The hydrofoil craze (can you even call it that?) has been causing a buzz after Maui’s master of surfcraft, Kai Lenny, released a video showing off his superhuman ability on the strange contraption. I took jabs at the moped of surfing, and boy, did I cop some heat. Upon seeing an image of an accident resulting from Japanese surfer Yu Tonbi Sumitomo’s experimentation on a hydrofoil, esteemed waterman and big-wave surfer Jamie Mitchell decided it was finally time to voice his opinion and released this statement via Facebook:
So lately I have been asked consistently about my thoughts on the so called “new” foil popularity and haven’t really said much. But, yesterday sadly I saw a photo that I knew was coming sooner than later. In my opinion, foils are for open-ocean swells, Outer Bombies, and places where there are no people or very few people doing it together. Foils are dangerous… Very dangerous, and do not belong in the surf zone with the masse’s and general public. Yes, Kai and and a few talented kids can probably control the boards amazingly well, but you can’t control other peoples actions and movements. I see more and more clips everyday of people trying the foils and I am so scared that someone will pay the ultimate price and die. Look at this photo… If a foil hits you or you hit someone with the foil its going to end badly. I sure hope the people and companies that are making money off these are doing their best to educate people about the dangers. I don’t think this will be the 1st or last incident unfortunately. Im very happy that the gentleman in this photo will be ok. Please think about your surroundings before you just jump in and start surfing those boards.[sic.]
Whether you’re all for the foil or you’re as anti as Dustin Barca on GMOs, Sumitomo’s accident shows how it’s an endeavor that can end dangerously. My take: average Joes and everyday surfers should not be allowed near such a death craft, nor do they deserve to be threatened in a lineup by one. Stay safe out there.