MEET THE WEST COAST FOIL CLUB (WCFC)
CHRIS SAYER CAUGHT UP WITH JEFF HURLEY TO GET INSIGHT ON THE HISTORY OF FOILING AND THE ORIGINS OF WCFC
Q: Jeff, FFB is so stoked to be working with you guys to collaborate and bring back a few of your epic foil board designs. What many may not know is that you guys were some of the very first to build carbon fiber foil boards. Can you let us in on what might have been some of your early inspirations and thought processes behind your board shapes and builds?
A: Yeah, for sure. At the very beginning, we were just mounting foils on regular surfboards, then made a couple of thick stubby boards specifically for foiling but still pretty much surfboards. The original thinking was that more volume was needed just to paddle and get up which proved to be exactly the opposite. As we were progressing at foiling, we were quickly realizing that these boards were too big and holding back performance. Kai Lenny started foiling on a Naish Kite board that was like 3’8” x 17” x 1” or something like that. That was the first time we saw anyone riding a small foil board. Kai was in town with the board and Ryan stole it and kept it. It’s still in my garage today. Haha! While that board was an improvement over the surfboard type shapes, it was super heavy and not easy to paddle. We just thought that if we can take the best of that Naish kiteboard and combine it with more of a surfboard design and that is where our first WCFC boards came from. Just a hybrid between a surfboard and that kiteboard. Beveled rails, flat rocker, flat bottom and just enough volume to paddle, and stiff as possible.
Q: Were you and Ryan both shaping/designing boards or did one of you take the lead on that part of WCFC?
A: We were both designing and shaping. We would have a stack of cuts piled up in the shaping room and just whoever had time after work (we did have day jobs) would knock ‘em out.
Q: It seemed around late 2017–2018 foiling on Instagram was dominated by WCFC presence. You guys were so heavy in the IG scene. In my opinion your boards and your surf style were a huge influence on the direction of foiling especially in the surf. I know Ryan is super creative in marketing. Was he the one who came up with the whole “Foil Club” idea and even the name West Coast Foil Club? Some of your early memes on Instagram were so good!
Q: Most of the old school foilers, which in foiling is like 5 years ago haha, know who you guys are but the new generation of kids that are ripping have probably only heard of Brady Hurley. You both seemed to have passed the baton sort of speaking onto Brady. Why did you guys slow down and basically go into sleep mode on foiling and the WCFC IG account?
Q: I’ve heard that John John Florence is actually a dark horse in the foiling world and that he rips especially at downwinding! I know you both are working closely with him and his clothing line Florence Marine X. Does he talk much about foiling and do you ever get in the water foiling with him?
A: Yes! John, like most elite athletes, is good at anything he puts his mind to. John is a freak at anything ocean related, and foiling is no exception. Last we spoke foiling; he was pretty over “surf foiling” but super into foil travel/downwinding. He and his crew do some crazy long runs on Oahu.
Q: Last question… if you had to choose between a foilboard, surfboard, or a pickleball court on Tavarua which would it be haha?
A: Foil board. Easy for me. While I love and appreciate perfect waves, I have been lucky enough to have a lot of those in my life and foiling allows you to enjoy and explore the ocean in any conditions without the pressure of crowds, egos, and competition.