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Off shore winds, yes or no?

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Flag53
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Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby Flag53 » Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:33 pm

I’m just getting into Wing foiling after Kite foiling for four years and kiting for about 20.

My golden rule has always been been not to kite in Off shore or cross off shore winds unless there’s been rescue cover .

I’ve now got a board with plenty of volume ( 20L more than body weight ) which I’ve paddled easily against the wind ( in a safe lagoon ) and feel very safe on .

What are people’s opinions on going out Wing foiling in cross off shore winds when there’s no rescue cover .

Do you do it or not ????

I’m definitely considering it , although I hope my board leash never fails !

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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby juandesooka » Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:10 pm

haven't done it yet, but I will do it when opportunity arises -- especially if there's surf. I have only experienced winging in waves once when the wind angle meant the wng sits happily behind me, so much better! This was on a break where riding left meant effectively surfing it upwind.

I also won't kite in offshore or side-off winds unless there's a good downwind catchment. Paddling upwind with the wing shouldn't be a major issue, though caution in order: check that your leash string isn't frayed, leash is in good shape, don't have both board and wing attached to the same waist belt, etc. And don't wing farther than you could swim in a pinch.

Though I think I might hesitate in 30kt plus....things get pretty hairy with wing violently whipping around, would be hard to paddle against.

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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby grigorib » Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:34 pm

If you have to ask, then no :)

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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby Jwoo » Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:41 pm

In offshore winds, at least where I live, it's very gusty with lots of wind holes. You have to be prepared to kite in conditions that you may not be used to. Offshore wind is usually gusty wind kiting, and can be intimidating for someone who's used to smoother onshore winds. You should be adept at kiting in gusty conditions before attempting kiting in offshore winds. Rescue would be nice. We don't have that luxury where we kite surf. If we screw up badly we call it a $2000 dollar day. If we crash badly and can't get the kite back up within a reasonable distance from shore, we have to eject the gear and paddle back in. Hopefully getting a boat to go out and find the kite/bar before it's too far out to sea.

Don't venture far from shore,, Make sure you are VERY competent kiting in gusty wind, be prepared to dump your gear before you get too far from shore in worst case scenario. Oh.....and have fun in the smoooooooooth water!

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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby bragnouff » Thu Oct 01, 2020 10:55 pm

well, that last reply is from kiting in offshore, which is bit more stressful due to the specifics of the kite. Drop in the wind that prevents you from going upwind, dropping the kite, moving it to keep it flying in the lulls, making you drift downwind even more, etc...

For a wing, in theory, it is less risky and therefore more doable from a risk/benefit assessment perspective.
Yes, the board provides comfortable floatation for a prone paddle in with the wing in tow, but paddling into a 20kts+ headwind is a BIG slow grind. 500m of that is probably out of reach for most people. So keep that in mind. If the wind disappears, then it's just a pleasant swim. However, keep in mind that gear failure is always an option. Good solid wind and somehow you fall onto the foil, burst the leading edge, and you've got to swim into that solid wind.

Cross off, up to 45degrees is a bit better, I've done it a few times with tube kites, when the waves were worth the risk, assuming that if things turn to custard, you can still use the self rescued kite as a sail to reach the coast diagonally, or the surfboard to swim in, of course ending much further downwind, provided the spot allows that. Also the swell would assist somehow in coming back to shore, (with possible pounding though!). But I don't usually do it in winter, as there's the risk of a good couple of hours mission in the water and the risk/benefit is shifted further.

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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby Slappysan » Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:29 am

It sure looks nice in this video:


But seriously though, it's all up to the rider and I think it's pretty much the same for kiting or winging, with the one main difference being that considering offshore wind will be gusty you might have an easier time with winging.

Things to consider before you go out though:
- are you willing to let your wing/kite go? if you get in trouble you'll very likely have to ditch it to swim in
- floatation? what if your board leash breaks?
- rescue costs? even if you don't need a rescue once people on the beach see you go down for more than 5 minutes they will probably call the coast guard to come get you and you might be on the hook for the bill
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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby Peter_Frank » Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:05 am

Jwoo wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:41 pm
In offshore winds, at least where I live, it's very gusty with lots of wind holes. You have to be prepared to kite in conditions that you may not be used to. Offshore wind is usually gusty wind kiting, and can be intimidating for someone who's used to smoother onshore winds. You should be adept at kiting in gusty conditions before attempting kiting in offshore winds. Rescue would be nice. We don't have that luxury where we kite surf. If we screw up badly we call it a $2000 dollar day. If we crash badly and can't get the kite back up within a reasonable distance from shore, we have to eject the gear and paddle back in. Hopefully getting a boat to go out and find the kite/bar before it's too far out to sea.

Don't venture far from shore,, Make sure you are VERY competent kiting in gusty wind, be prepared to dump your gear before you get too far from shore in worst case scenario. Oh.....and have fun in the smoooooooooth water!

You talk about kiting, which is very bad in gusty offshore wind, and risky.

This is about winging, which is far better when gusty, and not nearly as risky.

Smooth water, nor chop, does not really mean anything for a foil though.

8) Peter

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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby matth » Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:25 am

No if you don't have a rescue plan or support...Coast Guard moments can get good spots closed down..

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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby Nem0 » Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:04 am

NEVER is the only right answer!!!

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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby Flag53 » Fri Oct 02, 2020 9:21 am

As mentioned,

This question only applies to Wing Surf ( not Kiting or kite foiling ) and where’s there’s enough volume in the board to paddle back.

Thanks for the replies guys 👍


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