Have you noticed those guys on the beach kite foiling without lines on the kite? Then, they are probably having some fun with that new modality called Wing Foiling. The first time we saw Wing Foiling, we were really surprised! What the hell is this new sport? Flying around on the water with just a Wing and a Foil board… It sounds amazing, right? So let’s go deep about what Wing Foiling is and how can we learn this new modality!
What is Wing Foiling?
The Wing Foil is a very recent new modality, and it consists of the handling of a Wing without being attached to the board and not requiring lines. We can simply handle it with our hands, and it can be attached to a harness or leash.
The traction generated by us will be used to slide in various ways: Hydrofoil, SUP, Skate, Ski … Hydrofoil being one of the best choices due to the little resistance that it offers.
In the sea, we can move freely using both the energy of the wind and the waves.
With Wing Foiling, you can move with as much freedom as possible on the water by using the energy of the wind and the waves. The Wing provides a lot of manageabilities and an easy take-off with the Foil by using a constant force.
This modality will allow us to find new spots until now never imagined, without the inconvenience of finding space to set up our kite lines.
It will also be a good option for spots with restrictions in summer, entering through the enabled channel without making anyone in danger.
Without further ado, let’s go with our guide about how to Wind Foil.
How many knots is it needed to learn Wing Foil?
“With the Wing foil, you can sail from 6 to 8 knots of wind”
Why learning wing foiling?
Down here you have some excellent tips and advice about why should you start learning Wing foiling. But first, let’s see the difference between Wing Foiling and Wing Surfing.
WING FOILING vs WING SURFING, is it the same?
Not really, the main difference between Wing Surfing and Wing Foiling is the board we use in the water. As we will explain later on when it comes to learning Wing Foiling, better to start with a surfing board, and progressively move to a foil board.
Like everything in life, better you go step by step. Wing Foiling requires a lot of practice, and you are not going to learn it in one day. So get a regular board and one you feel ready to move to the Foil, go on.
What are the Pros of learning Wing Foiling?
– Accessibility. The first advantage of wing-surfing or wing- foiling is its accessibility. Your Wing (propulsion) is directly connected to your hands with some handles, and if you want to stop you can lose the handle and if what you want is to go slower you can open them. It has a high reactive response, and it is 100% safe
– Wind range. Accompanied by a hydrofoil under the board, the wind range multiplies, and it is incredible how quickly you can start flying and the amount of wind you can handle. With a quality hydrofoil wing, you pass the wind gaps without even realizing it.
– From anywhere. We all know the problem of prohibitions, official channels and how complicated is access to some beaches to water sports. With the Wing forget about these handicaps as you can start from anywhere: jetty, pier, rocky beach, from a boat … there are no longer limits to have fun in the water. Forget about running from the police anymore. If you learn Wing Foiling, you will be able to have fun everywhere without being fined.
– Versatility: you can ride it with hardly any planning and enjoy in the water with a good Freeride session or several kilometres downwind. Everybody can enjoy Wing Surfing safely: from your girlfriend to your son and friends.
Here, we want to show you the PROS of Wing Foiling and Wing surfing VS other modalities.
WINDSURF VS WINGFOIL: fewer elements to carry / light rigging (initiation) / more range of use / more freedom of movement in navigation.
KITEBOARDING VS WINGFOIL: access to the sea/kite channels.
SURFING VS WINGFOIL: windy sessions / distant waves.
We hope that with these forehead arguments, we have convinced you that learning Wing Foiling it will always be the right choice. Now let’s talk about the Wing foil equipment.
What equipment do you need to learn Wing Foiling?
Since learning Wing Foiling requires specific equipment, here we introduce you the three main items you will need to know Wing Foil.
The Wind Foil equipment consists of 3 essential elements:
Let’s start with an essential item: the Wing. Nowadays, many brands are launching their new Wings products to the market. Because it is a relatively new modality, we can not say yet what Wing is the best one to learn Wing surfing or Wing Foiling. However, there are two features in common for those Wings who are the best to learn Wing Foiling:
– The design of the Wing is probably the most important thing when we talk about learning Wing Surfing or Wing Foiling. And it is because its shape and depth will give the guarantee of power and stability. Since we handle the propulsion with our arms, we cannot have an unstable wing that destabilizes us and jerk us constantly
– Lightness is another critical feature to take in mind. The Wing is handled by force of our arms; therefore, a light wing is essential. The lighter the Wing is, the more pleasant will be to take it.
The board is the base, where we will look for support, and we will stay on it before take-off. There are several types of navigation possible. There is very recreational navigation without Hydrofoil focused on students who are learning from the ground or who are on their first steps. For that, better to learn with a large board, preferably inflatable (safety first) and equipped with added side fins to allow upwind.
There are three essential points regarding the Wing Foil board: Firstly, the board has to allow a quick launch to take off with minimal speed and power. Successful volume distribution (shape) and lightweight construction using quality materials is a must when it comes to a friendly board to learn kite.
Secondly, once in flight, the front side part of the board ( the part that is in front of your front foot) is almost unnecessary. It is vital to get a very compact shape with just the right bow dimensions to help you to take-off but do not disturb you in flight.
Finally, the appropriate volume according to the weight of the rider is the most critical point. That’s why down here there are some references to help you choose the volume of your board.
- Beginners: rider weight +40 L
- Intermediate: rider weight +10 L
- Advanced: rider weight -15 L
The Hydrofoil is also called a wing, and we place it under the board at the stern. It is an essential part that will give you the power of flight, and once up, stability and manoeuvrability.
The hydrofoil wing is made up of 2 parts: the plane, which is the whole lower part (front wing/fuselage/stabilizer (small rear Wing)), and the mast, which can be made of aluminium or carbon.
The measures that we recommend for initiation in Wing Foiling would be wings between 1500 and 2200 cm2 with a mast measurement of 45cm to 65cm. For more advanced riders, we can choose Wing sizes from 1280 to 1500 cm2 that will give you better manoeuvrability but need more technique, since the smaller the Wing is, the more speed we have. The most recommended mast for a medium level would be between 75cm and 85cm, and it can be both made of aluminium or carbon.
The reliability of your hydrofoil wing is vital. Many elements receive a considerable force, especially at the connection points. A good design is a basis for a reliable and durable hydrofoil wing.
Once again, all the experience in the market in kiteboards, designs, and race paddle surfboards together with several years of experience in hydrofoil manufacturing makes our wings accessible, versatile, useful in their modalities and impressive performance. If you want to start in this world full of possibilities, bet on international brands with experience in this sector.
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Before we go deep with our ultimate guide about how to wing foil, let´s see how to set up Wing!
* Remove the wing from its bag.
* Place it on the ground with the leading edge facing the direction of the wind
* Unroll the wing tips to the sides.
* Tie the hook of the pump with the connection to the wrist leash
* Screw the red valve onto the wing and unscrew the black plug from the red valve.
* Connect the nozzle of the pump with the red valve and start to inflate the wing. The center rib will take longer to swell than the rest of the wing.
* Once the leading edge is swollen take a break, let the center rib fill with air. Once it is full of air, the wing continues to inflate until it reaches 7 PSI. Avoid inflating the wing above 8 PSI as you could damage it.
* Disconnect the pump nozzle from the red valve. Roll the black plug onto the red valve and remember to cover the valve with the black neoprene cover to protect the valve wing.
HOW TO WING FOIL
STEP NUMBER 1 – Learning Wing Foiling: How to handle the Wing
* Before getting into the water with the wing we recommend you stay in the sand for a while to learn how to handle it in light winds, below 10 knots.
* Always wear the wrist leash and tie it to your wrist before you start.
* If you notice that you have too much power and you feel losing control, then release the wing and it will lose power with the wrist leash.
* In the event wing was upside down, grab the leading edge handle (the thinnest handle) and flip the wing with your free hand pushing under the leading edge. If you were with the 5m or 6m, approach with your hands along the leading edge towards the tip and push underneath.
* The wing has several power handles: On the leading edge (the thickest), center rib and a depower handle on the front of the leading edge (the thinnest).
* To move through the sand, always take the wing by the depower handle (the thinnest handle).
* To start practicing using the wing, put one hand on the front power handle (the thickest handle on the leading edge) and the other hand on the second handle on the center rib.
* First try to keep the wing flying over your head.
* Then try to catch the third handle of the rib.
* Try to keep both arms straight. If one is too loose the wing will typically drop.
* If you lose control, let go of your back hand, (the one gripping the rib handle) the wing will lose power and stabilize.
* Once you feel like you are in control by driving the wing over your head, you can begin to test it by moving the wing to generate power.
* Move your front hand (the one you have on the leading edge handle) to the first rib handle and the back hand can be placed on the 3rd or 4th rib handle. The further back your hand is on the rib, the more power the wind will generate.
* Another alternative is to use your front hand to grasp the “Y” handle on one side. Many people find this easier to control the wind
* You should also practice changing direction. To change direction, you can place the front hand on 3 different handles: the Y handle (on one side), the first rib handle, or the leading edge handle (thick handle).
* Once you have your front hand in one of the 3 positions, release your back hand and bring it to where your front hand is, holding the wind above your head. Turn your body and move your back hand to the handle you were using.
* The next step is to practice getting up off the board. Get on your knees on the board. Help yourself lift with the power of the wind. Make sure to keep the wind flat above your head.
* Now you must practice everything combined. Kneeling on the board, drop the wind, pick it up, turn it, change sides, change handle positions, etc.
* Once you’ve practiced all of this in the sand and you feel confident, it’s time to hit the water!
STEP NUMBER 2 – Learning Wing Foiling – How to take off with the Wing Foil
* If you are not a Foiler we recommend that you start with a SUP and better you use one that is large enough. To calculate the volume (how many liters) you must add 20% to your weight.
* Get into the water with your board and your wing* Get on the board and get on your knees. Try to keep the position of the board 90 degrees to the direction of the wind and in the direction you want to start.
* In order to turn the board into the wind, you must place your front hand on the “Y” handle or on the first rib handle and your back hand on the third rib handle. Push the wing downwind and this will make the board spin upwind.
* In order to turn the board downwind, move your back hand to the fourth handle and push the wing into the wind, this will make the nose of your board turn downwind.
* When you have the board pointing 90 degrees from wind direction, move your back hand to the fourth handle on the rib and lift yourself off the board. Make sure to keep the wing flat over your head, otherwise the tip will touch the water and flip the wing into the water.
* If you have enough power and the wing is well-positioned, you should move forward.
* Remember, to stay upwind while cruising, keep your back hand on the third handle and push the wing downwind.
* In order to go downwind, move your back hand to the fourth or fifth handle and push the wing upwind.
* In light winds, using the “Y” handle creates more lift when pumping. Your back hand should be at least on the fourth handle.
* Make sure your back foot is on the centerline of the board and your front foot is slightly off the centerline of the board towards the wind direction.
* When the board picks up a bit of speed, you need to start pumping the board and the wing to get the foil up. Good pumping is probably one of the most important steps to take off
* Start by pumping your wing by pulling your elbows toward your knees.
* Remember to keep your hands up to prevent the tip from touching the water. If the tip touches the water it can throw the wing into the water.
* When you feel the resistance in your arms and the board starts to move, push with your back foot and immediately take the pressure off your front foot to let the nose of the board rise. As soon as the nose is up, press with your front foot and immediately repeat these steps.
* In good wind conditions and with a Foil with a proper size it should not take more than 3 or 4 pumps to get up. However, in low wind conditions, you will have to pump harder and longer.
When you’re up and want to go upwind, move your rear hand further back and push the wing towards the tail of the board. To go downwind, move your backhand forward and push the wing towards the nose of the board.