Wingfoiling or Wingsurfing is the new craze for people like me. That is why we bought our own gear after some lessons.
What is Wingfoiling?
Wingfoiling or wingsurfing is not new, already in the 80s of the last century you already had sails in the form of a wing without mast or boom. The equipment consists of a “Wing” or the sail and a hydrofoil board, but you can also practice on a supboard.
The wing is an inflatable cloth similar to a tube kite and one also speaks of the leading-edge, trailing edge and in the middle there is a strut to keep it in shape. There are also handles on the strut to hold the wing.
Wingfoiling is most similar to windsurfing, where your arms act as a mast or boom.
The wing is an inflatable cloth, with a leading edge, and 1 strut, so the wing keeps its shape. There is a handle on the leading edge to hold the sail in neutral position. There are several handles on the strut to hold the canvas, so you can sail and steer by keeping the canvas in the wind.
The board is a somewhat larger kite surfboard with a mast and a hydrofoil. We had an inflatable board with a short mast and a wider hydrofoil for stability.
The Wingfoiling course
We have booked a lesson Wingfoiling with Lolke van Kitez. When we arrive Lolke is already inflating the boards and screwing the mast and hydrofoil together. We change and pump up the wings.
We get a short introduction how to keep the kite in neutral position and how to keep the wing in the wind to sail, otherwise it is mainly in practice, so we are going to be water soon.
Because we had an E-Foil course last week, we are familiar with a hydrofoil board, but now we do not have a remote in our hands, but a wing. After getting used to my knees to see how the wing holds up in the wind, it’s time to stand up. That is quite easy. By pulling the sail in the wind you are pulled up a bit and before you know it you are on the super stable board.
It is indeed very similar to windsurfing, only now you have the sail in your hands. Sailing upwind or downwind, like windsurfing, can be steered with your sail, but also put pressure on the board with your feet. You stand up straight, so don’t hang out like with kite surfing, that takes some getting used to. You learn to sail quickly, but foiling now is a bit more difficult.
To really foil, you have to plan the board in order to ride on your mast. This works if you have enough speed and you put your feet on the back of the board, you will feel a lift and the resistance in the water will decrease. I didn’t really blow this lesson, because I had some trouble with my balance when the board came out of the water, but this is a matter of doing it a few times and then you are just wingfoiling.
Wing foiling is fairly easy to learn for everyone. Young and old, with little or no board sport experience, Wingsurfing is not difficult. If you feel like it, then after a short explanation and some patience you will probably quickly surf the board with your wing. However, purchasing all gear is quite an expensive affair.
35 Knots offers training to get to know this new sport. Click here for our wingfoil course.
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