Surfing with Wing Foil

Mar 4, 2021
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Surfing with a Wing Foil !
I'm a surfer, this video makes me dream! I'm new to Wing Foil, do you have any tips/tools to get me to surf like this?
I know it will take hours of practice, but any advice is good to take :)
Thanks !


 

juandesooka

OTF status
Jan 12, 2009
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As I tell my surfer buddies who haven't taken the plunge: harnessing the wind's power in combination with the surf will change your life. All those blown-out days become magic.

At an advanced stage, wing foiling can be like surfing with a small board, but at early stage it is more like SUPing. A big board you can stand on, going fairly slow in flat water, no waves, and with higher wind. Learn how the foil works and how to balance it, then how to do turns, then how to ride the foil with wing flagged out. And then surf!

Of all the wind and foil sports, I think winging is the easiest to learn, but still takes some effort and time investment. Plus some money investment....there really is no cheap way to start, even going used and grinding, it ends up $2000 minimum. Or for me, I did it incrementally, so a repeated series of "just another $500 and I'm good to go". But it's not as bad if you think of it as as investment, not an expense....opens up a new world of radness. :):shaka:
 

Muscles

Michael Peterson status
Jun 1, 2013
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Tried winging for the first time yesterday. Pretty challenging at first. Eventually managed to get the wing up and pulling in wind. I've always had an interest in wind sports but the initial investment and amount of gear turns me off. The wing was cool though because all we did was pump it up and go.
 

juandesooka

OTF status
Jan 12, 2009
279
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What about winging on a regular surfboard at first?
Seems to work ok for this guy http://instagr.am/p/CL9rL0VhUPy/
For regular folks ... it is fun for playing around, but very challenging to stay upwind or advance upwind. So it would either be a downwinder, where you plan ahead to end up downwind, shuttle 2 cars or get picked up. Or a "walk of shame" back. ;-) They do sell add-ons to boards that are more or less like dagger boards on old windsurfers, and apparently people with those are staying upwind no problem.

The magic of winging has been unlocked by foils. With so much less drag, you can get going fast with very little wind. There were handheld wings in the 80s that never caught on, as it is was too slow and inefficient. Both windsurfing and kiting are way more efficient in fully harnessing the wind's power. But with foiling you don't need much.

And yes Muscles, that's the killer app that the companies are all scrambling for ... no expensive lessons, much less hassle rigging, way less danger ... wind chasing becomes attainable to Joe/Jane Average. Every lake cottage will have one with their SUPs and pool toy....Ca-Ching
 
Aug 28, 2020
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colinelz - get behind a boat to get your foiling dialed in. I spent last summer and fall foiling on a lake as much as possible (I bought a boat as soon as I started foiling). Get competent so that foiling feels second nature; work on pumping, transferring across wakes, etc. It will make your progression with the wing much faster and more enjoyable. I am still a noob with the wing, but the 1/2 dozen sessions foiling with the wing have me totally hooked. The speed is amazing, and being pulled by the wing is not unlike using a rope behind the boat. The beauty of wake foiling is, unlike surfing (where a 20 second ride is a long one), you can wake foil for 15 minutes or longer per pull. Do long runs like that 3 or 4 times per session and you will be styling in short order. Once you learn to drop the rope and stay in the wave your balance will improve so you can let the wing float behind you and surf like the guy in the video. Efoiling is another option but not as good as behind a boat or jetski, IMO. Efoil pumping is nothing like pumping a wake or prone foil board.

I can't wait for the lakes to thaw out so I am headed south (again) next week to get another fix. I went winging on skis on a frozen lake a couple times last week to develop more muscle memory of wing handling. Skis are far easier than on foil so it's a great way to get the wing side of it figured out.

Also, be prepared to spend time flailing. No amount of YouTube videos can replace getting out in chop and swells to get your water starts dialed on both your regular and switch stances. Going out in bad or marginal conditions will net learning experience even if you don't get any good runs.
 

surfdad

Tom Curren status
Jan 10, 2002
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Surfing with a Wing Foil !
I'm a surfer, this video makes me dream! I'm new to Wing Foil, do you have any tips/tools to get me to surf like this?
I know it will take hours of practice, but any advice is good to take :)
Thanks !



That looks so fun. I need a bigger board and a wing. darn, more money. I sold one of my foils to a guy that is winging and he offered to let me try his backup board and one of his wings on a lake where he lives. I'm gonna take him up on that offer for sure.
 
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Hdip

Michael Peterson status
Apr 23, 2005
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That looks so fun. I need a bigger board and a wing. darn, more money. I sold one of my foils to a guy that is winging and he offered to let me try his backup board and one of his wings on a lake where he lives. I'm gonna take him up on that offer for sure.
What lake? Surfcowboy will make the same offer to you. He wings here in Malibu or Castaic. I'm going to take him up on it.
 
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sh3

Billy Hamilton status
Dec 1, 2008
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Really getting hooked. Started on a 125 liter board for stability. Now on a 95 up here in Santa Barbara, Have the riding the foil part slightly figured out (not jibing yet but figure I'm a few sessions away), can go upwind and downwind.... so wondering if the 95 liter board is one to stick with or start thinking smaller & smaller & smaller? Started this ride with a Naish set up since it was relatively 'plug-&-play' with a 5.4 Slingshot wing but now using a Starboard 6.0 wing and loving it much more.

FWIW, I want to get to the point I can chase Kaiser down in Maui and maybe catch a couple of waves off the coast.
 

juandesooka

OTF status
Jan 12, 2009
279
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Really getting hooked. Started on a 125 liter board for stability. Now on a 95 up here in Santa Barbara, Have the riding the foil part slightly figured out (not jibing yet but figure I'm a few sessions away), can go upwind and downwind.... so wondering if the 95 liter board is one to stick with or start thinking smaller & smaller & smaller? Started this ride with a Naish set up since it was relatively 'plug-&-play' with a 5.4 Slingshot wing but now using a Starboard 6.0 wing and loving it much more.

FWIW, I want to get to the point I can chase Kaiser down in Maui and maybe catch a couple of waves off the coast.
Enough wing for your wind is key! Underpowered SUCKS.

Smaller boards...bigger sup foils are so easy and fun. Small boards add performance, but at the cost of reduced ease of use. My 5' diy is approx 75L (I am about 75kg), it is doable to knee start but just barely, needs a lot of wind. Short of that, it is way too much work and can be really frustrating. To be honest, I am not sure how much the extra swing weight matters at my performance level...not exactly doing airs. But I am going smaller mainly to work on pumping, as I need to attain pump monkey status in surf foiling this year. ;-)

Anyways, there's two considerations in going smaller: 1) how low volume you can realistically knee start; 2) advance to a sinker board ... and from what I've read and brief initial experiments, the rule may be "if you go sinker, go full sinker". On a big floaty 50L surf foil, I could only sink it 6", which isn't deep enough to give stability to stand over top of it. I think the idea is with a 30L, you are chest deep, can just stand there all day until the wind pulls you out. This is for high wind only ... you better have enough volume to be able to paddle it back in when the wind drops 5kt and you're a km offshore. You lose the training wheels of the big sup foil, can't slog it in.

PS brag post...finally finished my 6.4...stoked to report it works. This one was more work than usual.

IMG_6684.JPGIMG_6726 (2).JPGIMG_6708.JPGIMG_6710.JPG
 

ghostshaper

Miki Dora status
Jan 22, 2005
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Just finished Dave Kalama's newest episode on the Progression Project podcast:
He talks about going longer on his boards to make it easier to get started.