Wing foil: one wing, one board and one foil
From the choice of material to the first edges
The wing foil is a rather remarkable discipline that lies between windsurfing, kitesurfing and sup. In addition to being accessible, it does not require bulky equipment or large spaces. Moreover, the wing practitioners invade little by little the surf and kite spots. They are attracting more and more people who want to discover foiling and go to new spots that were previously inaccessible to kitesurfing or surfing.
How to learn wing foil ?
The wing foil is ideal for use in calm seas. Indeed, during the first attempts, it is possible to fall several times. Large swells will only make the situation worse and make the experience unpleasant. In addition, wing foil requires a minimum of preparation, especially when handling the material. Don’t hesitate at the beginning to take the wing on the sand or in stand up paddle. To begin with, it is easier to get a good breeze, especially between 13 and 20 knots. This provides the force necessary to lift the board and get it out of the water easily. Afterwards you can decrease the low range and increase the high range!
More and more schools are opening up to the practice of wing. Don’t hesitate to take a few lessons before you start, the learning process will only be faster.
What to choose?
What volume of board?
The choice of the board is essential for an easy start in wing foil. Generally, the boards used for wing foil are paddle or surf foil boards. However, there are a few boards specific to wingfoil. When choosing your board, it is important to take into account several factors, namely your sailing program, your weight and your wing foil level.
The choice of your wing foil board will largely depend on your weight. If you practice wing surfing or sup, it is quite possible to choose the same volume for your wing foil board. Indeed, the ideal volume of a board for a person weighing between 50 and 70 kg is between 70 and 95 litres. It often takes +20/30 liters in relation to its weight to know the volume of your ideal wing foil board when you want to start.
Which foil to start wing foiling ?
Just as for the practice of wakefoil, windfoil or sup foil, the choice of the foil is fundamental to guarantee the best sensations. Thus, it is essential to take into account the area of the front wing and the height of the mast. To start out in wing foil, a mast around 80 cm is ideal. The larger the surface area of the front wing, the more lift it generates to allow the rider to get up easily. As for the weight and materials of the foil, there are fibreglass, carbon and aluminium foils. Carbon foils are the lightest and provide the best performance.
What size wing?
The choice of wing size will mainly depend on the range of use you are aiming for. In a wind range of 10 to 20 knots, for a size of 70-85kg, we recommend a 5m, for a size under 70kg, a 4m and for a size over 85kg, a 6m. In any case, it is better to increase your front foil area than to increase the size of your wing for lightwind for example.
How do you set your foil?
Today, several types of boxes exist to attach your foil to your board: Solid box, Tuttle, Deep Tuttle, Rails double US,… However, the double US rails are used for 99% of the wingfoil practice. The latter allows an optimal adjustment of the position of your foil. The more you place your foil on the front of the board, the more power it will offer. This configuration is ideal for larger sailors or for lighter wind ranges. Conversely, the further a foil is aft, the more the lift is reduced. If the foil is ejecting and forces you to press too hard on the front leg (lighter weight, high speed, stronger wind…) for example, you have to move the foil back in the rails to get more control by reducing its power.
How to carry your equipment efficiently?
The wing foil equipment includes: the foil, the board and the wing. After observing the water, preparing your board, getting equipped, inflating your wing and attaching the leashes (board and wing), you can finally go in the water!
But for that, you have to carry all this gear to the water in an efficient way to avoid letting the wing fly away or the board drift…
How to start on the water?
To start with the wing foil, the start is the hardest. However, with the right techniques and a few sessions, the start will be easy. Just like kitefoil or windfoil in the beginning, it is essential to have excellent support at the beginning thanks to a bulky board. You’ll use the wing to gain speed. Here are some practical tips to help you get started successfully:
- Get in the water with the wing and the hydrofoil then sit on your knees and stay in the middle of the board;
- Start moving around keeping the wing out of the water;
- Raise the leg and seek stability by holding the wing up. You must at this time in the “slot” position. Push with your back leg to stand up with one leg in the middle of the board and the other at the back;
- To gain speed, don’t hesitate to pump with your wing to start flying;
You will then be able to refine your technique so that your movements are more efficient and less tiring!
If you still have some time, we did a webinar where we talk about wing foil in length and breadth with Bruno André, product development manager at AFS.