Our new ambassador Michael Clyne is from Sydney, Australia, and grew up around the water - spearfishing, diving and surfing. He has been riding waves since forever and his family would all go to the beach as a child. He started foiling 1.5 years ago when one of his friends introduced him into the sport of tow foiling.
Tell us a bit about your life, your trajectory in the sport and why you are so passionate about foiling.
Initially I learned behind my father's boat. From the time I had my first flight on the foil, I was hooked. People ask me what it is like to foil.The best way i can describe it- it’s like riding a magic carpet!
When I started to gain some control over the foil itself, in flat water, the natural progression for myself was to take that glide to the ocean in the big wave arena. This is where my true passion lies. Where I receive endless amounts of joy.
In the time between now and then, I've been hyper focused on honing my ability and my equipment to the extreme scenarios that come with riding some larger swells that the East coast of Australia has to offer - my current setting being the JOY Carbon 90 mast, the 60 titanium fuselage, and the UHM Race 64 KF front wing. The need for faster, more stable equipment is what actually has led to my relationship with TAAROA.
The glide and speed that the foil can offer on a large wave is unparalleled by any other equipment. The fact that there is very little drag and very high speeds, means that we are able to ride waves far further and faster than any other craft.
Which disciplines do you practice?
I paddle prone foil surfboards in the traditional sense of surfing, laying down and paddling into waves from 1-5 feet, when the swell gets over 5’, I get the jet ski out and we tow each other into the biggest lumps we can find! I've also started to experiment with downwind foiling, which is something that is very challenging, yet rewarding.
What is your favorite spot and conditions?
My favorite spot is my local spot in Sydney and my favorite conditions are as big and as wild that we can get it! We are very fortunate to have multiple outer reefs that can handle extremely large swells from different directions when those waves are making themselves available.
What is your best foiling memory?
My best foiling memory would be the first time I went out on a jet ski and witnessed my friends riding waves in the 8-10’ range. Going faster and further than i could ever imagine. At this point I had very little skill on a foil and was unable to take part in the session. But from that point forward, I knew where I wanted to take it.
What’s the first thing you do just before a session?
The first thing I do before a session is go through the equipment we will be using that day- foils, boards, jetski, rescue sleds, lifejackets, safety and rescue equipment making sure everything is functioning properly and ready for whatever we can throw at it.
What’s your best advice for someone who wants to start foiling?
If I had one advice to give it would be to start behind a boat or a jet ski. Spend a lot of time up on the foil before you choose to take it to your chosen discipline.
What does TAAROA mean to you?
TAAROA means to me, high end equipment that is able to withstand the immense forces placed on it in waves of consequence. In 1 word, I would describe it as Quality.
What’s your next foiling challenge?
My next challenge is to wait for the large winter swells and ride the largest waves available in the steeper more critical position with the faster equipment that TAAROA has provided. I cannot wait to see what the results of this pursuing swell season will be. I'm also going to be able to test the iUP and I'm really looking forward to seeing how onboard intelligence can help me surpass myself in my discipline.