top of page
  • Writer's pictureTeam OTC

Having a swell time! What are the crossovers of Downwind and Wing Foiling?

This week I speak to The Official Test Centre, Pro-Rider Scotty Stallman and ask him about the two newest foiling disciplines to enter the watersports stage. What are the differences or are there more similarities than we realise. Having a swell time! What are the crossovers of Downwind and Wing Foiling?


According to Scotty, he said: "When you compare wing foiling to down winding there are a lot of similarities and cross overs among the two sports however the main difference being the power source the two disciplines require. Wing foiling is all about wind and using that power source to get you up on the foil, where as down wind foiling is all about using the sea’s power in the form of swell to allow you to get up on the foil with the additional power of the paddle to help catch these swells."


By Emma Nicholson.

Scotty Stallman
The Official Test Centre, Pro-Rider, Scotty Stallman

Let's go back back to the beginning?


Scotty said: "Foiling sports really took off quite a few years ago now and there’s been some huge developments since, the latest foiling craze being down wind paddling on the foil. Whilst wing foiling has been and still is the most popular and favourable choice of foiling watersports, down wind foiling is slowly growing in popularity, but is certainly taking it's time to really take off due to it requiring a certain criteria of conditions and skill set to maximise it."

Scotty Stallman
Scotty Stallman downwind foiling!

The power behind the two disciplines, is that the main difference?


Scotty said: "When you compare wing foiling to down winding there are a lot of similarities and cross overs among the two sports however the main difference being the power source the two disciplines require. Wing foiling is all about wind and using that power source to get you up on the foil, where as down wind foiling is all about using the sea’s power in the form of swell to allow you to get up on the foil with the additional power of the paddle to help catch these swells.


"Having said that there is a still a lot of similarities in the form of pumping and swell/wave reading. The ultimate goal with down winding is to start at a upwind destination and end down wind, hence the name down winding, using the power of the swell to remain on the foil and exert as little energy as possible in doing so.


"This is where the similarity in wing foiling becomes apparent, riding the swells and waves with only the power of the swell not the wing or paddle. The only benefit to down winding as opposed to wing foiling is once you’re up and foiling your body is more free to be able to make more radical turns and pumping across to better swells becomes easier - however when you are doing this wing foiling, your wing becomes your get out of jail free card when the swell runs out…"

Scotty Stallman
Scotty Stallman wingfoiling infront of The OTC!

What are the fundamental kit differences?


Scotty said: "The main differences between these two is kit. Your conventional wing foiling quiver for a competent foiler will usually consist of a compact foil board around 5 foot in length, 1 or 2 hand wings and a foil around the 1000/1200cm2 size. When you look at down wind paddle foiling the kit consists of a 8 foot board, a paddle and a foil around the 1500cm2 for most. So there is a difference in kit, however there has been some more cross over foilers come through recently in the way of using the down wind foil set up for wing foiling - this allows you to wing foil upwind, deflate your wing which your paddle was attached to, pack your wing into a bag and then paddle your way downwind."

Scotty Stallman
Winging it!

What does the future hold?


Scotty said: "So in short that’s how the two disciplines are separated and how close they really are in similarity. Down wind foiling certainly is growing and I think the biggest growth will be in the form of a hybrid sport between wing foiling and down winding, winging up wind then deflating and paddling back down."


For all your downwind foiling kit and wing foiling kit, sail over to SurfDoctor. Looking to fly higher with your foiling, get some 1:1 tuition at The Official Test Centre.

316 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page