Pumpfoiling is becoming more and more popular and more often you can spot someone “flying” with a board over the water, only propelled by the movement and energy of the rider.

After 2022, we wanted to conducted again a survey to find out more about community and to find out more about pumpfoiling, e.g. how difficult pumpfoiling is, how dangerous it can be and for sure, also to find out what the community recommends to newbies in pumpfoiling. Also we were curious to find out, if the general results of the survey done in 2022 are the same than this year.

The survey was conducted in June 2023, with 85 people participating in it.

Who participated in the survey?

Overall, 85 pumpfoilers participated in the survey. Although the survey was open for anyone to participate, all participants mentioned that they are practicing pumpfoiling. 8% of the participants were female, 91% male and 1% non-binary. A good sign that pumpfoiling is a sport for all genders. 

As pumpfoiling is still a young sport, many people may are tempted to say that pumpfoiling is only for young people. But looking at the age of the pumpfoilers who took part in the survey, we can see that pumpfoiling is a sport for any age.

Before we are going into more details about the feedbacks we received, we also would like to have a quick look where the survey participants are located. That may relevant, as we will also look into questions related to the equipment they are using. We would like to hightlight, that the results may not be representative for some of the questions, e.g. as some material/brands are not available in any country.

Most of the survey participants are located in Europe, but we are proud that we also received some feedback from pumpfoilers located in North America, Australia and New Zealand as well as Asia.

Pumpfoiling something new?

Well, pumpfoiling is not anymore a completely new sport. But it is still in development. Looking at the results of the survey, we can observe that many participants have only recently started with pumpfoiling. For sure, we will have to take this in mind when we look at the result of this survey. Someone who is practicing pumpfoiling for a longer time already may has a different perception and therefore, ma answers some questions in a different way.

When did you start with your pumpfoiling

Talking about an aquatic’s sports, many people most probably assume that most pumpfoilers did their first steps – or better pumps – during the summer months. But looking at the responses, we can see that there is no clear accumulation in specific seasons when people do their first attempts. Well, some of you may now challenge that by having participants in this survey from all over the world, the seasons are balanced out. 

But looking at the participants of this survey, we know that 91% of the participants are from Europe, respectively 60% from Switzerland, where the winter months can be quite cold and water temperatures are not inviting everyone for a swim in the bikini…

Well, some may now question why so many start a typical aquatic sport during the colder months of the year. For sure, one reason is that with the appropriate equipment, you can protect yourself against in cold conditions and with that, you can also handle cold air and water. But may it also has an influence, how you get in contact with pumpfoiling and therefore, when you do your first attempts. So let us see how the participants in this survey got into contact with pumpfoiling.


How did you hear about pumpfoiling?

Over 27% of the pumpfoilers responded, that they heard first time about pumpfoiling on Instagram, but only 26% say that they came first in contact by seeing someone practicing pumpfoiling at the lake or sea.

First time hearing about pumpfoiling

What is interesting here is the change from the results of the 2022 survey to the 2023 survey. In 2022, 44% of the participants responded, that they got in contact with pumpfoiling by observing someone pumpfoiling at the lake or sea and 30% mentioned that a friend told them about pumpfoiling. In 2022, only 17% mentioned Instagram as the first contact point. So we can conclude, that the presence of pumpfoiling on social media is increasing and also motivates people to start with pumpfoiling.

But for sure, watching a great Reel on instagram does not reveal how challenging it can be to start with pumpfoiling.

How difficult is pumpfoiling?

Doing the first attempts is only the beginning of the career. Especially those who have not yet tried Pumpfoiling ask very often how difficult it is “to fly smoothly over water”. For sure, it will depend on if you ask an experienced pumpfoiler or someone who just started his pumpfoiling career.

So let us first have a quick look how the survey respondents judge their own pumpfoiling skills. 

How do you rate your pumpfoiling skills

61% of the participants judge their pumping skills as “advanced intermediate” or better. But how much effort does it require to master Pumpfoiling? How many times do you have to fail until you can enjoy flying over the water? For sure, it is not a sport you try once and after the first session you will be a ‘master-pumper’. Most survey participants responded that it takes between 150 and 600 attempts to learn Pumpfoiling.

So the exact question was “How many attempts did it take you to learn pumping (means you can start and pump for approx. 30 seconds)?”

Some people may challenge the responses to this question and raise the concern that it depends on how experienced you are and what you would judge as ‘can pumpfoil’. Therefore, we evaluated the same question for all participants, but also show you the results of participants who judge themselves as advanced pumpfoilers, means they already reached a certain level.  

How man attempts it takes

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What is the preferred dockstart method of the survey participants?

One thing that each observer of a pumpfoiler will realize is, that not everybody is using the same method to takeoff from the dock. Whereas some are standing still, give a gentle push to the board and then jump directly from standing onto the baords, some others run a few steps and then jump onto the board. Another method you can observe is what we call the “drop start’. Thereby, you drop the foil into the water and then jump on the board. You very often can observe than when pumpfoilers are using higher docks, where it is difficult to submerge the foils in the water while standing on the dock. Last but not least, also some use dockstart devices, means using a fixation that holds the board and you then run  and jump on the board.

Locking at the responds from our survey participants, most use the running start or start jumping from the stand onto the board. At the end, it is also a personal preference, whereas some people say that you get some more initial speed when doing a running start.

Locking at the responds from our survey participants, most use the running start or start jumping from the stand onto the board. At the end, it is also a personal preference, whereas some people say that you get some more initial speed when doing a running start.


What is the longest Pumpfoil run?

 When I am pumpfoiling at the lake, quite often people ask me: For how long can you pumpfoil? Does it take a lot of energy? What is the longest run anybody has ever done?

Well, the first hurdle you have to overcome is for sure to successfully master the dockstart. But once you managed that, many pumpfoilers will work on the endurance and try to do longer and longer runs. In case you are following that sport more closely, you will be aware that nearly every month, there is a new record. So may some foilers get frustrated when they hear that others pump for 45 minutes or more. But is that, what the majority of people can manage or ist that more the exception? We asked that the survey participants and wanted to know from them how long their longest run ever was? Well, one participant manages to pump for 8 minutes and 40 seconds! That is really an accomplishment! But do not get frustrated, if you manage around 45 seconds, you are already doing good! 

The median is at 60 seconds, where as the first quartile of the responses is 8.5 seconds and the third quartile 93.5 seconds. 

For sure, you will not manage 520 seconds after two weeks of pumpfoiling. Well knowing that many factors will influence after how many months you can pump for a certain period (equipment, water conditions, how much time you invest every monthin pumpfoiling, …) we show you the result of how long the participants are already pumpfoiling versus what their longest run was. Please note that we have not asked after how many months of pumpfoiling they did their longest run. We are just plotting the longest run against how long someone is already pumpfoiling.


A question that is earlier or later being raised is about the equipment. There are different brands and models of foiling equipment. For sure, it takes some time to decide if you want to invest into equipment and once the decision is taken to invest into it, the question comes what equipment fits best for you and your intended use. 

Before we are going to dig into more details about the equipment the survey participants use, let us check how many of them have their own equipment and with that, already had to make a decision for a brand and model.

Do you have your own equipment

Most of the people who particiapated in the survey have their own equipment. For sure, if you want to practice regularly pumpfoiling, it is more convenient to have your own equipment and then also an equipment that fits to your skills and body.

Talking about how often people go on the water, we can see that 64% of the participants in this survey go at least weekly for a “pumpfoil-workout”.

How often do you go pumpfoiling?


But let us go back to the equipment. There are many different brands and models in the market. Looking at the previous question about how they got in contact with Pumpfoiling, we may also have to consider that the decision for the equipment is besides other factors also influenced by what equipment the colleagues are using. In addition to that some brands are more popular than others, dependent in which country live. Please keep here in mind, that 91% of the survey partipants are located in Europe. Nonetheless, the variety of the boards and foils used by the survey participants is remarkable. 


For sure, this is only a snapshot based on the result of the survey participants feedback, respectively the board/foil they use. As mentioned before, one factor influencing the choice of the equipment will also be the availability of the material in the country you are located. Therefore, let us also have a quick look at the distribution by continent (based on the country the participants have mentinoed they are living in).

Looking at the brand of the board, there is even a bigger variety of brands and last but not least, there is also a remarkable amount of pumpfoilers (16%) using a selfmade board.

But the brand is only one thing.  Most of the pumpfoilers, especially when they decide first time to buy a foil, will pay more attention to the frontwing model than the brand.

So let us first have a look which frontwing model the survey participants use and then also in the next steps, have a closer look if and when they changed their foil.


In the diagram above we show the frontwing model the participants mentioned they are currently using the most.

Please note, that the frontwing model was a free text field and therefore, not all foils could be 100% matched to foils you may find online.

As we were asking which foil they are using today most often, we marked the feedbacks in light blue colour, when it was not anymore the foil the participants started to pumpfoil with.

One of the big questions is always, what foil is suitable to learn with. Well, we cannot answer that question based on the survey results. But will will show you which foils the survey participants use dependent on if they judge their skills level as beginner or intermediate foiler, means the group of respondents who classifies themselves as “Beginner – I can land on the board but do not yet master more than 3 pumps “ or “Intermediate – I can manage the dockstart and do more than 10 pumps”, as well as advanced pumpfoilers, means that group of respondents that classifies themselves as either “Advanced intermediate – I can manage the dockstart, pump for more than 20 seconds and manage front – and back side turns” or “Advanced – I can pump stable for more than 45 seconds” or “Wakethief” – I can pump for more than 60 seconds”.

Many pumpfoilers will after a certain period change their foil. One challenge which is coming along with changing the foil is obviously the question if you stay with the brand or not. Most of the brands have their own design and in most of the cases the foils will not be compatible with fuselages of other brands.

Looking at the community that responded in the survey, we can see that many have already changed their foil. And not only that: 55% of the pumpfoilers who have changed the foil have also changed the brand.

The reason for changing the brand we have not captured. May that’s a good topic to discuss with your colleagues after your next foiling session.

One frequent question I hear from people who consider buying an equipment is: For how long will a setup be suitable for me and when will I have to buy a new next level foil?

Well, there is no specific answer to that. It will depend on what your goals in pumpfoiling are and with what model of frontwing you start. Looking at the results from the survey, we can see that most of them have changed their foil within the first 12 months.

To be honest, it was quite a surprise to see that so many pumpfoilers changed their frontwing after a short time. Well, there can be many reasons for that result. We diged in a little bit deeper into the data we acquired.

One reason may be, that the amount of data we collected is not representative, means we just have not gathered in enough feedbacks.

Let us first challenge the question “after how many months”. Most of you will agree that the statement about ‘after how many months’ is not really providing much information. Dependent on how often you go for a pumpfoiling session and how many starts you do during a session, wou may decide earlier or later – from a time perspective – to change the foil. Therefore, let us plot here the number of sessions after those the participants have changed their foil.

We calculated the number of sessions based on the feedback from the two questions “After how many months have you changed from the foil you started with to the next foil/more advanced foil?” and “How often do you go pumpfoiling?”. As we also have to consider that some people are experienced pumpfoilers but have not yet changed the foil at all, we also plotted for them the number of sessions they have done so far, based on their feedback when they started with foiling and the response to the question “How often do you go pumpfoiling?”.

To make the diagram easier to read, we only plotted the results up to 200 sessions. There was only one response of a person who changed the foil after 360 sessions.

When looking at the results, we also have to consider, that not everybody will do the same amount of starts in a session. As we have not asked for that in the survey, we will also not do here any assumptions.

Actually we wanted to find out for how long can you foil with “your beginner set” until you have to buy a next level set. So one thing we have not considered when we put the questionnaire together respectively when did the analysis so far, that may some people start with a set that it not suitable for them to learn and therefore change quite early to another set. As we cannot go back to the participants and ask them (the survey was done anonymously) we have to work with the data we have available. What we can look at is, if there are participants that changed the foil and described themselves as beginners or intermediate foilers (“Beginner – I can land on the board but do not yet master more than 3 pumps”, “Intermediate – I can manage the dockstart and do more than 10 pumps”). 

We can see, that 29% of the beginners changed their foil, means they changed to another foil before they could manage to pump at least for 20 seconds.

Drilling down in the results after how many sessions the survey participants changed their foil and distinguish by how experienced the foilers are, we can see that the majority of the beginners and intermediate foilers, means the ones that do not yet manage to do more than 10 pumps, change quite early. 

As we can see, based on the data it is not that easy to give a good answer how long you foil with your beginner set. There are some people changing quite early (and what we can see from the data, that some of them are beginners who start with a too advanced foil and then change to a more beginner friendly foil) and others using the initial set for more than two years. Looking at the median, the pumpfoilers who changed the foil did that after 24 sessions. Assuming you are doing 25 starts in a session, that equals to 600 starts.

When talking about buying a pumpfoil set or putting a suitable set together, I am also often asked “what mast length should I go for?”. Well, there is no precise answer to that question and also depends on the personal preference of the rider. You can find some more information about factors influencing the decision for the mast length in the video “Short or Long Mast for Pumpfoiling”.

Nevertheless, we asked also the community what mast length they use.


As we can see from the analysis of the results, a majority of the survey participants are using mast length between 72cm and 75cm, however, there are also quite a few using longer masts. One comment we have to add here: We asked un the survey, what is the mast you use most of the time. However, 5 participants responded by “sometimes length X and sometimes length Y”. We treated those results in the way by showing the shorter mast length in the evaluation.

Recommendations for beginners

Having looked a little bit at the preferences of our community, we for sure also wanted to get to know from them their recommendations for the ones who got curious about pumpfoiling and want to do their first steps. Below, you find a selection of the recommendations given by the survey participants (please note that we have not reflected feedbacks that contained sales promotions).

Recommendation to pumpfoil beginners

One important comment we would like to add here from the authors of this survey. There were only four explicit responses/recommendations to wear protective equipment. However, from the survey we know that already 35% had an injury from pumpfoiling. Out of these 35%, 7% needed a medical treatment. Especially when you start with pumpfoiling, you will frequently and very often in an uncontrolled manner being kicked-off from your board. Wearing protective equipment is never wrong and can prevent you from ending a pumpfoil session in an unwelcomed situation – stay safe!


Final words

 As we can see from the survey, the diversity makes the community. Pumpfoiling can be challenging and most probably all of us who already tried pumpfoiling and have not given up know, that there are phases where giving up seems to be the easier choice than to jump one more time on the board – and may that is the attempt it works!

The goal of the survey was to get some more insights into the community and from there also derive some useful information for people who want to start with pumpfoiling.

Overall, we had 85 pumpfoilers who responded to survey. On one hand, that gives already quite some good insights, however looking in the diversity of equipment used by the participants, we could not break down all evaluations to the brands and models of the equipment used. Showing those results would just not be representative and we do not want that people make the wrong conclusions based on insufficient data. 

In case you are interested in some more details, please feel free to contact us and we will see, if we can provide that information.

Last but not least, we would like to say thank you to everybody who participated in the survey and shared her/his insights into pumpfoiling. 

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