Foiling Makes Debut in Downwind SUP Racing
Seems like everybody’s putting a foil on just about every kind of watercraft these days, from kite boards to windsurfers to downwind race boards. Last Saturday, history was made on Maui when a foil sup competed in what folks believe was the first time in a race down the Maliko Run, in the Paddle Imua. And no, it wasn’t paddled by Kai Lenny or Connor Baxter. It was ridden by 13-year-old Finn Spencer, who is clearly making his mark on this up and coming variation of the sport. Last year, he joined Baxter and others in an epic sup foiling session in the Columbia River Gorge, as you can see in this video by
At the Paddle Imua, Spencer was the first to make it to the Kahului Harbor, ahead of Kody Kerbox and Jeremy Riggs, who were both riding non-foil downwind boards. Once inside the protection of the harbor jetties, the wind worked against Spencer and he was overtaken by traditional sups. Regardless, it was an epic moment.
“It was pretty cool to be the only person competing in hydro-foil because I could just go out and have fun,” Spencer said in a post on the Bluesmiths Maui blog. “I was the first person to the jetty, but some other guys passed me on the way. This wasn’t my first Maliko down-winder, but this was my first Paddle Imua. The conditions were perfect. It was super fun.”
“A year ago when Kai [Lenny] kicked off the next generation of foiling, we decided immediately to open up Bluesmiths Paddle Imua to foilers, ” Bluesmiths founder John Smalley said in the sponsor’s blog post. “Ocean sports progression and development is a big part of why we are based in Maui. Fast forwarding a year and to see Finn Spencer and the sport of SUP foiling progressing this far is incredible. The 13 year old showed that there is a big future for both hydro foiling and himself. ”
Way to go Finn!
Photos by Bluesmiths and 808PhotoMe