View Full Version : Sky Ski/ Air Chair, what have i gotten myself into

08-10-2015, 12:25 PM
Well, we have been watching guys ride these things for several years and I've been kicking around the idea of getting one, but gosh they are super proud of them!!!!!!!!!!$$$$$$$$$$$$$ We finally found a good deal on one on Craigslist for $225, so I guess now it's time to learn how to ride this goofy thing and figure out where I'm going to keep it in the boat. Anyone ever ride one?

08-10-2015, 12:52 PM
Yes and I went straight up to the highest point and then straight down on my face 5 times in a row. Longest I rode it was about 50 yards.... Not for me. Good luck!

08-10-2015, 12:52 PM
I just recently got one. Not that difficult to get up on, but staying up and controlling/flying it is a different ballgame. Mine fits in my rear lockers disassembled and I made a rack for mine with some old clamps, plywood and eye bolts to bungee it in place. I was also told by many that the cheap older ones weren't the best way to start but I figured I could sell it for what I paid for it in a year if I decided I wanted to keep riding one. ( It's looking like ill be getting a better one next year they are a blast )

08-10-2015, 02:16 PM
Glad to see someone else giving it a try! Which ski do you have?

A quote from the guy teaching me "If it were as easy as wake boarding everyone would be doing it". That will tell you what you are in for but no one just gets up and goes.

I am still learning myself. I finally have control over the thing for the most part. I found someone on the foiling forum that took me under their wing and is teaching me.
First off it is frustrating, much more than a wakesurf, wake board or anything. If you know how to do any water sport, don't worry because absolutely NONE of it carries over other than holding the rope.

Besides the usual stuff here is what helped me the most:

When getting up stay seated upright with your body at 90 degrees to your legs, arms straight until your board is about 30 degrees from parallel to the water then to the the "Superman" position. That is bend at the waist with your arms straight in front of you. It naturally pulls the ski downward.

SMALL MOVEMENTS. It is impossible at first but SMALL MOVEMENTS!! When you bring your arms down quickly you get what mjr119 did, we all do it. That is always your first jump. Your head gets about 6 feet off of the water, you tilt sideways and slam the side of your face. Try to ride with the board just touching the water to learn control.

Once you are up (which means you are still coming out of the water from the start) LOOK AT THE BOAT. You will follow the boat (mostly). Don't take your eyes off of the boat, pick one small spot. SMALL MOVEMENTS and Superman while you are learning control. If you start to sit up and start losing control, back to Superman.

Boat speed 13-15 MPH.

It is tough to learn but don't give it up. You might find someone near to you on the foil forum that is willing to help.

Here are some videos on the Foil forum that should help. http://www.foilforum.com/forums/showthread.php?8453-Introducing-Video-version-of-Learn-to-Hydrofoil-Basic-Skills-Challenge&p=77399#post77399

08-10-2015, 02:47 PM
We have a couple guys on our small lake that tear it up with these. They make it look REALLY easy....

08-10-2015, 04:22 PM
Once you learn it you will never go back to anything else. I've been riding since 2008. I tried surfing some but just not the same rush.

08-10-2015, 04:24 PM
You can get a rack for them that fits your tower from Sky Ski or comptech marine

08-10-2015, 04:31 PM
my buddy rides one, he could no longer ski or wake board because he broke his back in a motorcycle accident. Crazy dude chose to Sky Ski, after watching him and the air he would get had to wonder how it can be easier on his back. Crazy, would love to try if I could.

Ian Brantford
08-10-2015, 06:39 PM
We've been using one for a decade. It's a mid-range Sky Ski. It's great! While the biggest hazard is going to be pulled muscles due to laughter of observers, you should proceed immediately to get the following:

- Camera with good movie mode and burst still mode -- the learning curve is only going to happen once for each person, and it will be a treasured memory
- Helmets made specifically for watersports (e.g. Bern) THAT FIT and have earflaps
- A "Neck Roll" http://cinchmax.com/id3.html
- CINCH straps if your ski doesn't already have them
- Neoprene socks -- reduces chafing on the foot straps -- not essential, but appreciated by all
- Tower rack. These things are not cheap, but neither is interior storage. Hydrofoils take up a lot of space and are a pain to assemble/disassemble. They are also a bit of a hazard to people in the boat when doing so. With a tower rack, the foil has two locations: outside of tower, or in the water.

I didn't include my usual advice for crash goggles here, to reduce the risk of an "eye opener" face plant. This is because crashes on a hydrofoil don't involve catching a leading edge and hitting the water instantly, as happens on a wakeboard.

Instead, you'll have enough time to either fall over leisurely as a beginner, or fall from an appreciable height in the next stage of hilarity, er, learning. As you graduate to jumping (intended or otherwise), you'll have enough air time before a crash to carefully consider the choices that got you to such a point. :-)

After you learn enough control to not immediately wipe out, I recommend that cruising practice be done at the minimum speed that give good fine control, typically about 16 MPH. Lower speeds are great for keeping things non-threatening, but responsiveness to control might not be there for stable cruising.

For those considering this highly amusing device that will double the value of water time, your best bet is to skip any beginner models and go straight to an intermediate one. Also, get it with the shock absorber option, and CINCH straps.

08-10-2015, 08:31 PM
we have had one for a few years and they are a riot to play around on. The only thing is they are big and take up a lot of space on the boat. Watch a couple of videos on youtube and then give it a try. Lots of fun

08-10-2015, 10:25 PM
First off is tie a piece of rope to the bottom of the foil

13-15 mph to start

This will prevent you from coming out of the water (flying)

once you have mastered riding the ski on the water take the rope off

now all the control to fly the ski is with your hand position keeping your body in one position


I went straight to the advanced model with longer strut as these things are hard to find used , therefor easier to sell if you dont like it , down side to foiling is its 3500 for a good foil and 700 for a rack to hold it on your boat. BUT i have so many people coming up to me on the water asking what the heck is it

then up down forward back movement with your hands to keep your self steady flying above the water

I have tried most things, I can barefoot backwards on one foot and this is way harder.

KEY IS INSTRUCTION if you can get someone who knows what they are doing it can save you a world of hurt.

But Foiling , once you know how to do it is one of the best things , and easiest things to do

08-13-2015, 11:15 AM
For those looking for an affordable but good quality Sky Ski rack take a look here http://www.foilforum.com/forums/showthread.php?8133-Swiveling-Rack
I purchased one a couple of years ago and it hasn't budged a millimeter since installing it. It has bee solid. I am going to upgrade to the swivel mount in the future.

Ian Brantford
08-13-2015, 08:11 PM
After you learn enough control to not immediately wipe out, I recommend that cruising practice be done at the minimum speed that give good fine control, typically about 16 MPH. Lower speeds are great for keeping things non-threatening, but responsiveness to control might not be there for stable cruising.

Erratum: boosting the speed to 16-ish for control should be for when you are proceeding from on-ski riding to coming out of the water for on-foil riding. You can spend as long as you like at lower speeds on the ski just to get used to the contraption. However far forward you think that you have to lean for this, it's probably further (the "Superman position").

I haven't previously seen DOCDRS' advice about tying a piece of rope below to keep it from rising. Neat.

I also forgot one piece of equipment: a deep V handle. This is the same type used for early slalom training. A big challenge for a beginner on a hydrofoil to get up on plane is the first couple of seconds, where you have to have the tow rope off to one side of the ski. The taught rope can push the ski to the side, dooming your first attempts. A deep V handle/rope puts rope on both sides of the ski tip when starting, helping to keep it straight.

The driver also needs to be patient. The rider may need extra time to let any movement of the foil subside before starting the run. When you are getting set up, that foil acts like a pendulum underwater.

08-17-2015, 10:18 AM
well, I won't say it was a complete failure for our first trip out, we all tried it and everyone rode it for at a least a few seconds. This thing is HARD!!!!! We found a really slow smooth take off was key, but as soon as we would start getting up to about 10mph the ski would start coming out of the water and then a fantastic crash would follow just a few short seconds later. I'm sure we aren't leaning far enough forward based on what I have read online. So we will give it another go, but this is unlike anything else that's for sure. Excited to try it out again and see if we can make this thing happen.

08-17-2015, 02:57 PM
Lean forward and sit on the front edge of the seat.