Rider Portrait: Leonard Berner


Can you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?
I am from Lausanne in Switzerland and I am passionate about outdoor sports such as skiing, snowboarding, climbing and all water sports that can be practised on the ocean or on a lake, with or without wind. What makes me happy is being able to play with the elements like water, snow or rocks.

How did you first get introduced to pumpfoiling?
I started pump foiling in 2019 with the conviction that we will be able to find the same feeling of surfing in the ocean, but on our Swiss lake. So I had to learn how to pump in order to try to catch these wind waves. What a revelation when I pumped my first lake wave.

Journey into Pumpfoiling

What attracted you to pumpfoiling in the first place?
This idea of finding the feeling of surfing.

Can you describe your first experience with pumpfoiling?
It was hard, 4 years ago there were not many people to share your learning and doubts with.

How long did it take you to become proficient?
It took me 10 days, with one or two sessions of 2 hours a day. But it was not with the same foil that you can find on the market now. There is a huge evolution to make it more friendly.


What was the biggest challenge you faced when learning to pumpfoil?
To manage your gravity center.

Have you ever had any accidents or close calls?
Yes few ones 😉

What advice would you give to beginners?
To start with easy and round foil, don’t try super sharp foil and sand them to make them less cut.

Passion and Motivation

What keeps you going in the sport?
The glide and surf feel

Do you have any specific goals or milestones you’re aiming for?
Enjoy each time I am in the water

Cross-Training and Other Interests

Are you involved in any other water sports or activities?
Yes, prone paddling, winging, kitesurfing and sailing

How do other sports or activities complement your pumpfoiling?
It’s just an other excuse to be on the water

Gear and Equipment

What do you recommend for beginners?
Big foil above 1700cm2, mast around 75cm and a board not too small, helmet and wetsuit

How important is the role of technology in pumpfoiling?
It is hard to say, but I think it gives you the opportunity to fly longer.

Community and Lifestyle

How has pumpfoiling impacted your lifestyle?
It makes me even happier

Are you part of a community or group that shares your passion?


What’s next for you in the world of pumpfoiling?
Not falling for this new idea of competition

Any shoutouts or people you’d like to thank?
Indiana foiling, my sponsor 🙏🏼



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