Wingsurfing - A wingsurf and wingfoil handbook

Wingsurfing
Wingsurfing. A complete set of wingsurfing equipment

Wingsurfing, wing boarding, wing foiling and winging are the different names for the latest windsport. It is a combination of windsurfing, kite surfing and foiling. As a beginner you will probably ask yourself what type of wingsurfboard, how long the mast and which wing you need. As an experienced wingfoiler you will take the following steps. That is why this explanation of wingsurfing and wingfoiling. With this explanation you will know at once how it works and what to look out for if you want to go wing surfing. In addition, it is a good reference book for the more experienced wing surfers.

Wingsurfing and wing foiling is breaking through

It had been around for years but never really broke through. In 2020 the time had come. A number of kitesurf brands managed to make very good surf wings. Quite logical given the knowledge and available materials of the brands. At the moment, development is going very fast. Every month there are new brands that bring wingsurfing equipment to the market.

Wind sports are all the rage

In addition, wind sports are all the rage. Wingsurfing and wing foiling now also belong to the list of wind sports. It appeals to all kinds of athletes and is relatively easy to get started. Winter 2021 brought us a lot of snow and then good ice. Snowwing, snowwing surfing, ice winging and ice wing surfing then also took off enormously. With a wing and snowboard was still a thing. You need quite a bit of strength to get through the snow. You miss the buoyancy of the kite. With skates on and a wing in your hand you literally float over the ice. This has turned out to be sublime for many kiters. Of course you do not get the speed as with a kite. However, it is much less complex with a wing. No lines, no kite at a distance, etc. In addition, you can swing on land with a mountain board or a skateboard.

Ice winging is a previous of ice surfing
Ice winging with Wato Kiteschool
Wingsurfing and wing foiling is breaking through
Photo: Marcel Berrevoets has wing foil Mark van der Burg in his sights.
Learn how to wing surf and wingfoil
The manager of kitesurfpro learning how to wing surf

Wing foiling is the sport

De Wingfoil World Tour was made official in 2020 as part of the Global Wingsports Association. Making wing foiling specific in the name also indicates that the sport continues under the name wing foiling. Previously and numerous names were used. The goal of the Wingfoil World Tour is to set up a professional world competition and show the world what wingfoil has to offer. 

Wingsurfing competitions - World Wing Foil Championship
Wingsurfing competitions - World Wing Foil Championship. Photo: Wingfoildaily.com

Explanation wingsurfing

What is wingsurfing?

Wingsurfing is a relatively new water sport where the wingsurfer stands on a surfboard and is pulled by a wing (sail). The wingsurfer has the wing in his hands. This is therefore not attached to a surfboard, as is the case with windsurfing, for example. Wingsurfing can be described as a cross between wave surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing and foiling.

Wing surfing is also called wing foiling when a hydrofoil (hydrofoil) is used in combination with a specially developed wing foil board. Another active name is wingen.

Can you wing surf in the Netherlands?

Sure. You can do it anywhere and it is less complex than kite surfing. That way you don't have long lines to take into account. That is why you can quickly manage on smaller puddles and inland water. In addition, you do not need any help to inflate and lower a wing. You can do this all yourself. You cannot, however, wing foil everywhere. You need enough depth to make sure you don't get stuck on the bottom.

Is wingsurfing difficult?

Wingsurfing looks perhaps most like windsurfing. However, it is easier to learn. Precisely because it can be learned on all types of surfboards. For example, you can start wing surfing on an (inflatable) supboard. As soon as this goes well, you can switch to a specially developed wingboard or even a wingsurf foilboard. Wingfoiling in the waves at sea is a completely different story. This is not easy to label and even a lot more difficult than kite surfing.

Is wingsurfing dangerous?

Wingsurfing is as dangerous as you make it yourself. If you choose weather conditions and wingsurf equipment according to your skill level, it is not dangerous. It is also clear to us that wingsurfing is also a potentially dangerous and extreme sport. In stronger winds and rough seas, wingsurfing can be really cool. High jumps and tricks can also be done with it. The risks then naturally also increase. The use of a life jacket and helmet are recommended at the very least.

What do you need to be able to wing surf?

To wing surf you need wingsurf wing (sail) and a specially developed wingsurf board. A mast (fuselage) and a hydrofoil (hydrofoil) can be mounted on the wingsurf board. Wing surfing suddenly becomes wing foiling. With the help of the hydrofoil you can get completely out of the water and, as it were, wingfoil above the water. Starting with a surfboard or sup-board is of course also possible. In any case, you also need a board leash and wing leash. You also need a neoprene wetsuit and possibly neoprene shoes.

Wingsurfing

How much wind do you need?

Wingsurfing with a foil board is already possible with very little wind. For example, you can already wingsurf actively and with great pleasure from 8 knots (wind force 3). Depending on the skill level and what a wingsurfer or wingfoiler wants, it can be forced to over 30 knots (wind force 7). Wingsurfing is therefore a good alternative to water sports that require a lot of wind.

How do you dose the power?

You can keep a wing flat so that it actually lies on the wind and is powerless. As soon as you hold the wing down, the wind will enter the wing and it will start pulling. As soon as you wing surf, the power is partially lost due to your speed. By grasping the wing higher or lower, a wingsurfer or wingfoiler can dose the power.

What size wing surfer do you need for which wind?

Wing surfer wings come in many shapes and sizes. Some wingsurf brands offer 6 sizes of one specific wing. Common for an adult wingsurfer is a 5 m2. With stronger wind, a 3,5 m2 is common. Below we have a size chart wing surfer in combination with the weight of the wingsurfer and the wind. The wind is indicated in knots. You may also consult the conversion table. Pay attention! This is an indicative overview.

7 meter6 meter5 meter4 meter3 meter2 meter
-65 kilos9-15 kt10-20 kt11-22 kt17-32 kt22-42 kt35+ kt
65-85 kilos9-17 kt10-22 kt12-27 kt19-37 kt27-47 kt40+ kt
+85 kilos11-19 kt13-25 kt15-32 kt21-44 kt27-57kt45+ kt
Table size of wing surfer in combination with the weight of the wing surfer and the wind in knots.

Size wingfoil

As written, the wing foil is the wing. If you are going to start with wing foiling, a wing foil that is as large as possible is nice. A large wing foil ensures that you are quickly lifted out of the water.

Wingfoil size table

Size wingfoilLevelWeight:
2500 cm wingBeginner / Lesson+85 kilos
2000 cm wingBeginner / Lesson-70 to 85 kilos
1500 cm wingTo experience
-1500 cm wingAdvanced
Size of wingfoil in combination with the level and weight of the wingsurfer

Size mast wing foils

Just like with kite foiling, you can use different mast lengths with wing foils. The height mainly varies between 75 and 105 cm. A shorter mast is nice in the beginning, on flat water, inland water and in shallow water. A longer lift takes you higher out of the water and is nice with wilder water, at sea and deeper water.

Size wingsurfboard

In the beginning, a large wingsurfboard is especially nice. For example a 6'0 ″ that we started with. A large board with volume floats easily, is more stable and therefore you can start more easily. The volume also differs per wing surfboard. A lot of volume is nice in the beginning. For example 140 liters volume. You can also easily stand on a large wingsurfboard without falling off and so you can quickly make the first meters without noticing. A large board in combination with a large wing ensures that you are lifted out of the water as quickly as possible and can wingfoil your first meters. This way you can focus on board control in advance and learn to surf the wing. This is a really fun challenge to learn. Advanced wing surfers even take to the water with 4'8 ″ boards.

Wingsurfboard size table

Size boardLevelWeight:
6'0 ″Beginner / Lesson+85 kilos
6'0 ″Beginner / Lesson-70 - 85 kilos
5'8 ″To experience+85 kilos
5'6 ″To experience-70 - 85 kilos
5'4 ″Advanced+85 kilos
5'0 ″Advanced-70 - 85 kilos
Table size wingsurfboard in combination with level and weight.

Where can you go on the water?

Wing foiling is equated with windsurfing by the government. Wing foiling is therefore allowed on those waters, where windsurfing is also allowed. This means that in principle it is allowed everywhere except on busy waterways and canals. If necessary, read the inland navigation police regulations for more information.

Where can I buy a wing and wingboard?

Wing surfing has since become popular. Many kitesurf shops have added wings and wingboards to their range. View the kite surf shops near you.

Learning wingsurfing, that's how it works

Do you want to learn how to wing surf and are you wondering what to expect? Especially for this we record our learning process and share it with you. In it you can read how we started from day 1, you can follow our progress. We also share what we have learned and noticed per experience. You can take advantage of that.

Learning wing surfing and wing foiling: it starts with wing surfing

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