The Right Board and Foil for Wing Foiling: How to Choose
In the world of foiling and wind winging, your gear can make or break your experience. Whether you're a novice, expert or somewhere in between, you need equipment that suits your needs and skill level. Choosing the right gear for you can seem overwhelming, but with a bit of guidance, you'll be out on the water in no time.
There are four categories of wing foilers, each with unique needs. Let's look at what group you fall into, so we can start to narrow down which gear will suit you best.
The Categories of Riders
Generally, wind winging equipment depends on experience, skills, size and rider ambition. The four groups of wing foilers include the following:
- The beginner
- The pre-foiler
- The foil novice
- The wing addict
You can easily choose the best equipment depending on which group you fall in. Let's look at some wing foil boards and other essentials.
If you have never experienced foiling or wind winging, we will consider you a total beginner. Beginners should get the most stable board possible and a large front wing for the foil. When purchasing gear, you can find package deals that include boards and foils, but make sure everything is the right size.
Beginner Board and Equipment Recommendations
Always wear protective gear when learning how to foil or wing. First, you need a helmet to protect yourself from the board and foil hitting your head. Other safety essentials include booties and an impact vest. At Elite Watersports, we recommend the products below for beginners.
- Board: 2022 Seek Wing Board
- Foil:2020 North Sonar Hydrofoil: SURF, but with the 1850R front wing for beginners.
If you have experienced windsurfing, kiteboarding, surfing or stand-up paddleboarding but have never been on a foil, we consider you a pre-foiler. Pre-foilers have a distinct advantage over novices — they've been out on the water before and can read the waves and wind.
Pre-Foiler Equipment Recommendations
Since the foiling part will be new to you, we recommend a large front wing and — depending on weight — a midsized board. When choosing a foil, ensure it has a large front wing and either an 85cm mast or 70cm range. Your experience will speed up your learning curve.
Your wing depends on how much wind there is in your area. Generally, if the wind is blowing 10 to 15 mph, you want to use a 6m or 7m wing. As the wind increases, the wing size should decrease.
Regarding safety, consider a full wetsuit with legs, booties, impact vest and a helmet. At Elite Watersports, we recommend the products below for pre-foilers.
The Foil Novice
We consider you a foil novice if you have experience with windsurfing, kite foiling, surf foiling or foiling behind a boat. If you have been on a stand-up paddleboard or prone surfboard, you only need to master the wing. After that, you're ready to go!
If you only have windsurfing or kite foiling experience, you'll still need to master the centered stance, as you're riding a foiling board without the additional stabilization of the harness.
For windsurfers, the challenge is grasping the free balance that comes with riding a foil without extra stabilization. Hold the wing at a 45-degree angle above your head at the front of the boom. To understand the wind and how to catch a ride, try to get a few rounds in with a windsurf board. Then, you are ready to foil.
Foil Novice Equipment Recommendations
For foil novices, we recommend a foil with a midsized or smaller front wing, depending on your skill level and weight. In addition, you'll want a smaller or midsized board based on your weight and the amount of wind. Excellent choices include the Ozone Wasp V2, North Nova or the Slingshot Slingwing V2.
At Elite Watersports, we suggest the following products for a foil novice.
The Wing Addicts
Wing addicts are always looking to take things up a level. If you're already winging and looking to upgrade your gear, you fall into this category.
Wing Addict Equipment Recommendations
The North Nova wing is perfect for the advanced rider. You can use either the 4.2m or the 6m, depending on wind. We hear a lot of positive feedback on the Nova and the Slingshot Slingwing V2. Both wings are perfect for jumping, cruising and riding in the waves.
Now, onto the board. It can be challenging to find the correct size. You must determine the best motion for you — sitting or kneeling on the board in the water. The most experienced riders use boards under 50L of volume, so if you want to get what the pros ride, consider the following:
- The less volume you have, the more wind you need.
- Boards that sink into the water require excellent technique.
- Back in the day, the pros used to make the radical step down or stick to an SUP foil board, but given the option, they may have chosen the North Nova, Ozone Wasp V2 or Slingshot Slingwing V2.
At Elite Watersports, we recommend the products below for experienced riders.
- Board:Naish S26 Hover Kite Foilboard
- Foil Wing:Fliteboard Flow 1100 Front Wing, with an Armstrong Foil such as the Armstrong HS850 Foil Kit
Get out on the Water With Elite Watersports
Regardless of your experience level, weight, wind conditions and preferences, you can find the right equipment with help from the experts. Whether you're a novice or a pro, taking foiling and wind winging lessons will add another level of fun and confidence to your sport.
Elite Watersports can help you with everything from lessons to equipment. We're available seven days a week and have premium experience in all things watersports. If you're looking for equipment, browse our extensive collection and shop online. Contact us to learn more, and let's get you out on the water in style.
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