Differences between Wingsurfing and Windsurfing. Which one is better?

If you have heard of the new trendy sport called wingsurfing, it may seem like it is the same as windsurfing, but they are actually different sports. Do you want to know the differences between windsurfing and windsurfing? In this post we are going to discuss on the main differences between wingsurfing and windsurfing

Wingsurfing is a new type of sport in which a handheld wing (a sail) is used to propel the board on the water. Since this sport involves a foil board, handheld sail, and wind, many people assume that it is a type of kitesurfing or windsurfing. Although it does share a few similarities with other kitesurfing and windsurfing, it is a totally different type of sport!

Windsurfing is also a water sport in which wind propels the board, but it has one major difference from wingsurfing. In the wingsurfing, the handheld wing is small and is not attached to the board. On the other hand, windsurfing uses a board that is attached to a big wing – You can think of it as a boat with a sail attached to it that uses the power of the wind to sail through the water.

One of the key differences between both of these sports is that the wingsurfing is very easy to learn. On the other hand, windsurfing does require a learning curve, but it is still relatively easier than kitesurfing which requires dedicated equipment and a lot of practice.

>> Discover some of the best wing foil spots in the world


whhat is more difiicult? Wingsurfing or windsurfing?
winsurf vs wingsurf

Wingsurfing – Everything you need to know!


Let’s start with the wingsurfing and explore how it works:

Wingsurfing is not here to replace kitesurfing, surfing, or even windsurfing… In fact, it is a new form of sport which makes surfing a lot easier and more fun! If you have any experience with kitesurfing or even windsurfing, you would know that these sports can be hard to learn and usually involves riding the waves at high speed.

On the other hand, wingsurfing is not about jumping higher or riding faster on the waves. The wingsurfing is all about having fun and riding the waves with a handheld and inflatable sail. Since the size of the inflatable sail is small and is held in the hands, the speed generated from this sail is moderate.

This moderate speed makes it easy for even beginners to learn and practice these sports. Another benefit is that it is less dangerous than kitesurfing and windsurfing as well.

For those who want to try some water or wind sports but are afraid of the fast speeds, big waves, and all the dangers that come with extreme sports such as kitesurfing, then the best choice is wingsurfing which focuses more on having fun rather than speeds or big jumps.

And the equipment required for wingsurfing is minimal as well – Only a foil board and an inflatable sail (handheld) are required to enjoy the wingsurfing. 

>> Learn wing foiling in Sri Lanka


Windsurfing – Everything you need to know!

Let’s start with windsurfing and explore how it works:

Windsurfing is also about surfing the waves through the power of wind but has some major differences from wingsurfing. In windsurfing, a specialized “windsurfing board” is used to move through the water with the help of winds.
The windsurfing board is basically a board on which a sail (rig) is attached – Through this board, the surfer can move through the water.
When we compare windsurfing with wingsurfing, the former is easier, and one can get started right away. On the other hand, windsurfing comes with a learning curve, and depending on the winds, the windsurfer board can attain a very fast speed.
Although windsurfing requires a learning curve at the start, it is still relatively easier than kitesurfing which can be more extreme and dangerous. In order to learn windsurfing, there are dedicated windsurfing schools all over the world!
On the scale of extremity, the wingsurfing is the easiest one – Windsurfing can be considered moderate, while kitesurfing is on the other extreme end.

Now that we understand what windsurfing is, let’s look at the equipment needed for this sport:

Windsurfing Board + Rig

A Windsurfing board is basically a combination of the rig and the board. These two parts are joined together to form the windsurfing board, which resembles a surfboard with a big sail attached to it. On average, the size of the windsurfing board can range from 2 meters up to 2.5 meters and depends entirely on the surfing conditions and the skill level of the surfer.
The windsurfing boards are made from a variety of materials such as PVC, epoxy, carbon sandwich, and fiberglass. The basic idea behind the use of such materials is to ensure durability and to keep the board surface slippery.
In the middle of the windsurfing board, there is a centerboard, and on the bottom side, there are fins – All of these things are used to control the board through the waves and to keep it stable.
Another part of the windsurfing board are the foot straps, which helps the user to hold on to the board.
However, the most important part of the windsurfing board is the rig which propels it with the power of wind through the water. There are several parts of the rig which can be used to control the sail or to pull it up or down for speed.

Wingsurfing vs. Windsurfing Comparison

Let’s look at the comparison between these sports:

  Wingsurfing Windsurfing
Skill Level Very easy and can be learned within 1-2 hours at best. It comes with a learning curve & requires a proper school to learn it properly.
Purpose The speed is moderate and doesn’t involve a lot of jumping. It is more about having fun rather than traveling at high speed or jumping through the waves. The size of the sail is bigger than the wingsurfing, and it can get extreme if the wind speed is high. That’s why it is best suited for those who love an adrenaline rush & love to travel through the waves at fast speed.
Equipment A handheld sail & board. Windsurfing Board + Rig (a sail)
Best For: Beginners + For those who like to have fun! Intermediate + Those who live to sail at a fast speed & love an adrenaline rush!




Considering how most of these water sports involve a sail and a board, it can get confusing for many. In fact, that’s why many people start to think that all these wind sports are the same thing! In reality, they are all different, and the skill levels required for each are different as well!

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