Name: Balz Müller
Nationality & Homebase: Switzerland
Sponsors: MB-Boards, Ensis-Watersport, Silvaplana, Dakine Europe
Home spot: Ipsach, Bielersee
Thank you for your time to share your stoke in this WINGFOILDAILY Rider of the Week Interview. We are super stoked to have you here and ask you a few questions about your relationship with wing foiling.
What made you decide to start Wing Foiling and where did you have your first experience?
Already for many years wings have caught my interest, I remember watching youtube clips about kitewinging at the hood river 25 years ago. I was hooked from the very first visual discovery!
The first picture of foil winging which burned into my brain was from Tony Logos, Slingshot Boss, it looked so damn cool!
My very first wing session was last August at the Engadinwind Windfoil freestyle Worldcup in Silvaplana! I was lucky to get a go on the wing from the local surfcenter after the comp and spend the rest of the week up there on the wing foil! Fully hooked! I came back home and with the price money from winning the Wind Foilstyle comp I straight bought me my very first own Wing!
What is your background?
I’m an Watersport enthusiast, who likes to try new things! I love the nature and the possibilities to play with it! I love the adrenaline rush which I get while riding big storms and going close to my limits!
I have been competing on the Windsurf Worldtour PWA for 8 years, indeed it is a dream. I meet many great characters, visit awesome places, wild parties and most of all lots of fun on the water! For me there’s nothing comparable to a Windsport session with my friends.
Do you still windsurf? Or are you just winging it all the time now?
I still love windsurfing as much as my first time planning over the water surface, but yeah I’m definitely more winging lately, but that’s surely also due to the light wind conditions existing in Switzerland! In the end I just wanna spend as much time out on the water and Winging is simple a great sportstool to be out in any and every conditions
Video: Balz Müller Wing Foil Craziness
Can you describe the feeling of being on a foil? What makes this sport so unique and special for you?
For me foiling is like flying over the water surface free like a seagull. It’s such a unique new water sport, I like the unlimited possibilities coming with it!
And especially in winging: not being connected to the board by kiteline or sail base creates so many new trick possibilities and being able to put the wing in an “off power” position provides such a free and nice feeling!
Where do you see wing foiling in 5 years from now?
I like the unlimited possibilities coming with something new, I bet many feel the same way. But yeah I understand, people are still skeptical or even scared from those „sharp“ foils. I hear lots of reactions from people who are very curious to try that new sport, and what surprises me most is that it`s often even friends which are not even involved to water sports. So it`s gonna be very interesting to see where and how wing foiling will establish itself!
I realised winging is the easiest access to learn flying on a foil, and you can do it any and everywhere even on a gusty small river and you don’t need anybody to lunch your wing.
I see a big future.
What´s your most used gear set?
My MB-Boards Albatros 58l with the 4.5 Ensis Wing and the big W1100 Mosesfoil
Recently we have seen a lot of people doing backflips. You also joined this challenge. Can you describe your first backflip experience?
Over the past few months I’ve had multiple horrible crashes trying to get inverted with that wing! I was freaking out falling headfirst on the wing and having my foil dropping down on me.
It got to a point where I said to myself “I stop trying wingflips”… I said to myself someone had to prove to me that the backflips are possible!
That someone was Jeffrey Spencer from Maui when I saw his first clean spins. I had a horrible night full of sweaty nightmares. I woke up in the morning and knew I had to stick that flip too.
My problem at that time I was in the foiling paradise Silvaplana where the winds almost never reach that Hawaiian trade wind force. So I hit the water pumping my lungs out to get me flying on my smallest wing. (I think is necessary for learning the spin)
So from analysing the backflips of Jeff and the Lenny Brothers I could adapt to just do a backflip with the foil instead of using the wing for the spin, and lucky that way Wingbackflips are much easier than a first thought and experienced.
Many people are scared off hitting the foil when they try these crazy jumps. Do you think the moves are dangerous? Did you ever hit the foil yourself?
Foils are freaking sharp and of course you don`t wanna meet them close! Touching wood nothing serious happened yet in that crazy sport!
But I think as long as you stay in your foot straps and you think twice about what and how you wanna try it’s not that dangerous (being able to visualise your movement is very important).
I cut my self already a few times while foiling but never doing a trick, my worst injury happened getting washed in the whitewater having a stiff leash (not knowing better back then) and the board shot back in my face.
What moves do you plan to do in the future?
Where creativity meets motivation everything is possible! At the moment I think it’s important to document all the moves we’re already doing just as doing clips or by creating the wing foiling tricktionary (first version coming out soon) and start to show what’s already possible so from that base we can create further and get funky!
I find myself trying to fall asleep in bed but my mind is spinning about all those moves which are yet to come! I’m dreaming all night and day from wingfoiling!
What a time to be alive!
Thank you for the Interview!
Brought to you by Balz Müller & WINGFOILDAILY – Pictures by Roger Grütter, Christian Wolfensberger, Chris Czadilek, Marc Weiler EngadinWind and Martina Orsini Foilingweek.
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