Read more about wing foiling on this wingfoildaily page. What is wing foiling, when did it start. for whom is it and how will it be in the future?
Wing foiling or wing surfing is a brand new watersport that is already popular.
What is wing foiling or wing surfing?
«Wingsurfing», or «Wingfoil» or «Winging» is a new boardriding sport that is booming. It combines the disciplines of windsurfing, kitesurfing and foiling.
Standing on a compact board equipped with a hydrofoil, you fly over the water while being pulled by a very light wing with an inflatable structure.
This new way of riding on the water is simple, accessible and has no limits at this time. The very first steps can be taken on the water with a larger board that offers enough stability like a stand up paddle type, without a foil.
This makes Wingsurfing a very easy watersport, allowing to quickly have fun. Those who have never had the opportunity to try windsurfing or kitesurfing, or even experienced surfing waves can easily discover the «wind element».
Wingsurfing can be practiced on many different equipments: on the water with a stand up paddle or a specific board, or even on land on a mountain board, a skateboard or skis/snowboard.
In just 8 months, no less than 30 brands have already invested in the sport by developing their own wing concepts.
The «Wing» (r)evolution is really underway!
The origins of hand held wings
The origins go back from the 80’s. Jim Drake, one of the inventors of windsurfing, arrived in Kailua during the Pan Am Cup 1982 with a kind of hand held wing. The windsurfing champion Peter Cabrinha tried it out, but at that time the wing was mounted on rigid tubes and was very heavy and bulky to handle.
At the same time, Roland Le Bail from Brittany created the «Bird Sail», a slender wing with a rigid structure that worked on water and on land. But in the mid-80’s, the funboard was booming and it didn’t help his invention.
Around 1987, more footage appeared from the Hood River spots in the Gorge, showing another type of wing: the «Wind Weapon». Invented by Tom Magruder, it was nothing more than a «Bird Sail» type wing mounted and connected to a windsurf board by a mast end. The device allowed to make some great high jumps while flying on a long distance. But it never hooked up.
And then in the 2000’s, the «KiteWing» developed. This wing with a rigid structure made of aluminium tubes takes the shape of the «Bird Sail» but is then rather used on frozen lakes with skis and ice skates. On the water, the wing remains too difficult to lift back in case you fall and the board generates too much friction and offers little upwind ability.
Thanks to the support and evolution of inflatable kitesurf wings and especially thanks to the recent emergence of the foil, this wing concept is back on the market today.
Wing foiling is ideal for who?
You don’t need to know how to windsurf, kitesurf, stand up paddle or even surf to practice Wingsurfing. This is precisely the main interest of this new sport which combines all these elements.
Moreover, the wing is really space-saving and easy to set up. It fits in a small bag, inflates in 3 minutes with a pump and does not require any other accessories. Very light, the handling is facilitated.
As a result, anyone from all ages can start to discover the sensations of sailing on the water while enjoying the «wind effect». A simple breeze is enough to start on a big board, like a stand up paddle for example.
Even if at first it’s just a question of balance technic, you can quickly get addicted to new sensations and fly over the water by jumping on a foil board.
If you don’t live close to the sea or a waterspot, you can also have a lot of fun riding on a skateboard, a mountain board, or even skis and snowboard!
Wing foiling in the future?
In just 8 months, Wingsurfing has become very popular worldwide. This sport is mesmerizing and accessible to everyone. It has also quickly become an extreme experience because the foil has made it possible to push the unexplored limits in windsurfing or kitesurfing with an incredible freedom of movement.
In the summer of 2019, we have already seen the first Wingsurfing races on foil boards in Hawaii. Today, some riders take off at incredible heights on a simple chop or perform insane freestyle tricks. Others are surfing the waves or the swell of the open sea with super-compact foil boards under their feet.
But that’s just the beginning.
Available on several supports, this new and very accessible sport is going to make some waves. All ages and levels will be concerned.
Wingsurfing has a stronger and faster development impact within the boardriding sports. That’s for sure!
You can find out below comments of designers and professionals from Hawaii, about the exciting future of this sport.
«If Wingsurfing couldn’t have found its place between kitesurfing and windsurfing before the arrival of the foil, it is now a sport that is here to stay in time because it has the potential to surf and fly in a completely different way than a windsurfer or kitesurfer can. I am now looking forward to see how the equipment will evolve because is currently the limiting factor. Within two years, I’m sure we’ll be doing Wingfoil with high-performance wings.»
«While the learning curve is still relatively fast, I think that the discipline will very quickly reach very high levels of performance in terms of speed, of jumping and freestyle tricks. But We need a form of racing that permits people to have some hope of success when they compete.»
Ken WinnerDuotone Foil Wing Designer
«His potential is unlimited. It’s like a storm that comes up and you can’t stop it. The evolution of the foils converges on a trajectory of development with the revolution of hand-held wings.»
Flash AustinWorld kitesurfing champion
Read more about wing foiling.
Duotone Unit Review and Test of the 2022 version. Watch our review video of duotones allrounder wing for wing foiling.
Action! Video highlights of the ENSIS EngadinWing by Dakine 2022. Summary of the best wing foil action videos from the event.