Over the last year and a half, he has pushed forward a brand new discipline in the sport with Freestyle Foil windsurfing. What many saw as impossible and too dangerous hasn’t held back his imagination & innovation so far. With the first Freestyle Foil windsurfing events starting in 2019, we wanted to catch up with Balz on where he thinks this new branch of windsurfing is heading.
Check out the full interview here below.
“The first foil flight I experienced 3 years ago at the world cup Sylt I was instantly hooked and if you haven’t tried it yet, you can`t imagine how nice it is to just hover over the water surface, like a bird swinging in peace and silence through nature. And when I hear whitecaps breaking under my board then I find myself daydreaming.
In general, you use quite small sails for Foil Freestyle. What is your favorite setup and how much wind do you need to get going?
It is crazy how little wind my Mosesfoil gets me flying in. In numbers, 8 to 10kn will bring my 80kg flying and in 12kn I`m stacked on my very powerful 4.8 foilfreek prototypes. But in foiling what really matters is the foil wing setup you are using! For my jumps and tricks, I use my Moses Pro Model which is quite small with its 750cm2 but has an epic speed so it needs the effort to get going in light winds and an easy light sail to pump me up, I realized bigger sails don’t fly earlier as I can’t pump them as efficient! On the other hand, I love to go foil cruising in flat and waves with a big 1600cm2 surf foil, effortless pure free riding in very light breezes. Pretty sure Ive never spend as much time on surfboards like the past season. Almost everyday there was the possibility to get a flight and spread my hydro wings!
There are actually only a few „normal“ powermoves I haven’t tried yet on the foil. I believe with the foil we could even have more move options as in normal fin surfing since when you land right on the wings you could re-bounce straight into a second move and further you have that unbelievable pop catapulting you out flatwater high up in the air even in the lightest breeze.
True, but it was an easy decision! The wind was simply at the edge to compete in fin boarding with it just being enough to get going on 5.2 so I took my serial MB-board and Sever 4.4 Freek to boost some nice tricks and had one of the best heats of the past season. The race office informed me just a few minutes before my heat started via the safety guy on the jetski that I wasn’t allowed to use my foil for competition. At that point I couldn’t make it back to the beach and swop my gear so I simply stayed on my foil and had a fun time with Steven Van Broekhoven who actually supports the foilstyling too and had no problem to compete against a foil board! Anyway I understand the quote from the head judge telling it needs to be fair for all riders and decided before the event starts. This way everyone can decide on his own if he/she wants to compete on the foil and start training foilfreestyling.
Many know I`m hooked to winging lately. It’s such a unique new/old water sport, I like the unlimited possibilities coming with it just as in windfoil freestyling! I find myself trying to fall asleep in bed but my mind is spinning about all those moves which are yet to come! I’m dreaming all night and day from foiling! What a time to be alive!