Marley Franco

I am a grom born on Maui, Hawaii. I live on the North Shore of Maui and I love being in the ocean, doing sports and traveling. I love surfing, kitesurfing, windfoiling, skateboarding, diving, mountain biking, snowboarding and hanging out with my friends. I am someone who isn't afraid to try new things and to not give up so easily.
Maui, Hawaii
12 years old
Wing foiling since January 2020

Gear

Takuma ConceptKT Surfing

Questions & Answers

What other water sports do you do and how long?

Other water sports I like to do are surfing, kite boarding, wing foiling, and surf foiling. I also like fishing, diving and want to learn windsurfing.

What do you like about wing foiling?

I like the feeling that I am flying and you can go really fast, jump high, do fun freestyle tricks and ride waves so smoothly. Wave wing foiling is really fun because you can glide and turn really smoothly on the wave. The equipment is also faster and easier to set up than kite surfing and I can wing in other places that are not easy for other wind sports.

How did you learn and how long did it take you to wing foil?

It took me a day to learn how to waterstart and get up and going. I learned on my 4’0 prone surf foil board that sinks. I was kitesurfing a lot before, so it made it a little easier to understand the wind and my foil board. I was self taught with just tips from my parents and friends. Everyone learns differently though and it may go faster or slower for others. I tell my friends to just keep trying and do it on consecutive days that helps a lot.

What is your favorite gear combination and why?

I currently ride a 2.6m, 3m, 4m Wing Rides Model 3 wings. My favorite foil is the all carbon Takuma Concept 980 Kuijra foil that I just received, it is so insane. It carries amazing speed, has good maneuverability in waves and is so light. I can try back flips and bigger jumps. It's by far my favorite foil. The foil itself is like a piece of art. It looks beautiful with its scalloped wings. The board I ride is a 4’0 KT Surfing custom carbon prone foil board. It's really light and durable. I am hopefully going to get a smaller board soon, that will make it easier to do more freestyle tricks.

What was your favorite wing surfing session?

My favorite wing session I think was this spring at Hookipa in some good sized waves with a few other really good riders. I have also had some fun Maliko Downwinders with Jesse Richman and Annie Reichkert. The other day I had a really good session riding with Ridge and Kai Lenny, Annie Reichkert, Jeffery and Finn Spencer, Otis Buckingham and Cash Berzollas. Everyone was jumping really high and trying back flips and it was super fun!

What do you want or believe will significantly improve the wing foiling gear?

I think the technology of foils and wings is going to be more refined to be lighter, stronger and better for jumping and riding bigger waves. Hopefully, they will create gear to be good quality and more affordable for more kids and other people to enjoy the sport that normally couldn't afford it now.

What tips or recommendations do you have for anyone who wants to start?

Find out what wing size would be good for your body size and for the conditions where you live, maybe try a friend or buy one and just borrow a board and older foil from a friend to start. Borrow a bigger board or a standup board and go try. Work on flying the wing and becoming comfortable with it and than work on your board and foil skills. Hopefully, have a friend or someone to help you out too or give you tips. Alan Cadiz has some great videos that can help too. Most of all Never Give Up. Keep trying and doing it over and over. You will soon get wing foiling and be ripping.

What is your biggest water sport achievement?

In January 2020 I had one of my bigger achievements in my water sports. I scored a 10 point ride at the Legends of the Bay contest at Honolua Bay. I felt so honored since they dont give those scores very often and the conditions were tough with few waves coming through and I had just recently come out of a cast on my wrist, so I had not been back surfing long before the event. I have had many other water sport achievements, but this one stands out lately. Landing a 360 winging was a pretty fun achievement too but now I have to achieve the back flip!