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What is iQFoil?
iQFoil windsurfing is new to the 2024 Olympics – taking over as the windsurfing board from the RSX.
It brings the thrill of foiling to the sport of windsurfing. Faster than sailing on the standard windsurf displacement board, and with the possibility of sailing in even lighter winds, it catches the eye of many young sailors...
But how does a young person get into it?
There are a couple of different routes:
1. Progression up the windsurfing racing teams.
RYA Team 15 -
The RYA Team 15 groups are run at a local level by local RYA windsurfing centres where you can start to windsurf and progress to basic racing on a weekly basis. Contact your local centre to find out if they have a team 15 group. These groups travel short distances to other team 15 groups to race too. A very good way for children to get in to racing and see if they enjoy it on a low key basis. You can get your own kit or most of the centres can provide it too. This is the best way to start your journey off especially if you have no skills in windsurfing and never tried it, as the coaches can help run through tips and tricks that you can't pick up by yourself.
Tahe Techno -
The progression from Team 15 is Tahe techno racing, this is a one design type of windsurf racing for children organised in the UK by the RYA and UK Windsurfing association (UKWA). You can improve your racing skills at the Regional training groups (RTG’s) run by the RYA, although you do need to be selected to join in on these. International Techno race weeks are run in Europe twice a year and these can be a big adventure and a great experience for the kids and parents.
Once you have experience of those skills needed to race then getting the iq foil kit is the perfect next step. Again Iq foil racing is run by the RYA and UKWA for youth and juniors, typically 12 year old and above. Again you can learn and improve skills by going to training weekends run by the UK iQ Association.
The Facebook group is a great one to join as it has lots of advice from parents and trainers on tips and events: Facebook UK iQFoil Association Group
When you are ready you will be encouraged to try racing by the IQ association coaches. Two international race weeks are run every year – normally in Europe – the European and the World championships . There are also iq games races in Europe which are lower key and perhaps an easier way to get into the international scene. Kids can meet, socialise and race against other competitors from all around the world!
This route requires more dedication and a longer process to get into iqfoiling, however we have found that many kids develop better understanding and racing skills from this type of development into foiling.
2. Straight from beginner to foiling -
The previous route I have talked about involves starting on a beginner board, then moving to one type of board and then onto a foiling board, although there is another way - the Starboard iQFoil 85 Surface To Air board.
If you don’t have any windsurfing experience, you can buy a board that takes you from beginner to foiling – the surface to air board. The set up of this board has an extra fin box so a centreboard so can be used to start of with and continue through to foiling. Great fun and you can start at any age though the average would be 10 years old. This skips out the step shown previously of going out on a Tahe techno board and takes you straight from learning to windsurf to up on the foil.
However it is essential if you want to participate in the iQFoil class that you can understand racing and the skills, so joining back into the iQ Association and training weekends is important so that you can head towards the racing events and not just sail alongside!
If you have any questions at all, Chris Shaw in the shop has had all 4 of his children move up through the first method of Team 15, Tahe Techno and now iQFoil class so he really is the man with all the knowledge and experience!
We sell iQfoil and Tahe Techno equipment in store and online, and Chris frequently is at the UK and International events, so please give us a call on 01202 700503 or email email@example.com if you want any information on getting into iQFoil or general advice.