Rider Portrait: Robert von Roll


Can you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?
I live in the town of Solothurn in Switzerland with my four siblings and parents and I am 17 years old. Three of my siblings and my father are pumpfoilers. I also pumpfoil myself. We usually go foiling on the Aare, the river next door and we have been an Indiana Ambassador Family for about a year now.

How did you first get introduced to pumpfoiling?
About 6 years ago we bought one of the first Naish foils. The only board we had was a huge Sup, which I tried a couple of times behind the boat. It didn’t work very well. In November 2021 my uncle bought an Indiana beginner setup for me to use and I quickly learnt to foil on it despite the freezing winter.

Journey into Pumpfoiling

What attracted you to pumpfoiling in the first place?
Pure curiosity about a new sport.

Can you describe your first experience with pumpfoiling?
At first it was just a matter of trying out how a foil works. When I was able to pump straight for the first time, I suddenly saw the water under my foil turn dark and immediately jumped off, amazed how far I got.

How long did it take you to become proficient?
3-4 Sessions.


What was the biggest challenge you faced when learning to pumpfoil?
The cold

Have you ever had any accidents or close calls?
Many close calls with swimmers or divers surfacing or underwater.

What advice would you give to beginners?
Take your time, try to have fun and keep the stoke up about your progress (remember, once you can pump, you could challenge Jesus to a water race and probably win ; ).

Passion and Motivation

What keeps you going in the sport?
The infinite potential of this sport.

Do you have any specific goals or milestones you’re aiming for?
To do some more surffoiling, try a downwinder and bring more new tricks into the world.

Cross-Training and Other Interests

Are you involved in any other water sports or activities?
My family is really into surfing. I also wingfoil, but unfortunately wingfoiling is not allowed on our river, so I don’t do it very often.

How do other sports or activities complement your pumpfoiling?
All board sports are connected and influence each other, but I would say that there is no other sport like foiling. Sometimes I practice my tricks on a balance board that is balanced on a ball. For me this is the closest thing to being on a foil.

Gear and Equipment

Can you talk about your gear? What do you recommend for beginners?
I like light but wide and long boards to have enough space for tricks. I like faster foils but still want some lift to do tricks. I especially like high aspects. The 1320 x-AR Frontwing from Indiana is perfect for me. However, I still have a smaller foil for manoeuvrable pumping, surfing and winging and my latest frontwing, the 1396 P, which is a really big frontwing that allows me to do tricks I never thought possible and pump for an incredibly long time. To start with something like the Indiana 1100p frontwing and a sturdy board with enough volume. That’s where I started.

How important is the role of technology in pumpfoiling?
I am constantly surprised and fascinated by new concepts. At the moment, the technology and development of foils is advancing rapidly.

Community and Lifestyle

How has pumpfoiling impacted your lifestyle?
Relatively hard, I used to skateboard a lot, but when I learnt to pumpfoiling I stopped skating and was in the water almost every day.

Are you part of a community or group that shares your passion?
In my city we already have a remarkably large community (even though I am related to at least a quarter of them) and while foiling different spots around the world I got to be in many different groups that all share the passion of pumping.


What’s next for you in the world of pumpfoiling?
More foils to try, more people to meet, more waves to steal and more fun to have.

Any shoutouts or people you’d like to thank?
Thanks to all the people who support me and get ready for some new tricks to come! Hope to see some of you on the water at some point! Cheers Rob



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