You are correct Tom, Marc Blanc was years ahead of EVERYONE, and did what is only done today, back then 8 years ago.
He was not the first no, others got that credit indeed.
But he was the first to take it to a totally new level, freestyle/freeride foiling on "new" gear, strapless, and I bow in respect for him as a true pioneer, moving the limits to the extreme because of dedication and talent, way before "the world" started hydrofoiling for real, and that was mostly because of the racing advantages
I am also an ex dinghy racer, all kinds - but that was before windsurfing existed.
Moved to windsurfing and surfing in 1978 and forward, and kept both till now, eventhough windsurf is only a bit of windfoil now.
Surf and Windsurf (and now kitesurf) is so much closer to the elements in every aspect, great
Flown gliders, hanggliders, some aerobatics too.
Flown RC glider competitions, RC helicopter aerobatics.
Loving EVERYTHING in or on the water (except motorized
), so as said, hydrofoiling combines everything - waves, wind, flying, gliding, surfing, being one with the sea which everything is all about for me.
Every other sport on land, also those that "resembles somewhat" might be fun and good exercise but never comes near the water zen feeling, they are (almost "were") simply a great passtime but dont come nowhere near the sensation of anything in or on or above the water