What are the weather conditions for wing foil sailing?
Before sailing, it is important to check the weather conditions and observe the spot.
We will therefore give you some guidelines for observing a spotlight.
First, we can observe the wind direction. On a body of water, the wind can depend on the landscape: when it is regular, the wind will also be regular in space (not in strength). This means that on 10 meters it is very likely to have the same wind.
For beginners it is ideal because you don’t have to worry about your position on the water.
On the other hand, if the landscape is irregular, the wind will also be spatially irregular. This means that there will be light and dark areas. Here, you should rather prefer dark areas, where it is windy. And inevitably, we’re going to try to avoid the clear zones, the zones of calm.
An irregular wind is more complex and will require observation of the water. You will have to turn around, observe, turn back and look for the dark areas. This requires a more advanced level.
Direction of drift
The wind direction will also give us the direction of the drift. Indeed, once on the water, you drift in the direction of the wind. To give you an image, it is a large conveyor belt on which we will unroll from the top to the bottom of the carpet. The stronger the wind, the faster the belt goes, and the weaker the wind, the slower the belt goes.
Knowing the direction allows you to anticipate the drift, we talk about safety margin: I know that I may end up far away so I take a small safety margin. That is to say, you have to walk upwind (go up to the top of the mat) and, when you drift, you will fall back to your starting point.
Wind direction and level of practice
Concerning the wind direction, a beginner will prefer conditions with a headwind, therefore a sea wind. Indeed, by drifting, the practitioner will naturally return to the beach.
The onshore wind is rather reserved for experienced riders who know how to ride upwind. Indeed, the onshore wind will take you offshore and it will be much more complicated to get back on board.
At the beginning of sailing, for beginners, favour short tacks. This allows you to adjust your equipment but also to anticipate its drift and analyze its position. If we manage to stay on a short tack, a beam, it means that if we go further we should be able to go upwind. So to avoid surprises, start with small edges.
The force of the wind can be seen on the water with the formation of small sheep: the foam. When you start to see little sheep appear, it means that there are about 10 knots of wind (18 km/h). Of course, the more sheep you see, the stronger the wind.
Water level observation and mast height
Before sailing, we will look at the state of the sea, therefore the state of the water: flat/smooth (light or no wind) or choppy (stronger wind).
The chop will influence the choice of mast height. A big mast will allow to absorb more easily the chop because the board will be higher above the water. On the other hand, a small mast will be less efficient in flight in conditions with waves.