Learn to Wing Foil
Wing foiling is the next up and coming trend within the standup paddleboard community. Combine your SUP, a hydrofoil, a wing to catch the wind, and some technique, and you've got the recipe to experience the crazy sensation of wing foiling.
You may have heard of or seen SUP Foiling with a SUP and paddle, but this replaces the paddle with a wing to allow you to catch the wind.
How to Wing Foil
In this video we will cover how to use your wing to ride on foil boards and normal stand-up paddleboards. If you have not watched the video on how to handle the wing yet, please watch it as it contains a lot of useful information that will be helpful when you get in the water.
If you are not a competent foiler we recommend you start out with a large stand-up paddleboard. Use one that has enough volume, the rule of thumb for how many litres it should have is your weight plus 20%.
Wing Foiling Technique
Climb up onto the board and get up on your knees. Try to have the board positioned across the wind and in the direction you wish to start in. To turn the board into the wind, hold either the Y or the first strut handle with your front hand and the third handle with your back hand. Push the wing downwind and this will turn the board upwind. To turn the board downwind move your back hand to the fourth handle and push the wing into the wind, this will turn the nose of the board downwind. When you have the board pointing across the wind move your hand to the fourth handle and sheet in to stand up make sure to keep the wing flat over your head or else the wingtip will catch on the water and flip the wing over.
Try to get into a semi surf stance as soon as you can as this will give you more balance. If you have enough power and the wing is sheeted in you should be moving forward. Remember, to sail upwind when not foiling, have your back hand on the third handle and push the wing downwind. To sail downwind, move the back hand to either the fourth or fifth handle and push the wing upwind.
Once you are up and sailing, point the board slightly downwind and sheet in. In light winds using the Y handles creates more upwards lift when pumping, your back hand should be at least on the fourth handle. Make sure that your back foot is across the centerline of the board and your front foot is slightly off-center towards the windward rail.
Pumping the Board and Wing
Once the board picks up some speed you need to start pumping the board and wing to engage the foil. Pumping is basically accelerating the board forward and out of the water by pumping your arms and feet against the pressure of the wing. Start pumping the wing by pulling both your elbows towards your knees, remember to keep your hands high or else the wing tip might catch on the water and flip the wing over. When you feel the resistance building up on your arms and the board starts moving, push on the toes of your back foot and immediately take the pressure off your front foot to let the nose rise a bit. As soon as the nose is up push down on your front toes and immediately repeat the steps again. In good winds and with a big enough foil it should not take more than three or four small pumps to get flying.
In light winds you will need to pump harder and for longer. Once you're up and foiling, the use of the handles differ slightly from the displacement riding without a foil to point upwind, move your hand back more and push the wing back towards the tail of the board. To go downwind move your hands forward on the handles and push the wing towards the nose of the board.
That is it, now you can wing foil!