It’s been a year since wing foiling has taken off globally. You probably first noticed when you were scrolling down your Instagram feed watching several professional windsurfers and kitesurfers, on different sides of the world, up and flying with the these new ‘wings’ on big paddleboards. It all looked very inaccessible and very technical, only suitable for those Maui watermen… Today, just one year later, the reality is completely different. Wing foiling has not only become a new niche water sports category of its own, it has earned the reputation and respect among the different wind sports, but it also has crossed over into the world of other boardsports like SUP.
Combining all the knowledge from different boardsports and the quick development of the equipment we’ve witnessed, the foiling barrier entry has been reduced dramatically. Larger wing sizes and specialized wing boards, short enough for increasing the pumping, and wide enough to dramatically increase stability has opened up a new window for such an early and safe access.
Larger wings allow you to start in very ideal conditions, from as little as 10-12 knots, in calm waters making for easy balancing and to getting comfortable on the board, and the light winds to start to get up on the foil very progressively. Using a larger wing has had a big impact also for many people to take off at low speeds with maximum control. There are unlimited new spots in the mainland now suitable for wind foiling. Reduced spaces, very gusty and unstable winds are no longer a problem since you basically can float on your board and wait for the next gust or in case the wind switches off you can basically roll your wing up and paddle back to the shore. The Wing’s versatility has also helped for this tremendous boost.
In a matter of fact, France merged the first “Association of Wing Riders” (AWR) this past December (2019), which aims to democratize Wing foiling, supporting and promoting all the interest of all the parties involved, including amateurs and professionals, ensuring that this sport is accessible to all and practised safety. Some races and downwinders have already taken place in Maui and France, is not going to last for long until we see standardized locals and open events. Through the next years, we will see how this emerging sport will take off and get professionalized within the different fields.
Currently, there are two clear ramifications where the sport is going, mainly freeride and down winding. There is no doubt that we will see racing taking off on this discipline, there is evidence that wing foiling has all the necessary assets to be competitive in this discipline. The latest achievements and product improvements on the performance of IQ (Official Olympic 2024 windsurf class) quiver will have a notable influence into wind foiling.
The revolution has started, do you want to be part of it? The choice is yours.