Hydrofoil: Lenny vs Laird… Who wore it better?

How do you like your Mauians? Like Laird: late middle-aged, ripped, sure, but also leathery? Somewhat aloof? More than a little bit unpleasant?

or like Lenny: Youthful, lithe, eggshell skinned. Exuberant. And bags of fun!

Lenny starts off his clip with the fair appraisal that, “Most of the waves in the world aren’t that great.” With you so far, lad. No beef with that. But then, “you get on the hydrofoil and all of a sudden it feels like you’re riding a perfect wave at Malibu…” Sorry, where???

‘What was the surf like?’
‘Sick! It was like a perfect day at… Malibu!’ said no one, ever.

Anyway, I digress.

Believe or not, the Laird NZ hydrofoil clip from last year went bazonkers on, getting us several hundred thou pageviews, mad props in the pageview league table (we have one) thus earning us at least two or three euros in display advertising revenue, before taxes, possibly more.

But down to the nub, who did wear it better?

Who looked more awesome, tentatively negotiating a board on a pole some 3ft above the sea surface, and some 30ft out on the shoulder?

In terms of style, Len surely gets the nod. Laird’s backhand has always looked like a retirement age politician bending down (slowly) to hug an onrushing toddler. The only way it could be more unsightly? If he were wearing the purple oxbow s/s rashie. (Be grateful for small mercies.)

Plus, Lenny’s gone sans straps. According to the propaganda, Kai’s is the ‘first self-propelled hydrofoil’. And, as curious a visual spectacle that it is, it’s still less unsightly without wakeboard gubbings all over his plates.

So, in summary, not only is Lenny’s technique more beautiful, his natty just trunks n’ wax combo is winning over Laird’s over-equipped vibe, which is reminiscent of a stuntman – whose insurance has recently expired – about to wingsuit into an active volcano, only in more gear.

n.b. Fact: Your fave big wave/ride everything/waterman/legend doing a backhand bottom turn on a hydrofoil (not easy!) looks a bit like you (and I) doing a backhand bottom turn (not pretty!).


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