Wing Rescue

General discussions about wingfoiling: equipment, tips, problems, where to go, where you should have been, pump safety.
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Wing Rescue

Post by winddoctor »

It had been requested that I post up a how-to for rescuing runaway wings. I've successfully done it at least once so I guess it makes me an internet expert on the topic :lol: . Please feel free to add any methods or insights to this thread. The following is what seemed to work for me the other day in 3m wind and large wind swell conditions in Ross Bay. In flat water or lighter wind, the rescue should be much easier.

1. Make sure the foiler who's lost the wing is OK before chasing the wing.

2. Initiate chase keeping an eye on the wing as you get closer.

3. Try to anticipate whether or not the wing is about flip/cartwheel before attempting to tackle/grab/control the wing.

4. Time the tackle, if possible, just after the wing touches down. You'll only have a couple of seconds and try to be slightly down wind of the wing to give your self a fighting chance if/when it flips again.

5. Try to grab the wing tip as you glide in for the tackle, keeping low on the mast. You may be able to use your wing to "smother" the AWOL wing to prevent it from taking off. You may need to repeat this chase process until you achieve the desired result :lol: . It took me 3-4 attempts, as the wing kept just evading my grasp, flipping me the bird before launching skyward.

6. Grab that sucka and hold on! Mind that your board's foil is not busy trying to murder one of the wings while you're distracted.

7. Secure the runaway wing to your wrist or waist belt. Decide which wing you'll use for power and let the other wing flag off its leash. My wing was lighter than the rescued wing (in theory easier to drift/drag), so I chose to flag mine behind me.

8. Waterstart as usual and let the other wing happily drift/bounce/drag off of its leash while you foil back to shore or to the foiler if possible. I was able to foil easily at speed this way; not sure if I just got lucky.

9. Once the wing is secured on the beach, check on progress of foiler who'll be paddling in.

10. Enjoy the karmic glow afforded to you by this truly heroic act. Fend off admirers, paparazzi, and reporters when you return to land.

One also could hold onto the wing until the foiler is able paddle to you (this wasn't possible in my case as I was drifting down wind fast), or the wing could be deflated and rolled up using the leash as a shoulder strap to sail in.

Feel free to chime in! I'm sure there are many ways to wrangle a wing-ding.
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Re: Wing Rescue

Post by bwd »

Thanks for this. It seems easy enough except that I sometimes have a hard time controlling my own wing.
7. Secure the runaway wing to your wrist or waist belt. Decide which wing you'll use for power and let the other wing flag off its leash. My wing was lighter than the rescued wing (in theory easier to drift/drag), so I chose to flag mine behind me.
What happens if the recovered wing has no leash attached? If they were using a waist leash and it came loose at the wing attachment. I guess you would wing with that one and tow yours.

Gets me thinking about sea anchors. I see this: ... fety-leash

But as far as I can tell this wouldn't help with a leash failure at the wing attachment. Maybe a small sea anchor (like the one above) on the wing itself that unravels when it cartwheels along the water.
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Re: Wing Rescue

Post by smartang »

What if the wing is ripped in half, with the bladder full of water and you're underpowered on a 30L sinker and 500cm2 foil and can't waterstart with an extra 15lbs on your back.

I've been experimenting with wing up, wing throw drop wallets, sup foil chase downwind. So far only tried it on the lake with max 20kn gusts. But a 1lb wrist weight attached to the cuff section of a wrist leash slows the wing down plenty that I can easily catch it on a barracuda. Also if anyone sees a poorly skilled paddler chasing an fone strike, I'm doing it on purpose. Stop calling the coast guard.

Just ordered some nite ize gearpro rubber straps to secure the paddle to my wing. They'd probably work to secure a deflated wing to a board or at least pack it down enough to secure it to a waistbelt. I know the big mission big supfoil downwind guys carry something similar for securing gear and to use as a tourniquet.
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Re: Wing Rescue

Post by Highrocker »

You might like this gopro video of a practical rescue of A-C back on March 12th. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time when the wing leash failed. Also lucky to hear the call for help at all with me being nearly deaf from 30yrs in the Navy and wearing a pretty sound tight Gath helmet. Regardless, I was able to spot the loose wing, and despite missing on my first try, I was able to satisfactorily execute steps 1 to 6 of WindMD's Wing Rescue Plan. Fortunately, I just had to wait for the pilot to paddle to me so I could pass the wing back. Wind and swell weren't too bad at Willows that day easing the rescue process. I do a quick leash inspection and test prior to all sailings these days.

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Re: Wing Rescue

Post by tweezer »

The last wing I rescued had the leash attached to the wing using a lark's head knot. The lark's head must have worked loose because the leash isn't under constant tension. Don't trust the lark!
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Re: Wing Rescue

Post by UnusuallyLargeRobin »

Always do a pre-flight check!! check your wing and board leash connections, make sure wing dump valves are securely closed, make sure all your foil bolts tight and no obvious slop in your connections, if you're using footstraps give them a tug/twist to make sure the screws are tight. Finally, put on a helmet, it's only a matter of time before you take a big hit to the head!
Me: 85kg(187lbs)
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