Where to start?

General discussions about wingfoiling: equipment, tips, problems, where to go, where you should have been, pump safety.
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ECarey
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Where to start?

Post by ECarey »

Hey everyone,

I really want to try wingfoiling. I have been seeing it more and more around Ross Bay, Cowichan Lake, and Nitinaht and I figured that it's time I give it a shot. Where I'm stuck is how to start? I've been kiting since 2017, but I have never foiled before. Any tips or suggestions on how to give wingfoiling a try?
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nanmoo
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Re: Where to start?

Post by nanmoo »

Have you windsurfed? That will be a bigger help than foiling experience. Foiling experience just allows you to be used to the sensation and not freak out when you are feeling like you are (actually ~70cm) 10 feet in the air on foil!
Don't forget to bring a towel!
ECarey
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Re: Where to start?

Post by ECarey »

nanmoo wrote: Tue Aug 31, 2021 4:13 pm Have you windsurfed? That will be a bigger help than foiling experience. Foiling experience just allows you to be used to the sensation and not freak out when you are feeling like you are (actually ~70cm) 10 feet in the air on foil!
I have not windsurfed before. Sailed lots, and everything else on a board on the water though, but zero windsurfing.
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AJSpencer
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Re: Where to start?

Post by AJSpencer »

I bought a windfoil board, but only because I wasn’t sure if I could use a 150L GO or similar windsurf board. In hindsight, I should have put a foil on a cheap used board like that, and saved a bunch of money.
I got two new wings this year, the Duotone Slicks. They would be so much easier to learn on than the early version Duotone wings. I would get a good size, 6m or so (if you’re average or heavier) for learning on the not-so-chaotic 15-20 knot days, ideally some flattish water.
So I think for starting out, spending a bit more on a 2021/2022 wing and not spending on a foil-specific floaty beginner board, and rather finding a cheap used board, may be best. Some decent foil deals on here lately.
I have a high aspect Slingshot foil, but it seems lower aspect is the general favourite for the RBFC folks. So in hindsight, I would have got a lower aspect but still large surface area wing, like the Armstrong and Axis ones. The Starboard Supercruiser seems like a good middle-ground and a few folks on here use them. If your goal is wave riding, I suspect low aspect is important. High aspect seems to be a bit too slow (or maybe its just me!).
Now I’m at a point I could go down from a 145L board to a 120ish, and that may be a good time to drop some cash on a nicer board, as that will be your longterm future lightwind board and shorterm next level board. I think my 145L will be collecting dust soon and its really only had 1.5 years of good use.

For starting out foiling on the wing, when you get powered up and the foil gets lift, it feels on my set-up like the board is starting to skip. As you get better, this is when you can pop it up, but when starting I remember slowly working my way aft and then the board coming up and foiling out right away.
Lots of good thread on here about foot positioning but its dependent on the type of board. My board my weight is more central to get speed on; then once its at that skipping stand I now do a bit of a hop/kick back about one footlength with both feet and thats about the sweet spot for foiling stance. I guess this is where some windsurfing experience would be a bit easier, but if you’re an experienced sailor, you’ll get it figured out quick.
Big floaty board is nice and forgiving for getting up from knee start to standing up. And definitely 150L boards can be foiled. So ya, I think my biggest recommendation is going with a cheap board, big and wide, that can take the abuse of learning, to learn how to foil. Trimming a wing is easy and after a few sessions you’ll have it down. Once you can stay on foil, if the wing is powered up, you’ll have no problem ripping upwind.
Underpowered wing is hard to stay upwind, for me, even while foiling (need to fall off to stay foiling, but I’m almost 200lbs).
I don’t seem to have any issues slogging upwind with the wing and floaty board, which is nice for avoiding walks of shame. Slog up, then try beam reaches to get foil lift.

I find the sketchiest foil wipeouts are when I go into a lull while I’m out on the rail leaning into the wind, when suddenly the forces that were keeping the foil stable through the water cease and the foil comes up, board folds to windward, and I go tumbling to leeward as the foil is coming up. So speed is good, like riding a bike. Now I’m more naturally in tune with the foil so automatically fall off in the lulls to keep speed on.

So much fun dude. Do it.
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Re: Where to start?

Post by bwd »

AJ's advice is very good. He might have the low/high aspect flipped though:
AR = span/cord (or sometimes span^2/area)

The Slingshot I76/84 are fairly low aspect (AR ~3.5) and good for low speed lift and user friendly. Same with the Starboard Super Cruiser.

Higher aspect generally needs a bit more speed to to lift, will be faster, better pumping, glide better, more efficient, but twitchy/pitchy.
The new Armstrong HA 925/1125 are closer to AR=10 https://www.armstrongfoils.com/product/ ... ect-wings/

Axis HPS series AR ~7.5 https://axisfoils.com/collections/all-wings

https://www.mackiteboarding.com/news/20 ... ical-uses/


But where to start - if you can get a lower aspect foil and a higher volume board ~130L, just play with the wing on the beach for 15 minutes (it's the easy part to figure out). Then just go out on the water and give it a go with board and foil. More wind is better. and easier at first...so 20 knots for a 5m would be perfect.

If you can get behind a boat then you can spend time figuring out the foil. That's ideal but you can learn without too.

Watch some videos:
https://www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Win ... -Resources

I think Strong kiteboarding also gives wing lessons so you could get the basics and learn on a larger board maybe, instead of buying one.
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Re: Where to start?

Post by AJSpencer »

yes, had it flipped. \:D/
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Re: Where to start?

Post by monicavi »

Only been kiting since 2017? Most of the guys replying are 20 year veterans of their sport looking for a new challenge that is easier on the middle age plus body. Depending on your age, and the condition of your knees and back you might want to keep kiting. Or do a couple years of kitefoiling, which is much cheaper to get into these days.

I still recommend kiting to anyone younger than 25 just for the big airs. Wingfoiling airs are pathetic compared to kiting, and seriously dangerous. It's worth a try (lesson), but I'd take kiting as far as you can before switching. Unless you're rich, then yeah, get an efoil and a full top of line carbon winging setup with full alula wings. They're all fun, but those first few years of real big air kiting are still an unmatched thrill.
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Re: Where to start?

Post by bwd »

Oh yeah sorry, I must have missed the part about them wanting to do big dangley style jumps. Definitely don’t get into winging then. I would invest in a pair of boots and bindings instead. Most of us would be all over that too but we are old and our bones are brittle :D
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Re: Where to start?

Post by ECarey »

Thanks for all the advice and jokes, everyone! I really appreciate it.

As for me, I'm still relatively young (27), in somewhat decent shape, and a bit of a sports junkie. I'm not quite at the big air side of kiting, nor do I think that I will be. The potential for major injury seems to outweigh the benefit in my mind. I'm really interested in using my kite to surf waves and I even love just getting out to "mow the lawn". This is where I think winging would fit in.

What intrigues me the most about winging is the ability to head out without the need for a launch or land helper which is often my largest concern when I look to go kiting. I have a self launch/land rig and have used it before, but it's always a little sketchy depending on the spot. Second, I also like the ability to paddle from somewhere with either no or garbage wind to where it's blowing consistently for a session. This fits into my dream/goal to foil-surf on Hornby Island from Mushroom Beach at Heliwell all the way in to Tribune Bay on a strong southeasterly, and I feel that learning how to wingfoil is the best way to accomplish this. Thoughts? And third, I just think that foiling and winging looks sweet and I want to give it a try, though the cost of entry does seem scary.

I've been looking for foil boards and don't have a clue where to start. I keep thinking when I see boards for sale that it's the whole thing: board, mast, and foil. However, that never seems to be the case and I'm often a little surprised at how expensive it all is. This only adds to my sense of feeling lost on where to begin especially with all the selection out there.
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Re: Where to start?

Post by bwd »

Yep it is expensive and used gear seems to be selling at high prices. The good part is that you can buy a bigger board and sell it once you go smaller and not lose much $.

I would suggest:
Board: shortest board you can find with the volume that gives you +20-40 litres over your weight in kg.
- something with a track box that's not too far back on the board
- used probably $900-1400. There are some good deals around. I know of 2 people who just bought new boards and will likely sell soon...

Wing: 5m, can't really go wrong here, maybe $500-700

Foil: low aspect 1500+ cm2 front wing, 75+ cm mast, ~70cm fuselage
- prob $800+ for alum mast/fuse setup, but there are some good deals around

Remember, the wind is free...
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Re: Where to start?

Post by themorb »

Re: costs and gear piling up...... I was a relatively experienced kiter and not-very-good windsurfer... I had never kite foiled... I got wing foil gear... after about 5 sessions I thought, hey foiling would be good with a kite...... enter kite foiling....... now I have even more crap in the van and less money in the account..... \:D/

If you love surfing waves, riding swells is where winging will shine........ if you are more used to mowing the lawn, I think kite foiling might be more enjoyable to an experienced kiter.....

I have tried a few different combinations and I don't think the gear is as critical as all the Youtube reviews would have you believe... You just need a board big enough to keep your balance on that will take a foil, hopefully not too far back (mine is, and I have to dance a bit... planning to add tracks to move it forward.) And I think any foil 1500cm+ will probably be fine.

I would recommend Strong (Marty) for wing lessons as a less expensive way to test out the sport if you able to before he heads south for the winter.
ECarey
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Re: Where to start?

Post by ECarey »

Thanks for the help everyone! :D

I have been in contact with Marty and have a plan to get me trying it.
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