What is a Foil-Lab?
Published Wed 24 Aug 2022
With the ever-increasing explosion of foiling into the sailing community Australian Sailing is working to develop programs and resources to support coaches, sailors, and clubs to get involved in this new and exciting space.
The first step on the foiling journey for any sailor, windsurfer, wingsurfer or kiteboarder who wants to experience foiling is to participate in a Foil-Lab, delivered at a club, by an accredited Foil-Lab Coach.
Foil-Labs are a one-day introductory session, focussing on the fundamental skills required to begin foiling and assists participants to understand what is happening with the foil below the surface of the water, and how to control it. Foil-Labs are delivered with a short hour-long theory session first, which is vital before progressing to the on-water familiarisation utilising foiling equipment and a Rib.
A Foil-Lab is relevant no matter which foiling class a sailor chooses (Wind-Foil, Wing-Foil, Kite-Foil Sail-Foil) and provides a safe space for participants to learn and interact with a new type of sailing experience and equip themselves with new knowledge to take on any foiling class.
During a Foil-Lab, participants learn the fundamentals that drive a hydrofoils performance, as well learn about the body and physical relationships that offer a path to proficiency. Mastering the basics gives more options to have more fun, more often. It also allows participants the foundation skills to chase performance in a range of modern performance sailing classes in a fun and fulfilling way.
How can I deliver Foil-Labs at my club?
Foil-Labs are available now for clubs to set up and deliver to their members this season, Australian Sailing has been delivering Foil-Lab coach training throughout the winter months in all States to upskill coaches and provide clubs with the resources to offer Foil-Labs to their members this season.
The process and requirements for becoming qualified to deliver Foil-Labs are simple, the pre-requisites to becoming a Foil-Lab coach, are that coaches must already hold the Australian Sailing, Sailing Coach qualification, as the Sailing Coach qualification gives the holder the necessary coaching skills and knowledge to build upon.
The next stage is to complete a Foil-Lab Coach endorsement, which is a free, practical half day coaching endorsement delivered by an Australian Sailing Senior Foil-Lab Coach. During the Foil-Lab Coach endorsement, coaches will focus on coaching the foundations of foiling, and the technical aspects of delivering a Foil-Lab, using the fundamental coaching knowledge and skills they already hold as Sailing Coaches to enable them to deliver the technical aspects.
It is recommended that all accredited sailing coaches who have an interest in foiling complete the Foil-Lab coach endorsement to continue their development as coaches and to enable them to assist with the growth of foiling at their club.
During the Foil-Lab coach endorsement, coaches will gain access to a variety of resources to assist them delivering Foil-Labs at their club, including a Foil-Lab coaches manual, session plans, run sheets, presentations, and activity recommendations. In addition, there are several other foiling resources available to assist coaches with their continued learning.
If you are an accredited Sailing Coach and you would like to become qualified to deliver Foil-Labs, please contact your local Australian Sailing Support Officer, who will be able to discuss and arrange for a Foil-Lab coaches' endorsement to be delivered in your region.
What is the progression after a Foil-Lab?
As part of the recently released Club Participation Programs, Australian Sailing is developing a suite of programs and supporting resources for coaches to deliver the ongoing development of foiling for participants and clubs, from Foil-Labs through to their chosen foiling discipline and into club racing, in either Wind-Foil, Kite-Foil, Sail-Foil or Wing-Foil classes.
The coaching programs will be structured as development appropriate stages for each discipline, ranging from a transition program, through to green-fleet, intermediate-fleet and advanced-fleet offerings and will be available for all coaches to access this summer.
In addition to providing the opportunity to up-skill coaches, create foiling programs and resources for clubs and their coaches to use, Australian Sailing has gone to tender for the provision of accessible foiling equipment which can be utilised by clubs this season to deliver Foil-Labs and the discipline specific coaching programs.
We aim to have a national agreement in place with a foiling equipment partner to provide affordable equipment available for clubs to access, by the start of the summer. Many clubs have already begun to purchase club owned equipment which is highly suitable for the delivery of Foil-Labs.
Foiling is one of many ways in which to help grow the sport of sailing, by increasing and diversifying the offerings of clubs, growing participation options, providing retention opportunity for members and inspiring coaches.
The development of the Australian Sailing Foiling Program is proudly supported by the Queensland Government.