Learn to ride the SL3
BEGINNER TO PRO IN NO TIME
Learn to ride the Hydrofoiler SL3 in a few easy steps
Discover essential tips and techniques, maintaining balance throughout your ride, executing smooth carving turns, engaging in races, enjoying leisurely cruising, and safely returning to land.
Start with the basics
Begin in light winds and flat water conditions, which will make it easier to balance and control the bike.
Like learning to ride a bike we recommend learning with a friend and only riding in areas you would be comfortable to swim in. If you wouldn’t swim there, don’t bike there.
Follow all of the laws within your local area and become familiar with what is required.
- Losing Control
If the rider loses control of the bike, they should push off the pedals and fall away from the bike.
- Safe Riding Practices
Riders should maintain safe speeds for the conditions and keep a safe distance from other people, objects and other watercraft. The rider should take early action to avoid collisions and remember that the Hydrofoiler does not have brakes like a
conventional bicycle and foils that protrude 1m each side.
- Losing Control
Entering the water
When moving to deeper water it is easier to pull from the tiller as opposed to pushing from the back. The rear foil should already begin to generate some lift to stop the rear foil from dragging on the bottom.
Once the Hydrofoiler SL3 is in the water, ensure that the water depth is at least 2 meters. Point the SL3 in a safe direction, with at least 100 meters of clear water.
Approach from the side and place your hands on the chassis. Push under the water until your arms are fully outstretched, while keeping upright. Change your grip to the handlebars and seat and continue to push the bike down as deep as you can.
The deeper you can push the Hydrofoiler SL3 below you the better.
Finding your stability
Once you are standing on the pedals, with your hands on the handlebars, it is important to find your stability. Move your body forwards, backwards, and side to side. This will help you understand the stability of your Hydrofoiler SL3 underwater.
Spend some time stationary finding your balance underwater
before moving to the next step.
Once you have mounted and understand the balance in the water, stand in an upright position and rotate the pedals one full rotation (360 degrees). This will activate the motor and allow you to use the throttle.
Point the nose downwards
Point the nose slightly downwards before applying the throttle. This will allow you to ride submerged for longer, and therefore increase more speed before attempting to launch.
For best success during launching, stand in an upright position (not sitting on the saddle), with both of your legs and arms straight and the pedals at even heights. Look forward, and with a straight body, push your hips towards the handlebars to move your weight forwards. You should be in position so you can look down on the top of the front foil.
Once the SL3 is pointing slightly downwards, gently apply some throttle. The throttle is very sensitive, and similar to an electric scooter, the further it is pushed in, the more power will be applied. Start by only applying a very small amount of throttle.
First time riders are encouraged to get comfortable riding on the bike completely submerged before trying to launch. The faster you can go underwater the better your chance for successful takeoffs
Once you are comfortable riding underwater at almost full power, you can try to launch. Stay in your launch position, apply full power, and then slowly begin leaning back. Lean back until you can feel the SL3 begin to lift you out of the water. Like an aircraft on a runway, this wants to be smooth and gradual.
Hold full power and your body position until you are completely above the water, and you begin foiling.
Pedaling, turning and stopping
You are now foiling. To transition to your riding position, sit down on the saddle, start pedalling, and let go of the throttle.
Turning the SL3 is unlikely turning on a normal bicycle and will take some practice to do controlled and consistently.
The SL3 turns using a combination of the roll angle and the direction of the tiller. To carve tight turns your need to shift your weight as well as the direction of the tiller. Here are some tips for learning to take corners:
Slow down for corners
Reduce throttle, the better you get the faster you can turn. Leaning into the corner before you start turning
For optimal turning, it is good to let the foil start to roll over before turning the handlebars. This will help with more stable riding. Start leaning in the direction you would like to turn, and then turn the handlebars once the SL3 has started to roll in the desired direction.
Leaning out of the corner
Once the Hydrofoiler SL3 has started to roll in the direction you would like to go, you will need to lean out of the corner to prevent from rolling completely over and falling off. Do this by leaning your body into the other direction to stabilise.
Returning to land
When returning to land, it is important to stop foiling before water depth reaches less than 2 meters. This will eliminate the risk of coming into contact with the bottom or submerged objects with the foils or the tiller.
Heavy vs light rider
Launching on the SL3 is a breeze, demanding only a touch of balance and a gentle press on the throttle. Yet, new riders should bear in mind that their weight affects the runway length needed for takeoff.
Similar to an aircraft, heavier riders might need a longer runway compared their lighter ones. Dive into this brief side-by-side comparison for more insights.