With our readers and customers in mind, we realized a quick guide with answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions about wingsurfing & wingfoil gear. Enjoy the read and don't esistate to contact us if you have further questions!
Wingsurfing is a new watersport consisting in gliding on an hydrofoil board using a lightweight inflatable sail for propulsion. It is often considered a mix of windsurfing, kitesurfing and surfing, but truth is that it's a completely new discipline, born in 2019 (even if the very first prototype dates back to 1986).
When wingfoiling, you stand on top of your foil surfboard and hold onto the foil wing (or wingsurfer) with both hands, while standing upright. The concept comes close to windsurfing, but is way easier to learn, with the advantage that the gear is less bulky and easier to carry around.
Wingsurfing is suitable to any person with medium fitness level and swimming skills. This, provided that tyou have no medical conditions that go against the practice of sports, in that case you should get medical advice first.
Wingsurfing can be a perfect sport for the whole family! While most teenagers will be ok to surf on a foil board, for pre-teens it will be easier and safer to practice on a softboard. Usually, when the wind is too low for an adult, it's enough for lighter girls and children; so if the wind isn't strong good for you, than it can still be ok for your kids!
To start wingsurfing, you will need 3 elements:
You only need a single wing to begin with. We advise you to start with at least a 5 m2 wing. If you're willing to surf with stronger winds, you might want to buy also a smaller wingsurfer. A wing between 3 and 4 m2 will suite higher wind speeds. Usually with just 2 wings you can cover a wide wind range (10 to 30kt).
For kids, we recommend small sized wings of course, 3m2 or less according to the age and body weight.
At the moment, there aren't official Wingsurfing federations or instructor titles as yet. But a 3 step learning method is currently widely used to teach wing foiling:
For additional info, check our page dedicated to wing surf lessons.
It's possible to try to wingsurf with light wind on a SUP board with winds blowing between 7-11 knots. Even though wingsurfers tend to enjoy winds blowing from 15 knots and above. When using a foil board, in order to make starting from the water easier, and to get on the hydrofoil quicker, we advice you to practice on a fairly windy day. A bit of extra power in the wing will make up for the lack of pumping technique, which permits to ride also in light wind conditions. Once your wingsurf skills will get better, you'll ber able to glide also with very low winds (8 to 10 knots).
WakeStyle shop also runs a foil & kitesurf school, offering wing surf lessons in North Holland, for all levels. Click on the link to check the page dedicated to our courses.
Foil wings are light, and can be easily lifted with one finger in the air when there's a breeze. However, it takes a bit of strength to hold on them in fairly windy conditions. But don't worry: when flying at speed on your foil, this force disappears almost entirely. You will so be able to control the wingsurfer with your hands, with no need for an harness (like in windsurfing or kitesurfing).
The back hand act as a gas pedal: the more you pull the sail towards you with the back hand, the more power will be generated.
Wingsurfing wings are made of ripstop nylon materials that have long been used in kiteboarding. When kitesurfing, these materials whidstand huge forces tha are way less intense than wingsurfing. A wingsurfer is relatively strong, and it won't break just by falling on it. But you should still pay attention to sharp edges, like the hydrofoil mast and fin, as they can definitely damage the wing.
In the event of a damage, you don't need to worry too much: kite and sail repair experts are able to fix all sort of damages also to the wing foil equipment. Once repaired, your wingsurfer will be as good as new!
There are may spots where is possible to practice and learn wingsurfing. These includes, open sea, lakes, rivers, harbors...
If you like to surf waves, Wingsurfing in spots like Wijk aan Zee, Ijmuiden, Scheveningen or Monster is a dream, when the wind conditions are right. But If you are a beginner, we advise you to start in the lakes, on a spot like Loosdrecht, Ijburg, Aalsmeer or Almere; here the water is calm and you will be able to progress safely and improve your skills. Once you'll have mastered all the fundamental wingsurfing skills, you will be able to shred also in the northern sea.
Wingsurfing is way safer than kitesurfing or windsurfing. There are no long lines dragging you, and the equipment is light and easy to control. Once you let go of the wing, it will immediately stop, and float in the air tied to your wrist through a leash.
However, the hydrofoil mast and fins are sharp, and even if the chances of falling right on them, or to be hit by them, are scarce, we still suggest you to wear an impact vest and a helmet. The impact vest will also help you to float more when you fall in water.
At WakeStyle we offer a wide range of hydrofoil and wingsurf gear, click the link to check our whole online catalogue. If you want to visit us, our store is in Bussum, just few minutes from Amsterdam, Almere, Utrecht, Hilversum and Amersfoort.
For any further question about wingsurfing and foiling, don't hesitate to contact us!