A wing surfing journey and why it might not be the future.

Foiling related talk in here
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rod
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A wing surfing journey and why it might not be the future.

Post by rod »

First go at wing surfing today with an ozone wasp 6m. On Axbridge reservoir.

At its best the wind was about 11-16 knots. Plenty for my 5.8 and slingshot foil.

On the wing (with a 2000sq cm i84 slingshot foil) I managed about 3 seconds up on the foil. (back on the wind foil I rarely dropped off the foil).

It feels as if the wing doesn't generate much power compared to a windsurfing rig. It's also very tiring when the wind drops a bit and you have to half hold the wing up. (Think painting a ceiling while balancing on a 2m long board for 45mins).

It also felt as if it wasn't windy enough even though the wind was a solid f4, which if right means wing surfing is not a low wind sport like wind foiling.

I had two goes today and the best attempt was when the wind was at its highest. 11-16knots according to the reservoir anemometer.

Although this was only my first try I made far less progress than my first attempt at wind foiling. I'd say wing surfing is going to be more difficult to learn.
Last edited by rod on Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
James.blonde
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Re: Wing surfing might not be the future.

Post by James.blonde »

its funny that I've taken to wing surfing instantly and don't even consider wing foiling at all. Much more instant results from even time on sail and wing.
I've now sold my hypernut and got a gong 5'8 110l wing board.5m wing.
At the moment I do need 18 mph min to foil. 3rd session today on new board 6th overall on wing. Flyingmuch more time than not. Today was 18mph to start and got to 23mph when I finished quite choppy but getting used to that.
I'm keen to progress in summer so I can exploit the winter swell when the wind is 12 to 20mph when onshore riding is slack. Ill be able to get out back even if not on foil and pick up the swells for some cool riding in
I couldn't see where wind foiling was going to go for me on South Coast. Thought I'd get bored quickly wind foiling
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rod
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Re: Wing surfing might not be the future.

Post by rod »

Interesting. So you are wing surfing in nearly wave board wind / F5?

What do you do in a F4?
tim319
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Re: Wing surfing might not be the future.

Post by tim319 »

Interesting read.

I was out the other day on an i76 and 5.7 in 11-12kts, and the couple of wingers that launched downwind of me gave up whilst I was on the foil the whole time. No idea what size wing they were using, but they were pumping incredibly hard with little reward. That said, on other days with a couple more knots and they seem to get going fine.

With the advent of the foil there seems to now be a plethora of windsports available, all with quite a bit of overlap. I can see how winging would be great in certain circumstances (open ocean swell, rolling groundswell) especially for kitesurfers launching in difficult spots. There are some winging videos that make it look great, but then again if it's cross-shore logo-high groundswell and 18kts then windsurfing will be fantastic too. At the moment I think I can have just as much fun windfoiling in ocean swell, but maybe I'm wrong.

What sports will be popular 5 years? I'd bet that anything that is quick and easy to setup and transport, whilst not being too difficult and most importantly fun will prove popular. I think the key for all these sports is keeping things fun for the average user, and not going too technical or difficult.
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rod
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Re: Wing surfing might not be the future.

Post by rod »

Also today it was quite tricky keeping the wing tip out of the water (6m wing). So I could really imagine learning with a smaller wing in a *lot* more wind might be easier.
James.blonde
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Re: Wing surfing might not be the future.

Post by James.blonde »

In 18 to 22mph not knots I would be going on a 5.3 but pretty much uninspiring. At the moment this is my minimum.(18mph) I believe with an unbroken swell it would be possible to get out whether on the foil or not and easily pick up the swell on the way in. I think with the size kit I have I could do 15mph with a better technique
In a force 4 ie sub 15mph I just don't bother. Cruising about whether on big windsurf kit or on a foil doesn't float my boat and there are better things to do in my life. Once in a while I go for a coastal cruise which is lovely but only a couple of times a year and then I've got to be pretty powered up to make it worth my while. Ie maxed on 5.3 My biggest sail is 5.3.
Windfoiling will get you going earlier but Its just not something that I think leads to anything else. Wingfoiling basics need more wind to learn, I think that there is more to it though when you progress to waves .
Progress is rapid, I've had 3 sessions on a 135l hypernut then sold that to get a wing board. 1st session had a couple of short flights. Bit of tuning, 2nd session I had some 100m flights. Bit of tuning 3rd session, now flying most of the time in pretty good control. All learnt on the sea in pretty choppy conditions.
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Re: Wing surfing might not be the future.

Post by Ruaraidh_K257 »

I think one of the issues with the reception of winging in the windsurfing community is a misunderstanding of the sports role.

Winging is not a replacement for windsurfing or kiting. It’s a sort of intro to both. With windsurfing, if you want to do it you need to have all the right gear. Kitesurfing is the same. With winging, all you need is a wing and you can mess around with a skateboard, booger, regular sup, skimboard, foil sup and foil surfboard. The skills are so transferable. If you’re a person who surfs somewhere and takes it seriously enough, you’ll be tempted to buy a foil surfboard to use on bad days if you can. You like it, but want a little something more. You don’t want to start kiting because it seems dangerous, uou don’t want to start windsurfing because it’s expensive and difficult to learn. Winging on the other hand is far cheaper and if you have a degree of competency at foiling, windsurfing or kiting, should take a few days max to learn. You don’t need any extra equipment beside the wing.


It’s like an intro device to windsports.

I think I’ve made a bit of a hash of trying to get my point across, but if you look at the latest issue of windsurf magazine theres a fantastic one page article from the slingshot people (I think!) talking about the benefits of winging as an introduction to windsurfing and kiting.

One of the problems with windsurfing is when people start they tend to have very little awareness of how the wind actually works in practice and struggle to respond to the sail. Learning winging gives you those skills and that awareness.


So to sum up I don’t think anyone is saying winging is the future as some sort of replacement to windsurfing, the idea is it exists as some sort of universal introductory phase
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ronnie
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Re: Wing surfing might not be the future.

Post by ronnie »

Very fit and expert wingfoilers can get going in light wind, but they are using very small boards and pumping the foil is a big part of going early for them. Wingfoiling also normally uses bigger foils than windfoiling.

From what I have read, windfoiling will be a lighter wind option for most people, so I don't think wingfoiling's selling point versus windfoiling is related to light wind. Windfoiling seems to be accepted as the easiest way to get into foiling other than behind a boat (if you can windsurf).

The wing's success is tied a lot to foiling. The efficiency of the foil means the lower power of an inflatable wing (partly related to it being symmetrical so limited in width/area by the size of a person) can now be enough for performance. There has been the carbon spar kitewing around for many years, but it's success was limited mostly to skates on ice.

As Ruaraidh says, the wing will work with things like a SUP, and could introduce SUP people to windsports. They have had the iRig around for years, and it could be fitted to a SUP using a strap to attach a mast base, but the wing makes it much easier, and if you have an inflatable SUP, you already have the pump.

I've just received a 1922 sq cm foil wing (was using a 1485), so going to concentrate more on learning to wing foil this Summer (if we get enough wind).
Last edited by ronnie on Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:42 am, edited 3 times in total.
maker
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Re: Wing surfing might not be the future.

Post by maker »

Never wingfoiled and was intrigued until I found out how much wind you need, when I can wind or kitesurf anyway. One rationale was from a good surfer and windsurfer who got one to get out to swells 500m offshore where you can hold wing in one hand offering no power so just like proper surfing. Seeing a few more around with the aim of surfing. Interesting
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rod
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Re: Wing surfing might not be the future.

Post by rod »

ronnie wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:35 am Very fit and expert wingfoilers can get going in light wind, but they are using very small boards and pumping the foil is a big part of going early for them. Wingfoiling also normally uses bigger foils than windfoiling.
It was certainly my impression that I would be able to get up in a f4 with a 6m wing and large foil (I'm using a 2000sq cm slingshot).
I'm hoping that is still possible, we will see...

Ruaraidh the guy I bought my wing from builds foiling Moths, and is a dinghy sailor (never kited or windsurfed). He has been winging for a year and definitely is not looking for an 'intro' to windsurfing / kiting and he was clearly not after something he could 'mess around' with . He is serious about winging, in the same way we are about windsurfing.

For sure the marketing BS is all about accessibility, ease of use, quick to inflate, intro to going on the water etc etc. But that is all marketing BS.
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