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Wing Foil in ten minutes for absolute beginners

Created by sultanofwing 3 months ago, 11 May 2022
126 posts
11 May 2022 9:52PM
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Wing Foil in 10 minutes

You can probably get foiling in 10 minutes (on the water) and these 3 points may help you

First off a bit of preamble, if you surf, windsurf, sup, skateboard, ski, snowboard or do some sort of sport involving balance (walking home from the pub) you will already be on the way.

If you have a smaller hand wing than the one you will use to get started, go out on a skateboard in an empty carpark for a few sessions, or just walk around the beach with your hand wing pulling with the front hand, the back hand, moving if into the wind, bearing away, lifting it high, low etc until it all feels comfortable for you. Practice spinning the wing over a couple of times as you will probably need to flip it now and then out on the water

Secondly I would recommend being comfortable at your local spot, where to park, who are the regulars there, where to launch out and get back. How far do you think you can swim in the conditions you are going out in (don't overestimate yourself)

Then whenever you are out on the water if you are not a watersports person I would suggest you always learn to situate yourself (I have heard tthat the native australian aboriginal is the most situational oriented people on the planet - seriously) find the point where the wind is blowing from (your upwind spot) and put to memory, then fix your launch spot, you will always check where you are relative to these 2 spots until it becomes second nature)

point 1 attitude- yes I am doing it, be positive, enjoy yourself, if you aren't enjoying yourself take a break, eat a doughnut, listen to that old analog radio, chat.. Get into a good vibe, be friendly, be grateful for the blue sky, the sea the wind and know that you are going out to get foiling

point 2 equipment - get the right equipment. I would encourage people to go for the big name brands, you can't beat quality even if it's used and older tech it's still got quality engineering and fabrication. I would start with a board that is your weight or 10 liters more BUT maybe most if not all other people would say go for a bigger board, if you can borrow or rent try some different boards and don't be afraid of just floaters.
a mast of over 75cms would be good and a decent sized front foil medium aspect - ish about 1600 - 2200 cm2 should cover most people depending on your weight, age, energy level and hand wing size. You will need a biggish hand wing say 5.5 - 7.5 m again depending on your age, weight, height etc

for me the biggest enemy to getting going quickly was the leash - a waist belt coiled leash worked for me and a coiled wrist leash paired to a short pigtail line was good too (also I wouldn't recommend using the footstraps for starters)

I don't like boots but your feet may take a beating for the first few sessions. So put a bit of surf wax on your board even if it has grip deck, the extra grip and the sweet smell of surf wax will boost your confidence

You will need a good steady breeze and easy water conditions, you don't want to be battling strong winds, waves and currents at this level (avoid crowds, boats etc if you can, also you should probably avoid going out if you are the only person around)

point 3 technique sit on your board like a surf board. Use your wing to get out a little but try to stay close to your launch point and head upwind as much as is possible ( it will be slowish going if the wind isn't too strong) then you want to learn to sit comfortably on your knees, you can practice this by holding the front handle of the wing and pushing it into the water rather like you are pushing on the top of a suitcase, this should easily give you enough stability even if you are on a small board. Then you are going to follow the stink bug start (you've watched the videos a million times so you have the image clearly in your head) .
Wing boards are very sensitive to side weight so try to place your feet along the center line of the board and not near the sides, how far you keep your feet apart is up to you and depends on if you make the board rock back or forwards too far.

In the stink bug crouch (have a good look around first because in this pose you can't see a thing) you lift up your arms high above your head and get some wind in your hand wing, if you can pump it a little all the better. Now moving along on your knees look for a bit more of a gust, grab that gust ( say yes I am doing this ) and put your front foot out so you are now in a kneeling sniper position, (you only hold this position for a fraction of time) then pulling lightly on your hand wing (assuming you didn't catch a tip in the water, which is another big enemy at the beginning) stand up, adjust your feet front to rear as necessary to keep the board stable.

Now gently pump your board as the pumping videos you can find on youtube - gently, if you didn't fall off and you are aiming up wind - ish you should, if there is enough steady wind and your hand wing is big enough and your front foil wing is fairly large, you should now be up on foil

and there you are up and foiling in 10 minutes - enjoy for the next 10 years:)
(hope that helps someone who is starting out, just my personal thoughts and feelings from the early stages along with all that has been said and is out on video)

if you can't be bothered to read all that above:
point 1 - have a big attitude
point 2 - have a big hand wing
point 3 - have a big front foil
point 3.5 - have fun

184 posts
12 May 2022 7:11AM
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Forgot the most important point! Have a cooler of cold ones for your new friends! Nobody there to share em with? Until you know better assume if people aren't winging there it's for a reason!

Also works if your an out of towner rolling up to a new spot!

126 posts
17 May 2022 8:27AM
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Also check out Robert's video (blue planet surf - all the interviews are amazing btw, thanks so much) on foil placement and finding the point of highest lift on the front wing and then the balance point on the board, this is where you want to start and then experiment up and down the box in 1/2cm increments for yourself session by session.

126 posts
26 Jun 2022 5:35AM
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Been getting some more TOW as we have finally been getting some wind at my local spots. Wing - you want to try to keep your arms at shoulder width, so if your wing has multiple handles you will be moving both hands up and down so as to keep a shoulder width stance (this reduces arm fatigue and makes for better wing balance), try to determine the wings power balance point, for me on the staboard airush 6.0m I can get going early having my hands toward the rear but as the wind kicks in I will move each hand up one handle.

This helped me a lot and I am not 'fighting the physics' as one member liked to comment, the wing now pulls me in lighter winds and I fight the wing a lot less in gusty and stronger winds

Depending on your board size, at the end of some sessions I try different techniques to get back, so just ride back to the beach, schlogg back standing, sitting, body dragging (there are some excellent videos on body dragging and it's fun to practice too, especially if the tide is out and your return spot is rocky and gets really shallow)

126 posts
28 Jun 2022 5:15PM
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Oh yes, I nearly forgot, and it helps, it really helps if you listen to this on max volume whilst driving to the spot, well it works for me so...


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"Wing Foil in ten minutes for absolute beginners" started by sultanofwing