What is the Wing Foil?

Wing Foil is the latest development in board sports. It consists of handling a two-handed kite (called a wing) with a foil underneath the wing foil board. It is a halfway house between Windfoil, Kite Foil, Surf Foil and SUP Foil. In this article you will find all the information you may need to know : How to start Wing Foil ?
The advantage of the WingFoil is that you can move with maximum freedom on the water, using the energy of the wind and the swell. The wing provides manoeuvrability and facilitates the take-off of the foil by using the wind. The wing foil is different from the Downwind SUP Foil which uses only the energy of the swell. Thanks to the lightness and mobility of the wing, it is possible to alternate practices during the same session. For example, you can go upwind by tacking first, then downwind at your back, like in Downwind SUP Foil. It is a very playful medium without comparison. It refocuses the rider on his sensations. The foil allows you to take off above the water and surf above the surface. Starting WingFoil allows you to experience new sensations. You can move easily and freely on any type of water. The equipment is relatively simple and easy to set up. The WingFoil can be practiced in any wind direction but is most interesting in downwind, with a crosswind. It is also possible to practice wing-foil in waves. In this case, you use the lift of the kite to go upwind and surf.

In what conditions should you practice Wing Foil ?

We advise to start wing foil in average wind conditions (between 15 and 20 knots established), on a spot sheltered from the swell. It is easier to start wing foil sailing in a sideshore wind. This way you don’t risk being blown out to sea and not being able to come back (onshore wind), nor being blown back to the shore by the wind (offshore wind). It is also important to choose the right spot in order to avoid, for example, floating algae that prevent the foil from working properly. We also advise to choose spots in the shape of a bay at first. This way, if you get too far away, you can always walk back to the coast with your equipment. Finally, it is ideal to start in a height of water in which you have a foothold. Be careful to keep enough depth so that the foil does not touch the bottom of the water. It is then possible, for an experienced sailor, to sail in a wind range from 8-10 knots to 40 knots.

Prepare your Wing Foil equipment to get started

The Wing Foil is made up of different elements, in order to get you on the water as easily as possible, we recommend the following method :
  1. Prepare your Wing Foil board : assemble your foil and attach it to your board, attach your leash to the board.
  2. Get dressed : and prepare yourself as if you were going to go straight into the water.
  3. Inflate your wing : the wing has a strong wind grip, so we recommend inflating it just before you get in the water. It is best to inflate it out of the wind. If possible, it is best to tie it to an object to prevent it from flying away. As soon as the wing is inflated, attach its leash to your wrist without delay.
  4. Bring your equipment close to the water : carry the wing by the handle with the leading edge facing the wind. This way it won’t catch the wind. Once you are close to the water with your wing and wingfoil board, attach your board leash. Be careful to wear your board on the side facing the wind. Otherwise the wing will catch the wind and get damaged on the foil.
how to learn wing foil
how to wear your wing foil

How to take off in a wing foil ?

This is a key step in getting started in Wingfoil and starting to enjoy it. Wingfoil take off is not complicated but you need to know how to do it. Find our tips and comments below to help you get it right from your first session.
tips on how to start wing foil
STEP 1 The first step is to kneel on your board and take your wing in hand (the right way round). Then position the wing over your head so that the edges do not touch the water. Position it slightly forward of the board, facing into the wind. The purpose of this step is to control the lift of the wing and its reaction to the wind. This way you can find a stable position on the board.
learn wingfoil
STEP 2 As soon as you are stable and have good control of the wing, you can angle it to catch the wind better. Your foil board will start to move forward. Once you have gained enough speed, you can lift your front foot. It should be positioned flat in the centre of the board. This step allows you to get up in two steps to make the take off easier.
learn to take off in a wingfoil
STEP 3 Once you are comfortable you can lift the back foot as well. For a successful launch it is important to have a good foot placement. The back foot should be centered on the board and ideally located just above the mast of the foil. The front foot should be centered on the board in front of your back foot. The ideal spacing of your feet is equivalent to the width of your shoulders. We advise you to first keep the wing relatively above your head in order not to be unbalanced by possible gusts. Then, bring it down to the position of step 4 when you are stable. You will then get more lift and the board will accelerate.
learn to fly a wing foil
STAGE 4 The fourth stage is the take-off stage. You now have enough speed with your board for the lift of the foil to kick in. To make the take-off easier, you can do a light pumping motion. This involves successively lightening your weight on the front leg and then on the back leg to play with the front wing angle of the foil and make it more buoyant. When the foil takes off, shift your weight back onto the front leg and hold the wing firmly. It is important to stay upright to maximise the lift from the wind. Repeat this sequence as many times as necessary (sometimes once, sometimes ten…) until you take off.
You are now flying ! To make your flight last as long as possible you need to pay attention to two things :
  • Distribute your weight efficiently between your front and back leg
  • Pay attention to the direction of your wing so that the wind keeps you moving forward
To know : Transferring weight to the back leg causes the foil to rise. Transferring more weight to the front leg will bring the foil down. It is therefore important to stay upright and keep your centre of gravity above the foil to avoid falling.
how to jibe wing foil
Sroka Company WIng Foil

Safety rules to know when you want to start wing foiling

In order to foil safely, there are a few tips to know :
  • Equip yourself with a board leash and a wing leash, a flotation or impact waistcoat and a helmet (recommended for beginners in wing foil)
  • Tell someone about your session and the planned practice times if you are sailing alone
  • We recommend that you only practice wing foil on spots that have been studied and identified beforehand.
  • Stay close to the coast so that you can easily get back in if the wind changes, strengthens or drops completely.
  • Be aware of current effects due to tides or swell

Bruno SROKA's opinion on the Wing Foil

Wing Foil is a free-ride sport where you maximise the fun and minimise the equipment. Easy to prepare, it is pure fun. We are not looking for speed or height, but the sensation of gliding on the water and the wind swell alone or with friends without any headaches. It’s a 100% fun sport that is made for those who want to have a smile on their face on the water all the time.”

His advice for starting out in wing foil
  • Start on flat water, sheltered from the swell, and never with an onshore wind
  • Watch out for other riders. With time, you will go upwind and downwind more and more. Sometimes, with the wing, you have a loss of visibility so check to see if there is anyone downwind when you start riding the waves.
  • Start with a big front wing, it is more stable. It is a little slower and allows you to fly quickly in lighter conditions.
  • Choose your equipment correctly. It is important to choose equipment that is suitable for your level and size.
  If you have any questions about this, or any other request, please do not hesitate to contact us !

Find all our tips for :

Join us on social networks !