Wing foiling is an epic new water sport that provides a thrilling adventure and a great workout without the brutal battering of waves. It also takes up less space on the water compared to windsurfing and is much safer.
Beginner wing foilers should choose boards that are floaty and stable. Look for a board with 30-40 litres more volume than your body weight to maximise stability.
Foiling is an easy-to-learn water sport that offers a natural, irresistible thrill. It appeals to surfers, paddle boarders, windsurfers and sailors alike as a way to enjoy the water without waves or wind. It’s a fun activity for kids as well as seniors, requires significantly less equipment than other water sports and can be enjoyed at many more accessible locations.
The first step in getting started is to obtain a suitable foil setup. A complete foil rig is comprised of a mast, front and rear wings and a fuselage that connects them all. Foil wings are available in a wide range of sizes and can be upgraded as your skills progress. The strength of the wind dictates the size of the wing, and it’s important to consult local knowledge about where you will be launching. Lighter wind conditions will require a larger wing, whereas stronger winds will demand a smaller wing.
Wing foiling is a relatively new sport that requires some specialised equipment, but it’s not expensive and is easily accessible for beginners. The most important piece of gear is a hydrofoil, which lifts the board off the water, and this can be purchased as a complete kit or bought piece by piece as your skill level increases.
Another necessary item is a foil board, which comes in various shapes and sizes. The best option for a beginner is a large and stable surfboard that has a specific hydrofoil mount built-in, available in hard-sided surfboard designs or travel-friendly inflatable options. It’s also a good idea to purchase a leash to keep your wing and foil secure in case you fall or wipe out while riding.
Foils tend to come in a few different parts, including the front and rear wings and a fuselage that connects these two pieces. They are also available in a variety of spans, surface areas, and aspect ratios, which can influence performance and maneuverability.
It would be best if you took the necessary safety precautions when wing foiling. It includes understanding and respecting all relevant safety rules both on and off the water. Additionally, you must practice in a controlled environment and develop your skills before venturing into challenging conditions.
When starting, choose an easily accessible area for launching and make sure that the wind strength and water conditions correspond to your skill level. Also, consider the topography of the location and look out for rocks or other hazards that could obstruct your progress. It’s also a good idea to talk to local or more experienced riders about the water conditions and what to expect.
Another important consideration is the condition of your equipment. Make sure that the wing and mast are securely attached to the board and that the leashes connecting them are in good condition. Doing a simple tug test can help you determine whether the leashes are secure.
Wing foiling is a relatively new sport, and as with any water activity, there are risks associated with it. However, by following proper safety protocols, taking lessons from an experienced instructor, and using high-quality equipment, these risks can be minimised. In addition, always wear a helmet and other recommended protective gear when wing foiling. It will protect you in case of a fall or other unforeseen accident.
Wing foiling offers an irresistible new challenge with a huge upside for paddlers. It’s easy to learn; the equipment packs up small; it provides a great fitness workout and is downright fun! However, unless you can ride upwind, it is also very frustrating and tiring. Every time you fall off the foil and have to walk back upwind, you lose all that potential downwind energy.
One of the best ways to increase your enjoyment and speed up the learning process is to seek out guidance from an experienced wing foiler or join a group. It will help you to avoid common mistakes and ensure that you have the right equipment for your skill level.
It is also recommended to practice on land and become familiar with the handling of the wing before going out on the water. It will allow you to develop muscle memory and build confidence in the handling of the wing before trying to stand up and foil.