What Is Wing Foiling?
Welcome to the new craze in the watersports world. There's nothing more thrilling than the feeling of being in the open water, up above the ocean and powered by the wind. Whether you're an avid watersports enthusiast or a newbie, wing foiling is a must-try sport. This activity is a mix of kitesurfing and windsurfing, with a little bit of surfing for good measure.
Wing Foiling Basics
In short, wing foil surfing is the art of riding a hydrofoil board with a wind wing. The hydrofoil board works on a similar principle to that of an airplane's wings to generate lift until the board is about 2 feet above the water. Since its breakthrough onto the watersports scene about six years ago, it's gathered increasing popularity and a loyal following.
Wing surfing is generally easy to master with lessons and a basic understanding of how the equipment works. The equipment you need for wing foiling includes the following:
- The hydrofoil: This attachment is bolted to the bottom of the board and consists of a mast, fuselage and front and back wings, or fins. These wings deflect water downward as you move, which generates the lift that pushes your board out of the water.
- The wing: An inflatable wing lets you catch the wind and control your board. Instead of having lines, you hold the wing in your hands, meaning less equipment to lug around.
- The board: One of the best things about wing foiling is choosing a board best suited to you. Just bolt on the hydrofoil, and you're set for a great time out on the water.
Combine these three simple elements and you have a basic overview of how wing foiling works.
Is Wing Foiling Hard?
The short answer is no. While it's easier for people with some watersports experience, complete beginners can get the hang of it in no time. Whenever you learn something new, an ideal start is to break it up into easily digestible chunks.
You can say the same for wing foiling — the best way to learn is to try out the required individual skills and then put them together at the end. Take a hydrofoil lesson to begin. Then, master the wind wing, and from there, it's a breeze.
Here are a few quick pointers to make wing foiling even more straightforward:
- Start on the beach: You'll learn the wing much quicker on dry land, where you can practice keeping it in the air without worrying about balance.
- Take advantage of stronger winds: It may sound strange, but stronger winds are easier to learn in, as they give you more control and momentum.
- Stick to flat water: Keep things simple while you're learning. Flat water is easier to master, though the added wind may give you a slightly choppier surface.
- Keep practicing: Practice makes perfect, after all. It may take a little time to master this new skill, but the thrill is well worth it. Taking lessons is also fantastic, as you have a professional to correct any errors.
- Use quality equipment: Ensure your instructor provides the proper equipment when learning. If you have equipment of your own, take the time to care for it correctly. Neglecting your equipment can impede your progress.
Why Is Wing Foiling Popular?
There's a complexity to the emotions you feel when you're wing foiling that's challenging to replicate in other sports. The silent progression through the water is both thrilling and tranquil at the same time. Add the most incredible innovative technology, the aesthetically pleasing wing and the ability to enjoy the sport in various weather conditions, and you have a winning combination.
Some of the many reasons wing foiling continues to gain traction — and will even be part of the 2024 Summer Olympics — include the following:
- Get more for less: You don't need strong winds or massive waves to enjoy the sport. You can still move your body and have a good time.
- Enjoy an almost effortless experience: Combine the wind with the hydrofoil sliding through the water, and you have a unique experience. Once you've tried it, you keep coming back.
- Carry less equipment: Compared to many other watersports, wing foiling requires less gear. The equipment you need is easy to store and transport.
- More time on the water: Due to the adaptability of the sport to various weather conditions, you can still head out there even if the wind has dropped or the water is flat.
Where Can You Wing Foil?
Getting started is quite straightforward, but the best conditions and quality equipment will make learning more enjoyable. Calm waters with little to no swell are ideal for beginners — think the Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg beach areas in Florida and you'll get the idea.
The best learning conditions include a wind speed of between 15 and 20 knots and a nice cross-shore wind. If it's your first time, take a few lessons with a professional, who will find the perfect starting conditions for you.
You'll need the following gear to get out on the water:
- Wing board
- Inflatable wing with attached leash
- Wetsuit or boardshorts
When you start with lessons, there's no need to go and buy this equipment, as your instructors will provide it for you. If you decide that wing foiling is the sport for you, feel free to ask your instructors about the best equipment you can invest in to fully enjoy the sport.
Jump Aboard the Wing Foiling Trend With Elite Watersports
The beauty of wing foiling is that anyone can learn how to do it. With some quality lessons from Elite Watersports, you'll be harnessing the wind in no time.
We're located in Tampa Bay, Florida, which is the perfect place to learn the basics. Experience lessons in the perfect conditions, seven days a week with Elite Watersports. We'll provide you with all the gear you need to get started, and when it's time to purchase your own, we can help you with that, too.
If you'd like more information on beginning your wing foiling journey, contact us today!