Strider Stefan Spiessberger

Are you ready to take you foiling skills to the next level?

Our Pump Foiling pros Benjamin May and Stefan Spiessberger will help you with the essential requirements for achieving a successful hydrofoil dock start. Make sure you are reading their tips hereafter to ensure you're fully prepared to conquer this exciting foiling technique.

Benjamin May Strider Riemer See

Dock starting and pumping offer more than just enjoyment; here are some significant benefits:

1.    Mastering the pumping technique enables quicker takeoffs in Wing Foiling. It also helps navigate through patches of low energy by pumping to gain lift, reducing the likelihood of stalling and droppin down.

2.    In Surf Foiling, effective pumping allows for seamless wave connections. For Wing Foiling enthusiasts, it enables sustained flight without relying on constant wind.

3.    This activity rigorously works the cardio system and strengthens the legs, back, and abdominal muscles. The legs power the foil with thrusts, the back maintains posture, and the abdominals ensure core stability. The continuous effort required also boosts cardiovascular health.

4.    Pumping offers an ideal training opportunity in the absence of wind, turning into a highly engaging activity once the basics are mastered. It fosters a competitive yet friendly rivalry among peers.

5.    The simplicity of requiring just a foil and a board is a significant advantage, making it accessible to many enthusiasts.

In essence, dock starting and pumping are not only fun but also incredibly beneficial for both skill development and physical fitness. 



To optimize your chances of success, Benjamin and Stefan both highly recommend a specific pumping setup with matching board, foil and stabilizer.

An acquiring a smaller board (like the new Strider SLS), a large high-aspect front wing (like the Aero Glide 2145 or the soon to be launched Amp 1750), plus an efficient stabilizer. This combination will provide the stability, control, and lift required for a smooth dock start.

It's very important to invest in the right equipment to enhance your Pump Foiling performance.

Benjamin Strider Riemer See
Strider Stefan Spiessberger Traunsee_1


You need good gear, a spot with a dock and deep enough water. No need for wind or waves to foil. The dock start is not easy in the beginning, but you can learn. And it is the base to progress in pumping and to prepare for surf foiling. It’s a very good way to let off steam in a short time. Muscle building guaranteed! When it comes to choosing a suitable dock, make sure you have a designated area of about 2-3 meters where your hydrofoil won't collide with any solid structures.

A collision between your foil and a dock can cause significant damage, so exercise caution. Even more importantly, make sure there’s no swimmers or other water users in reach of your equipment. When you fail and your foil gets projection, it can travel a serious distance in unforeseeable directions.

The ability to pump in flat water is crucial and ideally should be practiced first, before jumping off the dock. If you can effortlessly maneuver around the boat, complete laps while wake Foiling, or manage to pump a good distance without the use of your wing while Wing Foiling, then you possess the necessary experience to attempt dock starting.



For effective pumping, opt for a board that is lightweight, compact, solid, and especially rigid. Rigidity is crucial for efficiently transferring energy into the foil; without it, energy is wasted as the board deforms, leading to unnecessary fatigue. A compact board design like the Strider enhances pumping.


There are different types of foils depending on their aspect ratio, i.e. the ratio between the length and width of the wing. The higher the aspect ratio, the longer the wing with less chord. The lower the aspect ratio, the more chord the wing has and the less wingspan it has. Depending on the shape of the wing, you definitely have to size up for pump foiling!

Stefan recommends the new AMP with dock start/pump-oriented profile & outline (coming soon!)



For optimal pumping efficiency, it's crucial to minimize the amount of mast submerged in the water, thereby reducing drag. A mast length of 70 to 80cm is ideal for achieving this. By elevating higher above the water, the foil operates at a shallower depth, further minimizing drag around the mast.

Benjamin recommends a 75cm mast for beginners. More experienced foilers can make use of a longer mast (82cm for example). The right length also depends on the height of your local dock a bit. If the dock is higher, the 82 will help at the start.

Strider Bahamas


Pumping means oscillating your foil up/down.

The length of the fuselage will influence the frequency of pumping and therefore the ease of pitching the foil in the longitudinal axis. The further the stabilizer is from the front wing (long fuselage) the more it will stabilize the foil in the longitudinal axis and thus the sensitiveness of the pitch (the oscillation will be more difficult). However, for first timers, this setting will be easier in the beginning.

A shorter fuselage will be more pitch sensitive and on the other hand it will be less stable but more playful.

So, depending on your level, you can make your pumping foil easier or more playful.

Benjamin recommends 60cm or 66cm length of fuselage for more experienced foilers and at least a 66cm or longer for beginners. 


The stabilizer is there to stabilize and restore a little lift on the foil. A large stabilizer will facilitate pumping at the start, by slowing down the foil a bit and giving more support and stability to the foil. But it will block the pitch of the foil more and creates higher drag, which ultimately can be less efficient in terms of projection and energy consumption. A smaller stabilizer will reduce drag and stabilizes the foil less. Therefore, it will make the foil easier to swing up and down. It will require more finesse in your movements and will therefore be more technical to ride.

Stefan recommends the H185 stabilizer that will come with our brand-new Amp foil beginning of May for advanced riders or the P220 in combination with Glide 2145 for entry level riders.

Strider Stef Traunsee

»The new Strider is a dock start pumping powerhouse: sleek, compact, and loaded with performance features for Pump Foiling. Light yet rigid, with a perfect nose-kick for touchdown recovery. «

— Stefan Spiessberger

Benjamin & Stefan´s Tips for Learning:

1.    Place the foil into the water to it’s just a few cm under the surface. Hold your board with both hands, the rear hand at the rail close to the tail, the front hand at the rail closer to where the front foot will be. Take 2-3 steps forward to bring the foil into forward momentum. To keep the board as steady as possible when stepping on, try to keep your front hand on the deck when stepping onto the board with your back foot first, so it can counter the time until your front foot is also in place just a split second after.

2.    Maintain your gaze forward and aim for maximum stability when stepping onto the board, ensuring your posture is as upright as possible. "Upright" here implies that your center of gravity should be directly over the board. If you lean too far forward, backward, or to either side, you introduce an imbalance that can be challenging to rectify.

3.    Once you've achieved a stable position on the board, it's time to maximize your glide and pump duration. Achieve this by consistently generating speed through pumping, pushing the foil downwards, then easing off to allow the foil to rise.

Optimal technique involves using your entire body mass, not just your legs, to transfer energy to the foil by leveraging slight imbalances.

4.    Maintain your focus forward, ensuring your center of gravity remains above the board while airborne.

5.    Aiming for maximum height during your flight minimizes foil drag, allowing for longer, more effortless glides.

6.    During the initial phase of pumping, utilize your arms, to establish a consistent rhythm and frequency for pumping. As you advance, the reliance on arm movements decreases.

7.    Lastly, be prepared for some falls along the way. Dock starting may take a few attempts before you achieve success, but don't get discouraged! With determination and practice, you'll get there. Remember, it's all part of the learning process.

Good luck with your hydrofoil dock starts!

Klaas Voget Strider Bahamas

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