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How to choose the right Wing Foil equipment
Wingsurf jump, cover for the article: How to choose wing foil equipment

How to choose the right Wing Foil equipment

September 13, 2021

Find out What's the best wing foil gear for your riding syle and experience

Wing foil, also known as "wingsurfing", is the latest trend in the watersports world for 2021. A completely new sport that combines elements of windsurfing, kitesurfing, surfing and foil. But don't be fooled: Wingfoiling it's not just an alternative to this sports or a passing fashion, but a complete discipline that is here to stay!

In fact, Wingsurfing is currently practiced by both surfers coming from other disciplines, and newbies who have never practiced a watersport or boardsport before.

 

Why Wingsurfing became popular so quickly?

First of all, Wingsurfing is a sport that is simple to learn, and accessible to everyone. It's fresh, fun, challenging, and offers some technical advantages compared to other watersports.

Foilers love wingsurfing because you need less bulky equipment, less space on the beach to setup, less room in the water and, once mastered, even less wind fo start.

Furthermore, with just 2 foil wings you can cover a very wide wind range (literally from 10 to 30 kt!). Finally, it's also safer if compared to other disciplines. 

 

Advantages of the Wing Foil Gear

If you get into wing foiling, you will immediately notice that there's less gear to carry, store, clean and manage compared to windsurfing. It's easier to transport in your car, to store at home and to carry with you on a surf trip.

Once deflated, foil wings are way smaller than kites, while the hydrofoil once disassembled fits a carrying case (conveniently provided when you buy a complete hydrofoil kit). Also, a wingsurf board is significantly shorter than a windsurf board. 

Compared to kitesurfing, wingsurfing doesn't need 20+ meters of free space to setup on the beach and ride around. And that's the reason why wingsurfers are often admitted on beaches where kiterurfing is forbidden.

Finally, to wingsurf you don't need an harness, unleast untill you are very advanced.

 

Wingsurfing disciplines

Wingsurfing riding styles are basically the same you' will find in the other watersports, but with some interesting innovations:

Freeride

Reach high speed and cover long distances in no time, go upwind to the limits of what's physycally possible. Or enyoy lightwind days cruising around wihile your kitesurging and windsurfing friends are stuck on the beach.

Freestyle

Wing foiling opened up to a whole new range of tricks and possibilities, making it possible to perform tricks derived from both kitesurfing and windsurfing. Immagine to be able to perform a raley (from kitesurfing) and a forward (from windsurfing), as well as 360° aerials using the same gear!

Wave Surfing

Perform top-turns, bottom-turns and cutbacks while literally floating in the air, from overhead solid swells to mushy waves that wouldn't be surfable or fun on a regular surfboard. Sounds cool aye?

 

Chosing the right Wing Foil equipment

The best way to get into wing foiling is to choose the most appropriate gear for your experience level. The right equipment will help you maximise your experiences and progression, so be sure not to overlook it!

Foil Wing

Wing sizes range from 2.8 meters (nine feet) up to 9 meters. The first thing that you'll want is an appropriately sized wing for your weight: a good starting size would be a 5m2 for anyone above 80kg and 4m2 /4.5m2 for anyone below that weight.

When you're looking to get started with wing surfing, it's going to be easier to learn in stronger wind rather than with lightwind conditions (just don't do your first attempts in crazy conditions, as it will make it too difficult to learn).

Handling

Currently, the wing foil equipment on the market let you choose between 3 different types of wing handlying:

 

Slingshot Slingwing with handles  
Slingwing V3 with handles 
 Duotone Echo with Boom     
Duotone Echo with Boom
Eleveight wfs hybrid wing

  Eleveight WFS Hybrid wingsurfer


The handlying system is really a personal choice, so we recommend to test them all before buying your foil wing. What's sure, windsurfers will find the boom system very familiar, as it makes the handling much more similar to that of the windsurf sails.

 

Leash

A leash is essential to assure a reliable connection to your foil wing during surfing, to make sure you won't loose your wing in the event of a wipeout. Once you let go, the wing will float in the air powerless, but close to you being connected to your wrist. 

There are different points on the wing where you can attach your leash. The best thing to do is to try different setups anddecide on one for yourself!

 

Wingsurf Board

For those who are approaching wing foiling, the board must be wide and stable. Yes, you actually want to be able to stand on the board while you're just floating there!

A good rule of thumb for choosing your wing foil board is to have 30-40 liters of volume over your body weight, even though it might seem like too much at first!

i.e. For a rider weighting about 80 kg, the ideal wingsurf board to start learning how to wing foil should have a volume of at least 110/120 liters.

As soon as the larger size becomes manageable with practice, try going down in size incrementally. By perfecting and refining your technique, it will be then possible to reduce the volume of the board, and to use smaller and more manageable boards, specific for the discipline you want to practice.

 

Experienced watersports enthusiast can also try to start on a slightly smaller board with less volume and more stability, in the 75-95 liters range

Advanced and high level foilers will have to invest in discipline specific foil surfboards, of about 50 liters of volume or less. These offer the rider lots of maneuverability and control over their movement through turns, with the added chance to try and land basic to spectacular freestyle moves.

 

MB Boards Albatros

 

The MB Boards "Albatros" Balz Muller, for example, is available in 3 different sizes:

  • The 118lt is mainly a foil cruising board, which will still make you learn and improve easily.
  • The 98lt is an easier all-arounf foil board which you can use to surf waves and learn new freestyle tricks
  • The 58lt is wave riding and freestyle oriented

 

Wingsurf Foil

A Wingsurf foil is made up of:

  • A Foil Mast
  • Front wing
  • Back wing (aka stabilizer)
  • Fuselage

How to choose an hydrofoil

When choosing an hydrofoil, you'll want to consider stability, for an easy glide, and plenty of lift. 

A fairly high mast (around 70cm or more) will offer you an optimal height and allow you to pierce trough the choppy water.  As a beginner, look for a shorter foil, that won't require high speeds to get up. You'll be able to learn more safely beginning at slower speeds, like 10-12 km/h on the low end.


As you progres, you'll then have a look to a longer foil, able to make fast turns, accelerate quickly, and reach high speedsand.

 

 

 

 

Extra tips for Learning how to Wing Foil

Start pacticing on a spot that has a free and safe area downwind. Most likely, you'll do many repeat runs before learning to stay upwind.

Take deep breaths and give yourself plenty of time: falling off the board, plunging into the water pulling oneself back on board can be exhausting! Take rest breaks as needed and don't forget to laugh and have fun! :)

Try foiling without your Wing:

Practicing just with the foil board will make you understand how it works, so that it will be easier later on, when trying with the wing. You can practice hydrofoiling behind a jet ski, a boat, or also an e-foil.  

Put your helmet on and protective gear to protect yourself from injuries. Hydrofoils are sharp, and boards are hard, so wear a helmet, impact vest, booties, and full wetsuit.

 

 

Find a good Wing Foil school

When learning wing foiling,it's important to have expert coaching, as well as a safe and effective environment around you. 

WakeStyle also runs wingsurf school, offering wing foil lessons and dedicate hydrofoil lessons with the aid of a boat (also for kiters).

Lessonses take place at Almere (Marina Muiderzand), and Loosdrecht.

Click on the link or contact us directly for more info!

 

If you still have questions, check also our page dedicated to the Wingsurfing FAQ

 

WakeStyle wing foil shop logo

Wakestyle Wing Foil Shop

If you find yourself in the Netherlands, come to visit our store! We're just 20 minutes away from Amsterdam, Almere, Utrecht, Hilversum and Amersfoort.

WakeStyle also give the chance to try the newest wing foil gear at many spots in Noord Holland, the nearest spots to our shop are: Almere, Marina Muiderzand, Loosdrecht, Wijde Blik and Ijburg.




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