Hawaiin surfer extraordinaire Kai Lenny is back at it again, pushing the limits with his unique hydrofoil surfboard. This time the aquatic athlete traveled to Idaho to test his hydrofoil board on a river. After sharing a picture of himself with a quiver of boards in Montana, the waterman posted to Instagram a photo of himself successfully surfing the Lochsa river with the comment, “Can’t wait to do more of it.”
Hydrofoil boards are nothing new to ocean surfers, but this is the likely the first time that the board has been used for river surfing. A foil board takes a standard surfboard and adds a hydrofoil underneath that extends below the surface of the water. This extension allows the board to rise above the water, achieving faster speeds than is possible using a traditional surfboard. Not only do riders go faster, but the board also holds its momentum, allowing surfers to catch multiple waves without getting off to paddle.
While Lenny didn’t create the foil board, he has been pushing the board’s limits since he embraced the sport. Earlier this year, Lenny used a hydrofoil board to cross one of Hawaii’s most dangerous water channels. The 50-mile trek took the big-wave surfer across the Alenuihaha in an event to raise awareness for a statewide cleaning of the Hawaiian islands. He also adapted the hydrofoil add-on to fit a boogie board and used the Boogie Foil after an ankle injury slowed down his water antics.
In his latest adventure, Lenny took his collection of boards to Idaho for some river surfing. River surfing takes advantage of the static standing waves found on rivers. When river surfing, the hydrofoil board rises above the current, giving the riders the sensation of speed even though they are not moving forward. Lenny described the experience as “a blast”, adding that “it feels as though you’re going so fast but when you look to both side of the river everything is stationary.”
Lenny documented his successful trip on Instagram, which the surfer has been using to chronicle his hydrofoil rides and other adventures.