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Offshore winds

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:06 am
by grtlakes
Is it reasonable to use a wing to foil in offshore winds. I’ve read various posts where this is mentioned. Can you (if required) swim in if for some reason you are unable to foil? This goes against my windsurfing and kiting background. Do wings produce such little drag that this is easily accomplished?

Re: Offshore winds

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:20 am
by OzBungy
I've been doing exactly that the past few days. That is one of the reasons I started winging. Short answer, it's entirely doable as long as you take suitable precautions.

My launch spot was cross offshore, say 40-60 degrees off. It was easy to slog out from the wind shadow on the beach then foil back and forth in the cleaner wind further out. It felt odd having the beach behind me, and when re-starting it looked very odd to be looking straight out to sea with the wind blowing on my back.

Further down the coast the wind would have been cross shore so fairly easy to ride back to shore.

The worst case scenario would have seen me drift downwind to land about 10-15km away. I did have an Apple watch so I could have called for help if I things went totally wrong.

I did do a couple of practice paddles. Dead into wind with 25 knots was doable, but slow. I lay on the board, pulled the leash in and wedged the slack under my chest. The wing sat on my back and paddling was comfortable. There's no noticeable drag from the wing. It's just like paddling a board.

The first time I tried the wing sat canopy up with my feet hooked on the leading edge.

The second time the wing flipped over and it was too hard to flip it over. It was fine with it canopy down. I got bored paddling into wind so I paddled crosswind and walked along a sandbank. I quite like the stroll. It's relaxing on a nice day.

During the stroll I flipped the board over, pulled the wing up onto the board, and wrapped the wing leash a couple of times around the mast. It's easy to tow the board by the board leash rail saver and the wing leash. It takes two wraps around the mast to secure the wing and stop it bouncing and climbing the mast. You want to leave a couple of cm so the leading edge won't rub on the mast.

Big tip. Never ever take your wing leash off in offshore winds. I took the leash off my wrist while fiddling about. I could feel the wing tugging and wanting to escape. If I had let it go for a second it would have been gone for good.

Re: Offshore winds

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:20 pm
by grtlakes
That sounds quite interesting. I look forward to the advances coming with this form of propulsion.

Re: Offshore winds

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:15 am
by ronnie
I tried paddling in in slightly cross off wind about 10 or 12 knots with a 4m Duotone upside down on the leash behind me. I could make progress into the wind, but could feel the drag of the wind on the wing and was wearing a restrictive thick wetsuit. I deflated the wing, lay on it and paddled in. So I think it's worth getting an idea of how far you could paddle into the wind with the wing inflated.

From that experience, I tried to find out if the Duotone boom could be used as a paddle if you carried a SUP blade in a mesh backpack to plug on the end of the boom. It does work, but I couldn't find a cheap and powerful blade that could plug on. This cheap kids canoe paddle blade was the one I tried. It is small and not efficient enough, but a proper paddle blade would work well for paddling into the wind on your knees with the wing deflated and between your legs.