Wing Foiling - Elevate your knowledge!
From kit to tuition and everything in-between find out all you need to know about wing foiling.
Wing foiling has quietly been creating a revolution in the watersports world and many have already been lured in by its versatility. Unlike some other watersports, wing foiling can be enjoyed in various conditions. Whether it's on flatwater, in small waves, or in windy and challenging conditions, wing foiling allows riders to adapt and enjoy the sport in different environments. Wing foiling is a thrilling and accessible watersport that combines the best elements of surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing.
If you are yet to join the army of converts and not sure if wing foiling is for you, then this blog will inflate your knowledge! At The OTC we are proud to be the Royal Yachting Association's (RYA’s) first recognised wing-foiling training centre, and with The OTC Director Tris Best and Wing Coach Maurin Rottenwalter assisting in the development of the RYA's Wing Training Scheme and courses, you have come to the right place to take your winging to the next level!
By Emma Nicholson.
The first question we will answer is 'Why should you learn how to wing foil?'
Wing surfing and development on to wing foiling often referred to as 'winging' is a watersport accessible to all, whether you have already practised a gliding sport or not. It consists of being/riding on the water with a board, a foil (or without!!) and a wing.
Here at The Official Test Centre we recommend doing some lessons with us during the first two steps of the process: Wing handling and to introduce you to the hydrofoil. Like any new sport, there is a learning curve to winging and beginners should be prepared to spend some time and effort developing their skills. The initial challenge for most people is simply learning to balance on the board while holding onto the wing.
While learning to wing foil may seem daunting, with dedication and proper instruction, most people can become independent within 6 - 12 hours . However, it's important to learn with a certified school like us at The OTC to ensure safety, efficient learning, and proper technique.
You maybe thinking 'Can anyone wing foil?' Well learning how to use a wing is easier than with a kite or windsurf sail. You can get a general idea by spending some time land based the wing getting to grips with how it feels.
'Where do you start?' On land, you can practice holding the wing in different positions, pulling with your back hand to get some power, and releasing to de-power.
Get used to keeping the wing in the air, using the power generated to change direction and prevent the tips from touching the ground. This is relatively easy to learn with a bit of practice and provide the building blocks for progressing quickly.
'Time to get on the water?', let the fun begin, it's time to put into practice what you have learnt on the land, starting by sailing across the wind and learning to turn around and come back to where you started.
Practice flipping the wing into a sailing position without letting it touch the water, riding back and forth. You’ll become more precise with controlling the amount of power in your wing, and where that power is pulling/being generated from, helping you to change direction and ride back to where you came from.
However foiling isn't for everyone and you may find having learnt the basics of wing surfing (without a foil), the pleasure of cruising the waters is the perfect tonic, and you choose to progress no further at this stage.
Keen to to get flying, then wing foiling is the next step. Wing foiling is much easier with a little breeze, especially if you’re learning. 10-15 knots is a good strength wind to learn in. It’s also easier to learn on flat water, although stronger winds may bring more chop as well.
'Time to get up on the foil?' To start foiling, your board needs to be stable enough for you to stand on it easily. When you are able to fly on the foil comfortably, you can start using smaller boards. In fact, you can go down pretty quickly, but if you start with boards that are too small the learning process will be much longer. Therefore, using the equipment from The OTC for your very first steps is a good idea, this is all included in our wing foiling courses.
'What size wing will I need?' Wing sizes range from about 3 m2 to over 6 m2. In 15 knots, with a body weight of 80kg you can start with a 4 or 5m wing, a little lighter and you'll be given a smaller wing. With a bigger wing, it may be more difficult to keep control, hampering your progress, but thats the joy of having an instructor nearby. When you are ready to buy your own winging equipment, you can get all your wing foiling kit from Surf Doctor, click here to browse the range... https://www.surfdoctor.com/wing-foiling/ or call the team and they will be happy to give you tailored advice to help you find the kit you need, find the number at the bottom of the blog. Remember to use your discount code when buying equipment at Surf Doctor having taken a course at The OTC!!!!
'What is next?' Book yourself some 'Winging Tuition' or a 'Taster', here are all the details you need to start your wing foil adventure at The OTC, click here to find out more.. https://otc-watersports.com/wing-foiling/ At The OTC we are proud to be the RYA’s first recognised wing foiling training centre, if you decide a two hour taster is for you, this is the perfect introduction to wing-surfing. The other option is two hours of tuition, including kit hire. To book either of these options online, click here.. https://otc.sailia.co.uk/booking_v2/main/
'Prefer a little female only action and encouragement?' Here at The OTC we run a 'Women Who Wing' group (pictured below) on a Friday evening, the only stipulation is you must have a winging taster, it’s a wonderful opportunity to meet others on their Winging journey in a supportive, friendly and welcoming environment. It all starts at 5pm and runs until 7pm. Call the centre to book your place, 07817 717904. £15 for wing surfing. £25 for wing foiling, this includes all your kit.
Need more information? Soak up even more wing foil facts with our handy FAQ on Wing Foiling, click on the link... https://www.surfdoctor.com/service/faqs-wingfoiling/
Hear from The OTC Team...
If you book onto one of The OTC RYA Winging courses, you will probably be taught by OTC Team Rider and RYA Wing Foiling Instructor, James Hardy or OTC Operations Manager, Maurin Rottenwalter RYA Wing Surfing and Foil Trainer, below we hear from both of them.
James said: "Wing foiling is the newest watersports to hit the scene and it’s pretty damn easy to take your first steps in it.
"It’s not exclusive to those that can already windsurf or kite but its open to anyone.If you can windsurf or kite well, you will have a grasp of some of the fundamental skills and terminology. For those that don’t already do a windsport learning to wing surf is the perfect way to wing foiling success. On a nice floaty board with a wing grasping the key wing skills to be safe and effective on the water.
"Picking up some tuition or course at a local 'Wing Training Centre' is really the best way to learn and progress in wing surfing and then onto wing foiling. The better you are at wing surfing the easier learning to foil is so it’s a stage that shouldn’t be glazed over, with the right kit and right tuition from a school it is a sport that can be picked up by all”
The OTC Operations Manager, Maurin Rottenwalter RYA Wing Surfing and Foil Trainer, said: "I must emphasis first that people need to do wing surfing first, no matter the background first before coming foiling.
"The path from novice to winger. Wing Foiling has wowed us all and is spreading further then we could have imagined in the beginning. The one thing which surprised us all, was how easy to learn it is for absolute novices. In the beginning everybody focused on the foiling side, but it quickly became apparent, that we needed to offer the full pathway from complete beginner to wing foiler.
"With that wing surfing came into the play and the success and quick progression we have seen from clients was staggering. A bit of tuition goes a long way and most beginners need between 8 - 15 hours, to be successfully maintaining flight on the foil with the right conditions and teaching in place. This will teach them all the safey aspects on and off the water, from how to inflate a wing, to being safe on the water, with the right tweaks to achieve quick success and have a tone of fun."
Feeling pumped? Watch these useful videos to show you how to pump up a wing...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqqTB01TyQ4 and all about the different foil components... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7q4SXkq8Wk
Hang on! Here are all the details you need to jump into the world of wing foiling...
BUY KIT - https://www.surfdoctor.com/wing-foiling/
INFO ON TUITION - https://otc-watersports.com/wing-foiling/
BOOK ONLINE YOUR TASTER OR TUITION - https://otc.sailia.co.uk/booking_v2/main/ Wing Foiling FAQ - https://www.surfdoctor.com/service/faqs-wingfoiling/
CONTACT The OTC - 07817 717904. CONTACT SURF DOCTOR FOR ADVISE ON KIT - 07944 254561