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How to Get Started with Wing Foiling

Alex Pastor 487 days ago 15 min of reading
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Thinking about Starting Wing Foiling? Check this Guide to understand the basic principles, frequent questions and video tutorials about how to start.

Wing foiling is a relatively new water sport that has taken the world by storm. Combining elements of windsurfing, kitesurfing, and surfing, it offers a unique and exciting way to experience the thrill of gliding across the water's surface. If you're interested in trying wing foiling for yourself, this guide will provide the information you need to get started.

How do I start wing foiling?

Starting wing foiling can seem overwhelming, but with the right gear and instruction, it's actually quite accessible. Here are the steps you can take to get started:

  • Learn the basics: Before you even think about getting on a board, it's important to understand the basics of wing foiling. This includes understanding wind direction and speed, as well as the dynamics of a wing foil board.
  • Find a WingFoil School: We are located in Tarifa, but if you live in another spot, you can search for one in your area. The best way to get started with wing foiling is to find a reputable WingFoil School, where you can take WingFoil Lessons and learn the basics from experienced instructors. Look for a school that offers WingSurf or WingFoil courses designed specifically for beginners, and make sure the instructors are qualified and experienced. Keep in mind you’ll need at least 6 hours of lessons unless you have foiling experience already.
  • Get the right gear: Wing foiling requires specific gear, including a wing foil board, wing, and harness. Your WingFoil School should be able to provide all the gear you need, or you can purchase your own if you prefer. Make sure to choose gear that is appropriate for your skill level and the conditions you'll be riding in. When you’re learning you’ll need a board that has more Liters than your body weight so you can float on, and stand on it easily, but soon after you learn you’ll want to reduce the amount of liters or size of your board for maneuverability, so you should considering renting a big board at the beginning as it might not be worth it to buy one that you’ll want to replace very soon. For the Foil it’s a very similar situation, you’ll need a bigger front wing and smaller mast at the beginning, and as you progress you’ll want to use a longer mast (80-90 cms) and smaller front wing (800-1000 cm2)
  • Take lessons: Once you have understood the basics, it's time to start taking lessons. Your WingFoil School in Tarifa will be able to guide you through the process of learning to ride, including how to get up on the board, how to steer the board and control the wing, and how to control your speed.

Is wing foiling harder than windsurfing?

This is a subjective question, as the difficulty of wing foiling can vary depending on your background and experience with other water sports. However, in general, wing foiling is considered to be easier to learn than windsurfing, as it involves fewer components and less complex movements. The wing is very light compared to a windsurf sail which is harder to lift and move, as it’s attached to the board. If you have the right Wing board, it can definitely be easier to learn WingSurf or WingFoil

Can you teach yourself to wing foil?

While it is possible to teach yourself to wing foil, it's not recommended. Wing foiling can be dangerous, especially if you're not familiar with the basics of the sport. It's always best to take lessons from a qualified instructor at a reputable WingFoil School in Tarifa, where you can learn the basics and get feedback on your technique. Keep in mind the foil can be sharp, and schools will provide you with all the necessary equipment for learning, which will be different from the gear you’ll use when you already know how to Wing Foil. 

How difficult is it to learn wing foiling?

The difficulty of learning to wing foil can vary depending on your background and experience with other water sports. However, with the right gear and instruction from a reputable WingFoil School, it's relatively easy to learn the basics of wing foiling. You’ll first need to understand and practise how to control the wing on land, and how to get as much power from the wind as you need to, from maximum traction to no traction at all. 

Secondly you’ll learn how to fly the Wing Whilst standing on a big floaty board with no foil, and after that you’ll start learning how to lift the board from the water so you’re just riding with the foil.

All of these can take several days to learn, but once you master it, you’ll never regret it.

Is wing foiling harder than kitesurfing?

Again, this is a subjective question, and the answer will depend on your background and experience with both sports. However, wing foiling is generally considered to be easier to learn than kitesurfing, as it involves fewer components and less complex movements. Generally we can say that it’s easier to control the wingfoiling Wing than the Kite, but if what you want is to Foil, then it will probably will be a little harder to get going wingfoiling than Kitesurfing. 

Another aspect to consider is that if you want to ride in a small beach or lake with gusty wind, WingFoiling can be a lot more convenient as you won’t have to extend the lines, and you don’t get so affected by the gusts as your control over the kite or wing is more direct. 

What is the best beginner wing foil gear?

When choosing gear as a beginner, it's important to opt for equipment that is easy to handle and forgiving, rather than high-performance gear that is more challenging to use. Here are some things to consider when choosing beginner wing foil gear:

  • Board size: Look for a board that is relatively large and stable, with a wide outline that provides plenty of surface area for buoyancy.
  • Wing size: The size of the wing will impact the stability and maneuverability, so generally you will want to learn on a small wing and specially one that is not so wide, as wings with very high aspect ratio will be harder to control and will be touching the water more often and that’s something you’ll want to avoid, so choose a wing that is appropriate for your skill level and the conditions you'll be riding in. The lighter the wind, you’ll need a bigger wing.
  • Harness: A harness is used to attach the wing to your body, and it helps distribute the load and make it easier to control the wing. A lot of riders decide to ride without a harness, but if you do prefer ti ride with harness, choose a harness that is light and adjustable so it fits you well, and I’d also recommend a harness that you can slide the hook so you can lie on your board to paddle when needed.
  • Foil: The foil is what makes wing foiling possible, as it lifts the board up out of the water. As a beginner, look for a foil that is relatively easy to use and provides a stable, predictable ride. A shorter mast (60-70 cms) will make it easier to balance, and a bigger front wing will give you more lift with less speed. 

How long does it take to learn to wing foil?

The amount of time it takes to learn to wing foil will vary depending on your background and experience with other water sports, as well as the amount of time and effort you're willing to put into your lessons. However, with regular lessons at a reputable WingFoil School in Tarifa, most people can learn the basics of wing foiling in just 3-6 days of lessons.

How many knots does it take to foil a wing?

The wind speed required to foil a wing can vary depending on the size of the wing and the conditions you're riding in, but a general rule of thumb is that you need at least 8-12 knots of wind to get up on the foil and start riding.

Do you need a helmet for wing foiling?

While a helmet is not required for wing foiling, it's always a good idea to wear one for safety. A helmet will protect your head from impacts and falls, and it will also help you feel more confident as you learn to ride. The Foil wings can be very sharp so it’s highly recommended to wear a helmet.

Is Wingfoiling tiring?

Wingfoiling can be tiring, especially as you're learning and working to control the board and wing. However, as you get better, it will become less tiring, and you'll be able to enjoy longer rides with more ease.

Can you foil without waves?

Yes, you can hydrofoil on flat water with enough wind. What we can say is that it is more fun with some swell or chop so you can use that power to carve and generate speed. If you're interested in riding without waves, you can also try wing foiling in light wind conditions, where you'll be able to glide across the water's surface with ease.

How much does it cost to start wing foiling?

The cost of getting started with wing foiling will depend on the gear you choose, as well as the lessons you take. However, a beginner set-up can typically be purchased for anywhere from 2,000€ to 4,000€ for a brand new quiver, but of course you can find second hand options for about 1500€. You can expect to spend an additional 300€-500€ on WingFoil lessons, if you decide to learn with us in Tarifa.

Is foiling harder than surfing?

This is a subjective question, and the answer will depend on your background and experience with other water sports. For some people, wing foiling may be easier to learn than surfing, as it involves less paddling and more gliding. However, for others, wing foiling may be more challenging, as it requires a different set of skills and techniques. Ultimately, whether wing foiling is harder or easier than surfing will depend on your personal preferences and abilities.

In conclusion, wing foiling is an exciting and rapidly growing water sport that offers a unique experience on the water. Whether you're a seasoned water sports enthusiast or a complete beginner, wing foiling is a great option to consider. With the right gear and lessons at a reputable Wingfoil School, anyone can learn the basics of this exhilarating sport. If you're looking to take your water sports experience to the next level, consider trying wing foiling and signing up for WingFoil Lessons in Tarifa today!

How to Learn WingFoil?

Check this series of video tutorials that will help you learn Wing Foiling, wether you have or haven’t taken any lessons. 

Beginner's Guide to Learning Wing Basics | How to Wing Foil Series Ep. 1

Beginners Guide to Learning Wing Surfing | How to Wing Foil Series Ep. 2

Beginners Guide to Learning Wing Foiling | How to Wing Foil Series Ep. 3

Beginners Guide to Progressing on the Foil | How to Wing Foil Series Ep. 4

Beginners Guide to Winging Gear Explained | How to Wing Foil Series Ep. 5