Success when pumping on a foil is based on two factors: equipment and technique. Let’s assume we’re speaking of surf foil pumping, which can mostly be applied to all other foil disciplines.
The first feels of pumping will come from dropping into a wave, riding, and pumping along with the wave’s energy. This gives you the understanding of lift and glide input from your body to your foil. The mechanics of pumping a foil are bending your knees, lowering your hips, driving off your board, extending your legs mostly on your back foot to increase the angle of attack of your foil, and producing lift. Your foil will rise, and once you have reached peak angle you ride this momentum back down towards the surface of the water and drive the foil back up to peak trajectory. Think of a dolphin swim motion.
Pumping out to a second wave is commonly the first milestone of pumping your foil. To do this, you catch a wave, build up a bit of speed, and exit the wave nice and early using this momentum to take a wide angle back out to the next wave. Pumping forcefully at the exit of your first wave is key, you need to maintain speed and momentum.
A larger foil will be easier to pump at the beginner phase. Your tail wing selection will be an important factor as well. Larger tail stabilizers will be easier to pump, just like your front wing. Larger foils are typically slower, so a slower pump cadence will match. Smaller foils require a faster cadence.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Arms should swing back to front… no circles… don’t pass your chest with your arm swing.
Drive off the ball of your back foot for maximum power.
Keep your foil close to the surface of the water for maximum efficiency.
Take a wide angle when pumping out to another wave. Sharper angles are much more difficult to maintain your speed.
Bend at your knees, not your waist.