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The spot and the conditions to start Wing Foil

For a good start in Wing Foil, the material is not the only parameter to take into account. It is also necessary to know the spot and the conditions to start Wing. The mastery and knowledge of the sea conditions, the weather or the water surface, depending on your equipment, will ensure optimal progress (and avoid many falls!). We give you all our tips here for choosing the right place and time to sail. Before you start, it is important to understand how a foil works, or to know the basics of WingFoil. Click on the previous links to have all the keys in hand before your session.

What are the ideal spots and conditions to start Wing Foil?

The water area

It must be flat and sheltered from the swell. The most interesting spots for a good start in Wing are lakes, but if you live on the coast, a spot at the bottom of a bay or harbour may be suitable. In addition, an enclosed area is safer, especially if you stray too far from the shore, it will always be possible to reach the other side and return by land. At sea, the wind can quickly shift, increase or decrease. It is important not to be too far from the coast when starting out.

In any case, the water must be calm and clear. Beware of algae that could get caught in the foil, as well as any floating objects (buoys etc) that may be present. Choose a place where there are few practitioners so that you can concentrate more on your progress and less on what is going on around you.

Adapted and non-adapted spots in Wing Foil

Don’t forget to have enough bottom under your board (sometimes we tend to forget that we have a foil!) We recommend a minimum depth of 30 cm more than the size of your mast. In other words, if you have an 80 cm mast, the bottom must be at least 1m10.

Stay in an accessible area (less than 500m), in case you can’t get back on your board. Finally, beware of current effects caused by tides or swell.

Wind conditions

The best wind conditions to start with are around 15 knots (to allow you to get some speed and get the foil up and running). Ideally, the wind should be steady.

Avoid (or even forget) going out in an onshore wind, which could blow you out to sea. Indeed, it will be difficult for you to get upwind at first, and even more so to return when you are far from the shore.

The sea winds are also not the easiest: they push you towards the edge of the beach, and risk you hitting the sand quickly with your foil. In addition, the sea wind pushes the water harder and creates a swell, which can further throw you off balance.

It will be more difficult for you to get on the board (because of the waves) and you will be quickly driven back to the beach (because of the sea wind). This will reduce your practice time as you will quickly find yourself close to the edge.

A sideshore wind is therefore ideal. If you are sailing at sea, the sea should ideally be calm with few choppy waters.

We recommend that you do not venture onto spots that have been surveyed and marked beforehand. As the marine weather is changeable and unpredictable, it is essential to remain relatively close to the coastso that you can get in quickly and easily if the wind shifts, strengthens or drops completely.

The seasonality

Depending on your location, avoid starting out during peak periods (usually summer) when the spots are crowded. Stay away from swimming areas and other water sports enthusiasts. One of the advantages of this sport is that it allows you to get away quickly offshore while swimming on your board. Make sure there is no one downwind of you when you are sailing. (to do this, raise the wing above your head to look out over the water).

 


Safety rules

Wing Foil is a sport with risks, just like Kitesurfing, Windsurfing or other disciplines with foils. Therefore, here are some safety rules to keep in mind:

  • Equip yourself with protection: board leash and wing leash (compulsory), flotation waistcoat or impact vest (compulsory beyond the 300m zone), helmet (strongly recommended).
  • Avoid going alone during your session, and do not go after dark in winter.
  • Always let someone know when you are going out and at what time.
  • Be patient and don’t venture into the big waves until you have the level.
  • Sometimes it is better to give up than to accumulate mistakes that will turn into big problems later.