Rider Portrait: Urbi


Can you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?
Hello, I’m Urbi, 49 years old and I live in Rotkreuz. Until two years ago, I only did “dry sports”. However, my passion for water sports was ignited by a close friend and since then water has truly become my element. The journey started with water skiing and I still remember that exhilarating first start 😊. Since that memorable day, water activities such as swimming, wave surfing and foiling have become an integral part of my routine. Foil pumping stands out as one of my primary water sports. In addition to these aquatic pursuits, I enjoy inline skating, squash, classical ballet and dedicated sessions with my TRX and Syboba. In the colder seasons, I look forward to the pleasures of figure skating. And when I get bored, I like to go for a run from my home town of Rotkreuz to Michelskreuz.

How did you first get introduced to pumpfoiling?
I had my first experiences in September/October 2022. My colleague thought it would be a cool sport. I’d never heard of it before.

Journey into Pumpfoiling

What attracted you to pumpfoiling in the first place?
At first I think it was the challenge of being able to do that. But I think it’s the independence from the wind, from a boat, from a sports facility. Being able to go out on the lake and glide over the water. And it also involves a full body workout.

Can you describe your first experience with pumpfoiling?
I was on the lake all winter – since November 2022 about 2-3 times a week. Mostly not on the foil, but next to, in front of or under it. The beginning is hard – but it hasn’t let me go.

How long did it take you to become proficient?
Looking back, I can’t say for sure. But every week there was progress. But I think it took hundreds of attempts before the first pump rounds could be drawn.


What was the biggest challenge you faced when learning to pumpfoil?
Looking back, it was crazy to learn this sport in winter. But it has the advantage that there are no swimmers in the bathing establishments and there are good jetties. And you definitely have fewer spectators, which puts a lot of pressure on you.

Then there was the fact that you were usually the only beginner on the jetty. Everyone around you could do it. I kept wondering if I was the only crazy one learning.

Have you ever had any accidents or close calls?
Bruises are normal in the beginning. But there were also cuts and sprains.

What advice would you give to beginners?
I advise beginners to wear a helmet and a life jacket – especially if you are alone on the jetty.

You can also get lots of tips and tricks from the experts – as a beginner you can sometimes be completely overwhelmed. The important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong – you have to be able to feel and automate starting, jumping up, etc. for yourself. The important thing is that you don’t lose the fun! The rest will come sooner or later.

Passion and Motivation

What keeps you going in the sport?
Pumpfoiling has added an interesting dimension to my work-life balance. On nice days, I often take a few hours to go down to the lake – an extended lunch, for example, proves immensely beneficial to both body and mind. It’s a rejuvenating experience that allows me to recharge my own batteries.

Do you have any specific goals or milestones you’re aiming for?
I experiment with endless pumping and find that water sports and fitness go hand in hand. There’s a certain coolness factor to cruising along the promenade, anticipating the next ice-cream stand!
I also strive to constantly improve my pumping technique.

Cross-Training and Other Interests

Are you involved in any other water sports or activities?
I think I mentioned this above. But I am open to trying new sports again. Let’s see what comes my way.

How do other sports or activities complement your pumpfoiling?
Pumpfoiling requires strength and endurance. I’m glad that I can do other physical fitness activities at the same time. That certainly helps.

Gear and Equipment

Can you talk about your gear? What do you recommend for beginners?
I started out with the Indiana 1100P and a 95 inch foil board. The 1100P wing is perfect for a gradual take off, providing exceptional lift and stability. Especially in the early stages, it’s important to have that reassuring feeling under your feet. However, due to its high power requirements during extended pumping, it is not suitable for endless pumping. However, it is still recommended for enjoyable laps around the dock.

I am currently riding the Indiana 1396P with a 336 stabiliser. It’s a fantastic combination of power and agility.

How important is the role of technology in pumpfoiling?
The synergy between the components plays a key role. The modern, rigid boards are excellent at transferring power efficiently to the latest generation of wings. I enjoy experimenting with angles and adjusting spacing to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying physics of pumpfoiling.

It’s fascinating to anticipate what’s in store for us in the future.

Community and Lifestyle

How has pumpfoiling impacted your lifestyle?
Pumpfoiling is a lifestyle in itself – it’s nice to have the equipment at hand for a spontaneous session, whatever the weather. I have a Strizy backpack for travelling and another one for air transport. After all, the foil has to accompany you on holiday.

We don’t have a sea and there are no big waves here. There are no surfer boys, but there are foil pumpers – that’s us. A bit crazy, but still cool – the new generation of beach boys and girls 🙂

Are you part of a community or group that shares your passion?
I spend a lot of time at the “Männerbadi” in Zug. And I have also visited Mythenquai a few times. You get to know each other quickly and the atmosphere is very friendly.


What’s next for you in the world of pumpfoiling?
I will continue to enjoy my time at the lake, with the aim of gradually increasing the distance and duration of my sessions.

Any shoutouts or people you’d like to thank?
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my family for supporting me in sports and enabling me to participate in numerous and extensive pump sessions. A special thank you also goes to Betty, my best friend, who introduced me to water sports – we’ve had many crazy sessions together 🙂 And, of course, a big thank you to Patrick for providing me with rental equipment and wings – looking forward to our next pump session at Mythenquai!



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