Wingfoiling is a new and exciting watersport that has been growing in popularity in recent years. However, for beginners, it can be daunting to know where to start. Here is a step-by-step guide to getting started with wingfoiling:
- Practice controlling your wing: Inflate your wing to the correct pressure and connect your leash. Hold the wing by the handle on the leading edge, known as the neutral handle. The wing should line up with the wind and not pull. Generate force by holding the wing at an angle across the wind, known as angle of attack. Your leading hand controls the strut or boom near the leading edge, and your trailing hand holds closer to the trailing edge.
- Learn to steer the wing: Move your hands sideways from the strut to steer the wing. Push the leading hand down and the trailing hand up to steer the wing lower, and push the leading hand up and the trailing hand down to steer the wing above your head. Keep the front hand higher than the back hand to avoid hitting the surface with the wing.
- Move the wing from one side to the other: Guide the wing higher until it’s above your head. Release the trailing hand, then swap the leading hand. You can then place the new trailing hand, and the wing will pull in the new direction.
- Flip the wing back over: If the wing flips, shuffle towards a wingtip, lift the leading edge, and let the wind do some of the work for you.
- Pump the wing: Extend your arms up and downwind, then contract your arms down and in to pump the wing. This should be a large, continuous movement with your hands tracing an oval path.
- Paddle into position: Carry your gear with the foil board upwind and the wing downwind. Avoid hard objects such as rocks that could damage your gear or cause injury. Flip the foil under the board once you have enough depth of water.
- Knee taxiing: Slide yourself onto the board, get into kneeling position, lift the wing from the water, and place your leading hand on the boom or strut. Pull in enough with your trailing hand to get moving. Once stabilized, you can stand up and start foiling.
- Foiling: As you start to move, keep your weight forward on the board and keep the wing above your head. As the speed increases, you will feel the lift from the foil. Keep your weight balanced over the foil and adjust the wing’s angle of attack to control your speed and height.
- Landing: As you come in for a landing, slow down, and gently lower the wing to the water. Release your back hand and let the wing flag out to depower it.
Remember to always wear appropriate safety gear and practice in a safe environment with proper instruction. With practice and persistence, you’ll soon be enjoying the thrill of wingfoiling.