If you’re unfamiliar with wing foiling, imagine a collision between a kitesurfer and a windsurfer. From the ensuing carnage, a sleeker and more user-friendly waterborne package that requires less wind to work emerges. Many kiteboarders and naish wing surfers are forsaking their sports and taking up winging for this reason. Less equipment also means it’s easier to learn, as there are fewer things to think about and get tangled.
Moreover, the whole set up is travel-friendly – especially when compared to the size of windsurfing boards, booms, and sails, as well as the variety and bulk of kitesurfing kites, cords, and harnesses. With winging, you have a board, a foil, and a wing. Everything can be easily bagged and checked when travelling, and it’s all compact enough to fit into a small apartment and a rental car, no roof racks required.
Also read: BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO WING FOILING
As to when wing foiling started, you’ll be hard pressed to find a video with winging prior to 2017. And the first commercial wing was only released in 2018. Since then, the sport has seen rapid growth with various disciplines branching off. In late 2020 the first freestyle event was held where participants launched themselves and their equipment into multiple flip and spin combinations. People are winging on flat water in lakes and harbours, and when there’s swell in the ocean they’re doing long distance downwinders — going from one spot to another — following a coastline harnessing the wind and open ocean swells.
Now, while this all sounds simple and straight-forward, there’s a bit of a learning curve. The wing can be awkward to manage when you first start out. And the act of balancing on a rising foil needs to be mastered. If you don’t have a foil or foil board, a great way to get the feel of a wing is on a skateboard. That’s ideal if you have a large, flat and empty concrete area around. Or if you have a lake, harbour, or area of flat water in the vicinity, use a standup paddle board (SUP). They’re stable and easy to get back onto if — okay, when — you fall off.
As surfing lineups get ever more crowded around the world, winging is becoming an attractive option for those looking for their fix of water time and natural thrills. With 70 percent of the globe covered by water, the current winging boom has barely scratched the surface. From the surf to flat water and from parking lots to snow and ice, the versatility and freedom that winging offers is just too much of an allure to ignore.
People wanting to learn wing and wing foiling who already have a background in water sports, especially wind sports, will probably find life a little easier to learn and should look to get a kit they can use. learn and progress. Experienced windsurfers who are used to standing on boards that sink at slow speeds will find a smaller windsurf board relatively easily and may find that they can opt for a smaller board sooner.
On the board side they are going to need something more than slingshot wingcraft as they can stand on while moving through the water at speeds without foils while they learn to control the kite and keep the ground upwind without foils – learning to save yourself at this stage is always advised.
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