Learning to Wing

bluemarlin04

Michael Peterson status
Aug 13, 2015
1,883
1,560
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Anyone have recommendations on setup and how to learn to wing?

I have a Naish 2450 and a Naish 1300.

I am proficient at foiling and would like to learn fly a wing and foil.

I am looking at Starboard SUP to use. Found a line on one for a good deal. 6'6 x 30 x 5. Is that a good one to use to learn?

What about a wing size? I tried a 7 meter once but it was so big it was almost impossible to hold.

Can anyone give me some tips.
 

juandesooka

OTF status
Jan 12, 2009
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How big are you and how windy is it?

Assuming you are not a giant, that board should be good. More volume is your friend when starting....that board is about same size as armstrong 6.6, which is 130L. If you're already a proficient sup foiler, you'll find that plenty stable. You can consider downsizing later, but you can also ride that well into intermediate.

When starting out, more wind power helps. Power on demand and something to lean against. Later on when you get more efficient you can generate power from pumping and need less wing. 6m and 7m wings are optimal for 10-18kt ish. You'll find that you dip your wingtips starting out, but you get used to that quick. More windy, smaller wings.

Play with wing on land, learn where the power is, how to release power. Run back and forth across the wind, practice turning down wind ... where does the wing go, where do your hands go, it's a dance.

On board on water, turn wing over into proper position and hold with front hand (do it before you get on board). Get on board on your knees. Get wing in flying position, get a little forward speed then stand up in surf stance. Wing at 45 degree angle, not in front like a windsurf sail, not overhead.

First time on board you'll probably end up downwind, plan for it and don't be disappointed. Without getting on foil, you can focus on body position and wing position to point across the wind and even a little upwind -- slogging.

To get up on foil, you'll feel the board accelerating. Just like sup foil, you'll feel that moment where it wants to lift, a little ollie and up it goes. If wind is light, then you pump the wing up and down to gain forward momentum. It is more up/down, like doing chin ups, than it is a move forward. As you feel some speed, you also pump on board/foil, the 2 pumps go together to get the board out of the water. Once it is free, you need way less wind power.

First turns are far away, but it may be easier than you think: in your dominant surf stance, with wing overhead and no power, bear off downwind, just foiling along all quiet and easy. And then you'll get bored, so just do a slight turn to toeside, engage the wing to get a little power (it'll feel all twisted and weird). Then turn back downwind and then turn to your regular stance again....and that's a heel to toeside to heelside s-turn, the basic functional move for wave riding! And so it begins.
 

bluemarlin04

Michael Peterson status
Aug 13, 2015
1,883
1,560
113
Thanks @juandesooka

I am 6'3 240 so i am worried the 116L starboard might be too small for me.

But maybe not. I will def try it out.

Should I start out on a 5 meter? I need to buy one.
 

juandesooka

OTF status
Jan 12, 2009
279
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I think you'll be fine on that. Bigger would be a little easier to start maybe, but not enough to spend the money on another board. That one will serve you well into intermediate. What you won't be able to do is stand there easily without some wind power like on a 200L board. You will knee start to standing and off you go. But it's plenty of board for doing slow surface turning while learning to gybe.

wing size...what are you predominant winds? Around here, a 5m is best option for a single wing quiver. Good from 15kt to high 20s. If you want to chase light wind, then a 6m and higher winds a 4m ... I run a 4m / 6m quiver. I am getting a 3m for a crazy windy days. Turns out the high wind days are super fun!
 

bluemarlin04

Michael Peterson status
Aug 13, 2015
1,883
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I’d say about 15-20 average around here.

I saw another starboard that was 8 ft but I read swing weight is pretty bad on soemtning that long.

I think it was the 4 in 1 windsurf/wing/SUP/foil but looked kind of fun too.

Have you heard about those?
 

juandesooka

OTF status
Jan 12, 2009
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IMHO you don't want a board that big. It'll be helpful for a few sessions for very basics then it'll be a pig.

I have mixed feelings about hybrids generally ... in aiming to be useful for multiple applications, the design tradeoffs likely mean it's not optimal for any of them. I am building a 6.4 sup/wing now, and had to decide which to emphasize ... so it's a sup foil that I will also use for light wind winging.

Windsurf foilboards and wing foilboards are pretty close I think. A regular SUP foil tends to be longer than what is standard in winging....winging tends to be a barge, short wide thick. Mast near the tail.
 

bluemarlin04

Michael Peterson status
Aug 13, 2015
1,883
1,560
113
IMHO you don't want a board that big. It'll be helpful for a few sessions for very basics then it'll be a pig.

I have mixed feelings about hybrids generally ... in aiming to be useful for multiple applications, the design tradeoffs likely mean it's not optimal for any of them. I am building a 6.4 sup/wing now, and had to decide which to emphasize ... so it's a sup foil that I will also use for light wind winging.

Windsurf foilboards and wing foilboards are pretty close I think. A regular SUP foil tends to be longer than what is standard in winging....winging tends to be a barge, short wide thick. Mast near the tail.
Thanks for all the info.

I think I may go look at that 116 liter sup. It is this one:


I think for my size it will work and be stable enough. Its 30 wide I think.
 
Mar 29, 2021
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I would highly recommend you find a board to borrow first and go out in local conditions and see how you do. Most people have a rude awakening when they try to balance on a board that is not giant in rough windy water. Also I have yet to meet anyone who hasn't outgrown their first board, so in my opinion might as well go really big and make learning the fundamentals easier. F-one has some new more compact big wings coming, I am stoked to try the 7 and 8m.
 
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sh3

Billy Hamilton status
Dec 1, 2008
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Anyone have recommendations on setup and how to learn to wing?

I have a Naish 2450 and a Naish 1300.

I am proficient at foiling and would like to learn fly a wing and foil.

I am looking at Starboard SUP to use. Found a line on one for a good deal. 6'6 x 30 x 5. Is that a good one to use to learn?

What about a wing size? I tried a 7 meter once but it was so big it was almost impossible to hold.

Can anyone give me some tips.

Where are you located? I have a 125 liter Naish Hover you could try out. It's EASY to stand on so you start learning the wing instantly. I'm in Santa Barbara, CA.
 
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bluemarlin04

Michael Peterson status
Aug 13, 2015
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Where are you located? I have a 125 liter Naish Hover you could try out. It's EASY to stand on so you start learning the wing instantly. I'm in Santa Barbara, CA.
Damn. Thanks bud. I’m in hawaii.

I did pick up the starboard and it’s really easy to stand on. I think cause it’s 30 inches wide is what makes it fairly easy.

Haven’t figured what to do next. Just get a wing and try.
 
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sh3

Billy Hamilton status
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I figure that's the learning curve. Sometimes it's just a matter of putting in the time.
 

bluemarlin04

Michael Peterson status
Aug 13, 2015
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I figure that's the learning curve. Sometimes it's just a matter of putting in the time.
Stopped by a surf shop yesterday and the dude was trying to convince me to take a lesson.

Maybe I will consider depending on cost but it cannot be that difficult.
 

juandesooka

OTF status
Jan 12, 2009
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Meh...if you're already proficient foiling, and have a big board, the learning curve shouldn't be too steep. Lessons can't hurt, nice to have someone expert to give you pointers ... but I think I you can get by without.

I gave a land orientation to a buddy the other day and I was surprised how awkward he found it at first, the wing wouldn't sit right and behave. And I couldn't really explain what was wrong just had to show him. 10 minutes later, once he got it, he couldn't figure out what he was doing wrong either, just seems so obvious when you know how. But lesson learned: spending 10-30 on land is time well spent. I have observed people in that same initial struggle on the water ... where it'll take 3 hours of frustration, not 10 minutes. Figure out how to hold it up, how to have it sit neutral, how to sheet in with back hand and then sheet out (safety position: let go before it pulls you over!). Learn how to turn the wing over (hint: always turn it over in the water BEFORE you get onto board). Try jogging along sideways to wind with the wing powered, wing at 45 degree angle. Then depower, walk downwind, turn the other way ... focus on your hand position needed to make the turn work so that you come out of it with the wing powered up. It's a dance, learn the moves before you're on the dance floor.

Then try it on a big sup with no foil, or even your sup foil with the mast but no wings. Go out and come back. You'll probably end up way downwind, so walk back. Do it again, focus on edging and wing angle to hold your position, so you end up where you started. Then you can focus on trying to get upwind ... slow with board on surface, that's slogging. Pump the wing to gain apparent wind and speed if the wind is light.

Then add the foil, the upwind slogging will be way easier with so much fin in the water. Pump the wing to get board speed. Once moving even 3-4mph, give that familiar board pop/ollie to get it unstuck, you'll feel the foil engage and then that speed....off you go. :) :) :)
 
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