Learning to wing foil in light wind

cstreet

Legend (inyourownmind)
Feb 19, 2021
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Tried to learn wing foiling last year and eventually pretty much gave up and haven't gotten back to it. The biggest problem, besides not knowing how to foil, was not having enough wind to get up on foil. The wind is typically around 8-15 knots around here. When it has gotten windier it's gusty and therefore harder to stay stable while learning to foil.

I was using:
Fanatic 6'3" (106L) and I weigh 80k
Large Naish Jet 2000 foil
Naish 4m wing

So I was wondering if getting a new Naish 6m wing would help me learn, having enough power to get on foil in around 10 knots or perhaps less?
 

Hdip

Michael Peterson status
Apr 23, 2005
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https://www.mackiteboarding.com/f-one-strike-cwc-wing/ Get the 6m.

That's the light wind wing of the moment. Any of the new 6m wings will be way better than that Naish 4m though. I am personally using an ENSIS 5m at the moment and having moderate success learning at C-street. Haven't successfully stayed upwind yet.

Your board and foil seem correct. If you want to make it easier on yourself replace that Naish 4m with a different brand.
 

cstreet

Legend (inyourownmind)
Feb 19, 2021
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https://www.mackiteboarding.com/f-one-strike-cwc-wing/ Get the 6m.

That's the light wind wing of the moment. Any of the new 6m wings will be way better than that Naish 4m though. I am personally using an ENSIS 5m at the moment and having moderate success learning at C-street. Haven't successfully stayed upwind yet.

Your board and foil seem correct. If you want to make it easier on yourself replace that Naish 4m with a different brand.
Not a Naish fan, aye?

I see the f-one's go up to 8m. I'm hesitant to go over 6m because I imagine the size gets kinda unwieldy.
 

Hdip

Michael Peterson status
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Yeah get the 6. If you had the first original Naish I have only heard bad things about it. The s25? generation was supposed to be OK. Other wings have always been talked about better on the forums I read.

The 6m is all you need and that fone 6m cwc specifically is the one people like right now. I haven't heard any reviews of the bigger sizes yet, but I doubt you need them.
 
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juandesooka

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Jan 12, 2009
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Hey wow, I must have blinked and missed a month or two...Hdip is back onto the wind chasing! Right on ... once you've got it down, will change your life to be STOKED when it gets blown-out

cstreet: my path has been kiting ... sup foil ... surf foil ... wing. The magic for winging is as a tool to help with surf foiling ... basically it's like a personal jet ski to tow you in, then once riding the wing can be luffed while you surf foil it. But as a wind vehicle, the wing is not as efficient as a kite or windsurfer, and this has led to some disappointing sessions in light wind. When the wind is cranking, it's easy-as, but when not quite enough wind it's a lot of work and can be frustrating. The solution: large foil, large wing, large board....and you can maybe cheat on one aspect at a time as the wind increases.

I had an early gen1 7m and it was floppy. The stiff frame 6m I got instead gave more low-end power, even though 1m smaller. I've not tried out the really big wings, but some brands have up to 9m. I have my doubts.

For me, 12kt is where it gets fun -- need to see some light whitecaps to be worthwhile. I can maybe get up at 10kt but it's a struggle and not too exciting. I'd try it if there's surf to play in, but probably wouldn't bother if flat water, kinda like gutless surf, you can stand up but can't do the things that make it fun. The related problem: surf foiling doesn't matter that much if a little windy (compared to sup foil), so the light wind winging and surf foiling compete somewhat for the wave resources.

Anyways, my advice is get a 6m for sure. An older used v1 is ok as long as it's one of the successful initial brands: ozone, f-one. For v2 and beyond, I think most brands have now fixed their mistakes and the quality seems pretty consistent. If it's below 10kt....go surf or surf foil instead. ;-)
 
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cstreet

Legend (inyourownmind)
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The Duotone Slick 6m is looking good. Supposed to be easier to fly, with mini boom and shorter wingspan. Wind range is 8-20 knots.

 

Hdip

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A guy out here in Losangelesfoilclub uses slicks. Boom Pro: Better handling, way easier hand placement. Boom Con: Slight added weight. Just depends what you're after I guess.

Foil fever is coming over for Hawaii for a foil jam at SBJ or Huntington this Saturday. Go on down to that, bring your wing gear, they will wing somewhere in the afternoon I'm sure. Belmont, Cabrillo, HB should all get wind.

http://instagr.am/p/CTPvUfjJLx1/
 
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sh3

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Get a 6m wing. I weigh 75kg, use a 95L Naish board with a Naish 1650 foil in lighter winds, and the 6 is key if it's under 12 knots. If it's over, then I go with the 5. If the wind dies, it can be a bear getting the board up on foil with the 5m wing.

Notably, I also own a 7m wing for super light days.

EDIT: Notably, my wings are NOT Naish wings. I use Starboard/AirRush wings.
 

Hdip

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Kind of surprised you're not all Cloud9 up there sh3. I rode my 5.2m with the lift 300 surfv2 today. That made a nice light wind combo. I gotta figure out switch still. I did successfully claw my way back upwind though. Proud of myself for that. Hit every jibe from strong side to toe side when the wind was good. Touched down or fell during the middle part of the session when the wind was bad.
 
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juandesooka

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Learning switch...just do it. Fair number of kite foilers (me included) never bothered to learn switch, as you can just ride toeside back out. You lose 25% upwind capability maybe, but it works. However, it gets hard on your body to be twisted around and riding switch gives your muscles and joints a break. It's worth it ... a few sessions of suckiness, then it'll come.

It is less efficient than your dominant side, so you'll find it way easier if you're lit ... challenging if under powered. Hard to pump effectively, so you'll need to point more downwind than your dominant side, to gain speed.

And you don't need to bother learning to ride down-wind switch or do switch turns if you don't want to. The standard surf-kiting maneuver is to change stance to toeside before initiating a turn. Or come out of a turn toeside and change stance to switch after the turn. Personally I never turn right foot forward. There are some situations where it might help marginally, but not enough for me to bother. Though lots of wingers will tell you it's a must, particularly those from a windsurfing background, where fancy footwork in flat water lawn mowing is considered a must. If wave-riding is the focus, it's not really necessary IMHO.
 

Hdip

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Learning switch...just do it.
Yeah I want to get as proficient at it as I was kiting. So, not very. Since I'm goofy it works great getting out. Coming in and getting upwind, it's just stronger to be able to switch around to left foot forward. It has it's place, but my strong side riding will always be better and I'll learn toe side too.
 

cstreet

Legend (inyourownmind)
Feb 19, 2021
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I started to train goofy foot on skateboard and surfboard in preparation for learning to switch on foil. Not sure if it will help much as foiling seems so different. It’s like learning to surf all over again. Learning goofy foot is interesting though. When you’re not sure how to move your body you can switch back to regular foot, see how you do it, and then go back and practice it the right way. Kind strange, having yourself as a reference, but progress is pretty rapid.
 
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sh3

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@Hdip - I like Chris and the gang, but I enjoy my unique stuff. Cloud IX seems excellent, but I enjoy what I've got.

I'm also totally ensconced in going switch. I used to wind surf and based this on wind surfing, so it wasn't even a thought until I noticed some folks never go switch. I didn't kite, so I never got spoiled.

It's funny because the one time I've ever been confused about my stance was at a perfect bowling left when I had to remind myself to get up and SURF regular foot. Never had that issue before!
 
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juandesooka

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Funny to see how worlds collide in wing foiling, a mix of surfers, sup'rs, kiters, windsurfers, etc. Each with a little different view on things and different goals. Something kiters say is "I have to learn to ride toeside" ... because they immediately learned to go back and forth with switched stance, riding toeside is considered a a more advanced skills. For windsurfing, riding toeside is near impossible. But for surfers it's the opposite, as 99% of surfers ride waves dominant foot forward, either frontside or backside depending on the wave. Riding "toeside" is natural; very few surfers ride switch stance, and even fewer do it well. ;-)

Toeside riding in both kiting and winging is the key to carving in waves. For anyone surf-oriented, that's a MUST. Whereas switching stance is nice-to-have vs need-to-have, though a good functional tool to have. But going further, flying foot switches going straight and then during turns are mainly about style points vs functional needs. Mostly they are fancy dance moves for IG likes. [one exception: in very light wind, flying foot switches massively increase potential, because touchdowns in a turn may mean having to waterstart again, which may mean a session ender and a long slog in]

Upwind tacks can be functional too, to maximize upwind potential and to turn quickly into a wave peak. But mostly they are dance moves too, leading to 360s, for still more IG points.