Just when you thought that Turtle Bay Ambassador and Maui native Kai Lenny has racked up every achievement possible as a fully fledged waterman, he goes and does something like this. Earlier this week, Kai dropped a video of him flying over the water on a tweaked SUP shape that left many of us scratching our heads. It’s technically called Downwind Hydrofoiling and it’s nothing short of a miracle. As Kai says in the clip above, “this is a game-changer.”
So what the heck is hydrofoiling, you ask? Well, as it turns out, by using a specific type of fin here, Kai is able to lift himself above the sea, utilizing many of the same concepts involved in flight. As the clip shows, Kai's quite literally flying above the surface of the ocean, covering countless meters in a single bound. More than a decade back, another Maui native and hugely talented watermen, Laird Hamilton, broke ground when he bagan incorporating hyrdofoiling into open-ocean surfing.
Have we turned a corner in the SUP world? I'd have to venture to guess yes, at least as far as long-distance, downwind runs are concerned. This is the closest thing we're going to come to a hoverboard watercraft.