up their race boards and stick foils to them I’ve been on a quest to achieve the same amazing flight. Six years later, many many failed attempts, countless kilometres of paddling and not foiling, broken paddles and expectations far exceeding my capabilities downwind foiling is without doubt my greatest sporting achievement and continues to be the most amazing water activity I have ever done.

My goal is to help take some of the pain out learning this seemingly Dark Art and to speed up your learning process so that when you embark on your first or tenth downwind you will be more confident, better able to choose the best set up, able to decipher when and where to go and achieve increasingly longer periods on foil.

Advice Specific to UK Foilers (and possibly others!)

A huge amount of content now exists for all walks of foiling life – it’s amazingly hard to keep on top of the number of Podcasts, Youtube uploads, Foil forums and Coaching platforms. Josh Ku, Oscar Johansson, Jeremy Wilmotte, Dave West, Voyager Crew and many, many, more with James Casey being the pinnacle have lead the way in helping us mere mortals work out what to do.

I discovered that with such a wealth of froth material, few, if any, related to or mirrored my experiences here in the West of Cornwall. Being fairly belligerent, with a healthy sportsman ego, combined with a flawed personality trait of always feeling that I am rubbish I struggled to match performances from around the world with my own.

A few dark nights, loads of research into aeronautical engineering, oceanography, bathymetry along with continued foiling escapades I realised that not everything from all of these sources was gold. It is this which has lead me to creating a series of workshop shaped by my six years of downwind foiling experiences tailoring content specific to our part of the world. This is not to say specific foil types or skills and techniques will not work over here but that other set ups which better match our conditions will be easier to use.

It is these gems which we will cover in our Downwind SUP foiling workshops.

Workshop Type

The sport of DW SUP foiling has expanded exponentially globally and is radically increasing in popularity across Europe and the UK. With groups of people at varying stages of their learning progression it makes sense that workshops that reflect where everyone is on their DW foiling journey.

Broadly speaking we have two types, DW 101 and Dark Art, ensuring that we tailor content that will apply more directly to your stage of learning and experience; giving you more bang for your buck.

Each provides a stepping stone to the next foundation level culminating with a Voyager Downwind a minimum of 10km open water with water escort. This exclusive downwind is available only to foilers must have completed the Dark Art workshops – venue and dates will be determined closer to the time, and is an incredible way to extend your downwind voyage safely while sharing the stoke with other foiler frothers!

Downwind 101

This one day workshop will have two practical water sessions with a dry land group discussion. This is for someone relatively new to the sport; can paddle up but, inconsistently, occasional glides when attempting a short downwind (DW) but mostly drifts.

These workshops will help to:

  • board selection
  • paddle type and size
  • avoiding mission creep in foil selection and set up
  • paddling straight
  • understanding the difference between your take off stance, pumping stance and gliding stance
  • lining up your take off
  • pumping technique
  • how to avoid snapping your paddle
  • selecting the best conditions for learning
  • on water safety

Dark Art Workshop

Who’s it for?

This workshop is to advance developing skills of someone who can already foil, has had limited success in DW, paddle ups are reasonably successful making two out of five attempts, can complete a short DW run (5km or less) with longer glides but still spending significant time off foil. Able to stay on a bump for a time but, struggles in recognising conditions and what to aim for, changes in these conditions and how to consistently link glides particularly in more confused sea states.

Workshop Format


Session 1:

  • foil set ups to match conditions
  • foil progression; money saving tips
  • flat water paddle up technique
    • drills
    • paddling straight
    • working the foil up
    • using different pumping gears
    • paddle pumping
    • video feedback

Session 2:

Dark Art of Downwind Foiling

  • what to look for
  • when to go
  • bathymetry
  • choosing the right sea state
  • chasing bumps
  • foil progression and fine tuning

Session 3:

  • paddle back with jetski assist
  • or, short downwind 5 to 7km if conditions allow
  • on water feedback and increased safety


Jet ski Assist Downwind up to 12km.

This is a bonus session and is dependent upon suitable conditions. Foilers who want to participate in this session must have completed either the flat water paddle up session or the paddle back session from the previous day.

How to Book

Contact me directly to reserve your place, we have eight spots available for each day, so get in there early. Feel free to call me on 07533 695 031 or email

Workshop Dates & Venue



  • 19th Downwind 101 OTC, Weymouth
  • 20th & 21st Dark Art, OTC, Weymouth


  • 9th Downwind 101 OTC, Weymouth
  • 10th & 11th Dark Art, OTC, Weymouth


  • 8th Downwind 101 OTC, Weymouth
  • 9th & 10th Dark Art, OTC, Weymouth


  • 12th Downwind 101 OTC, Weymouth
  • 13th & 14th Dark Art, OTC, Weymouth


  • Voyager Downwind, minimum 10km Early May


DW 101 (One Day)

  • £150

Dark Art Full Course (One & Half Day)

  • £200 (three sessions Saturday, DW Sunday)

Dark Art Modular

  • £100 Two water sessions (to access Sunday DW flat water paddle up or paddle backs is mandatory)

# NB: Sunday DW has a capacity of 10 people and will require car pooling logistics amongst the group

Glenn Eldridge

My family and the ocean are my passion. I firmly believe that everyone is capable of getting out in the sea experiencing things they would never have thought able to when given the right tuition and support.

The foundation for what I do today all started with Jam sandwiches!

As a grommet I would take every opportunity to get in the sea, cycling six miles to Fistral beach armed with a boogie board, fluorescent zinc sunblock and enough jam sandwiches to keep me going for twelve hours!

Who could want for a better cornerstone to become a Waterman – I have spent a lifetime immersed in the ocean, competing, working as a professional beach lifeguard in the UK and Australia and surfing whichever craft I could get my hands on in a variety of conditions. As a result, I have developed a unique set of skills; together with my Sports Science Masters degree, I am able to pass on a wealth of practical information combined with the latest in sports science research.

It is sport that has provided the backbone of what I do today on a hydrofoil – I have been fortunate enough to have raced for Great Britain since 1993 in the British Surf Life Saving Team, British Ocean Ski, British and English SUP racing and formed part of the 2004 Olympic Racing squad in Sprint Kayak (our k4 did not go).