Foil windsurfing: the Toen Joop Nederpelt 1970s-1980s experiences

Toen Joop Nederpelt is one of the most influential personalities in the history of windsurfing. And 25 years ago, he was a pioneer of foil boarding.

We now know that, but back in the day, it was not easy to understand if it was worth it. Especially, when you had to "attach" the hydrofoil to the heavy windsurf boards.

Nederpelt was always busy thinking of the next big thing to do in windsurfing. Holland's first windsurfer was responsible for creating the world's longest windsurf board. His 18-meter windsurfer sailed away with nine sailors.

Impressive. But there's more. Between the late 70s and the early 80s, Toen Nederpelt designed and built a new "plugin" for his Mistral board - the hydrofoil - proving that Europe was definitely in love with windsurfing.

Apparently, he was not the first to test a foil system on a windsurfer. Gary Seaman, an engineer who worked for Windsurfing International, had put foils under a board for the Pacific Multihull Association Speed Trials, held between 1970 and 1973, at Hurricane Gulch.

Later, Seaman designed a board for Jaap Van der Rest, who broke the world speed record at the 1980 (Hoyle) Schweitzer Speed Trials with a spectacular mark of 24.68 knots.

Today, foil windsurfing is much simpler, lighter and easier to ride. NeilPryde announced the mass production of its RS:X Convertible, and the future of Olympic windsurfing will certainly include hydrofoils.