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Mega Wing Review

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bluepearlqatar
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Mega Wing Review

Postby bluepearlqatar » Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:15 am

REVIEW TIME, Which WING will Take me to the MOON?

Grab a coffee, beer, smoke sit back and have a read, old school review no annoying video, fuzzy images or fiddling with the pause button to check to see what you missed.

WINGS ON TEST:

Shinn Resurector 4 Metre
PPC Surge 3.8 Metre
Ensis 4.5 Metre
F-One Strike 4.2 Metre
Duotone Unit 4 Metre
North Nova 4.2 Metre
Duotone Slick 3.5 & 5.5 (No Access to 4 Metre)
Slingwing V2 4 Metre

Conditions 42 Degrees C (Low Density Air) Hot as Hell

Day 1 Location 1
15-25 knots
Choppy to 2-3 foot of Wind swell on a downwind run.

Day 2 Location 2
10-25 knots (Extreme Gusts)
Flat to small chop.

Day 3-6 Location 1 (Further Testing)
12-25 knots

Rider and Gear STATS

90KG, 6.1 foot.
2 Years of Wingfoiling Experience (21 Years Kitesurf and Kitefoiling Experience, Surfing and SUP background of over 30 years).
Foil: - Used in review Armstrong, HS1250 and HA1125 with 200 Rear Flying V Wing and 85cm mast.
Board: - 72litre 425pro wingpro prototype.

DISCLOSURE

In order to give an unbiased review this review was done with no sponsorship or ransom demands of any kind, if any brand wishes to have a biased review please PM me and I will be more than happy to receive Bitcoins. No fish or foils were hurt during testing.

OVERVIEW

Ok formalities done back to the original question, Which Wing will take me to the Moon? in short none of them will, there is no magic potion sprayed onto the wing or magic shape which is going to whip you up into the stratosphere like kitesurfing kites, jumping with wings is 95% technique and 5% wing/ foil/ conditions (ramps) and board combos, the 5% difference the wing will make won’t make you jump like Mike (Jordan).

So which wing should I chose? I wish this was a simple black and white answer but there are many factors in play which will be covered below.

CRITERIA

1) Genetic Makeup, different wings have different wing spans and size does matter on this point, the wider the wing the taller the person needs to be to get the most out of the wing and make it easier to use, the shorter the person the more compact the wing needs to be. Same goes for handles, handle grip and spacing vary from brand to brand and this can really make a difference, if you have small princess hands or are having to wear gloves to fight off polar bears then handles which are a little skinnier will be easier to hold like the f-one and duotone wings compared to the fatter more plump handles of the north nova, the goldilocks principle comes to mind, too skinny, too big and just right this is a personal preference and one that can make a big difference to your enjoyment with the wing.

2) Wave and Downwind Riding, this was one area that I found wings did differ and there were bigger differences from wing to wing, best of the bunch I found was the F-One Strike as it was the most balanced of the 6 wings closely followed by the Shinn Resurector and then PPC.

3) Gust Munching, after testing all 6 wings it was interesting to see how the wings performed on this and the wings with more dihedral shape performed better than the flatter wings and absorbed the gusts better.

4) Up Wind, Up Wind ability is super important if you are concentrating on one specific area of waves or racing, the flatter wings I found went further upwind than the Dihedral wings with the PPC wing getting super crazy upwind angles and outperforming the others by some margin.

5) Pump Ability, Pumping onto the foil, stiffer wings did the trick, all the wings on test when pumped to their max recommended pressure were pretty stiff wings and could pump nicely onto the foil.

6) Dealer Support and Cost, this is the one area which will differ from location to location but I am a true believer that supporting your local dealer will help you get the right equipment and advice needed. If you are lucky your dealer will support multi brands and this will give you better choices, if your dealer also offers lessons even if just for a couple of hours take them it will save many hours of bashing your brand new wing against the dirt/ water/ ice or even your best mates head.

7) Finishing’s, Overall feel and quality of the product, when you spend your hard earned money on what effectively is a toy and for some a mid age crisis thing you do expect some bang for buck and the finishing’s of the wing is important from the stitching to the quality of the materials used. For the top end brands you do expect a good level of finishing, you would not buy a Bentley and accept Tato Nano finishing.

8) Free Ride, Free Style, unleashing your inner Kai, so which wing gives the easiest entrance into Free Ride/ Free Style for the 40/ 50 somethings. Grade is based on control, pop and confidence inspiring.

GRADING

Now onto the wings, being an ex-teacher from many years ago I found grading students was the best way to send good and could try harder news to parents so I will be taking the same grading principal onto the reviews.

GRADE A exceptional performance top of the class gold star.
GRADE B good performer and tries hard
GRADE C acceptable performance, less time behind the bike sheds or on PlayStation would help progress.
GRADE D did not show up for all classes and shows lack of performance, could do better.
GRADE E send back a year and retake the exam.

WING 1 Shinn Resurector 4 Metre

Overview

This 4 metre wing is fun to fly, it is a well-balanced compact mid aspect ratio wing, the Resurector is like vanilla flavored ice-cream everybody will like it and it fits all conditions with ease without being flashy and exceling in high performance free ride. I would say this wing is a very good beginner to intermediate wing it works well doing just that. The finishing of the wing is good, the bag is practical and simple with plenty of space inside. The Handles on the wing work well but would be nice to see longer handles, this is just my preference. The windows have great placement for my style of riding as I am more of a top side window watcher - these are excellent. Durability of this wing is top end. Mark Shinn does a great job at making durable products so using this wing for teaching and for durability In the waves I would give top marks.

Wave and Downwind Riding B+

Gust Munching B+

Up Wind B

Pump Ability B

Wing Quality and Finishing B

Free Ride/ Free Style B-

WING 2 PPC Surge 3.8 Metre

This wing surprised me in a good way, it is the cheapest wing in the test and I did not know what to expect at first, the 3.8 has the same power as the f-one strike 4.2, the Surge rockets you up wind like a scalded cat on angles I had not achieved before with control and speed. Downwinding with the wing worked almost as well as going up wind with only a little bit of movement in the wing when changing direction but not enough to unsettle the rider, pumping this wing was a delight it was nice and rigid and worked extremely efficiently. I would say this wing would be the ultimate toy for going up and down wind with minimum effect and without a using a harness. For super gusty conditions the flat wing shape takes a little more getting used to compared to a dihedral shape which is better in the gusts, the Surge will act more like a raging bull whilst you get instant acceleration with your eye balls in the back of your head and trying to avoid dreams about sushi underneath you.

The Surge is quite high aspect with a nice stiff canopy, for the bigger sizes the higher aspect will add to the wing span which just needs to be kept in check to avoid touching the water, the tips are flexible and will recoil easily thou if you do.

Graded Areas

Wave and Downwind Riding B

Gust Munching B-

Up Wind A

Pump Ability B+

Wing Quality and Finishing B

Free Ride/ Free Style B+

WING 3 Ensis 4.5 Metre V2

If this wing was a member of a family it would be called the Daddy. It is a solid platform, very good for pumping, it likes heavy air and wind, this wing is one of the heaviest on test but also a little bigger than most. What makes it such a great wing also makes it a little vunerable in lighter air, the extra weight the wing has put on over the holidays also limits the performance in lighter less dense air and even when pumping like a deranged Bull in a herd of cattle sometimes the lighter wind effects the ability to get it up on the foil. This is the second version of the wing without windows and the wing is well-mad. The wing I have received has had no issues whatsoever. However, the finishing on the wing did have some wrinkles on the seams but did not affect performance. For one of the more expensive brands on the market I would expect total perfection and I am sure with the 3rd generation around the corner this would have been addressed. The Ensis wing is an excellent freestyle wing and suits a more aggressive style of riding, more suited to intermediate to advanced riders.

Graded Areas

Wave and Downwind Riding B-

Gust Munching B

Up Wind B

Pump Ability A

Wing Quality and Finishing B

Free Ride/ Free Style A-


WING 4 F-One Strike 4.2 Metre

Great wing, light agile and amazing downwind machine, not as powerful as I would have liked but this could also help with the gust munching ability, pumping onto the foil needs experience not as grunty as some wings, upwind angles were as good as other wings on test apart from the PPC. In terms of construction this wing is light and minimalistic it is well thought out, I just feel as a heavier guy it maybe a little fragile and the fabric may stretch into a clowns tent with excessive pumping (had this with the swing after 3 months of use) this needs long term testing to prove either way. Handles are my one issue with this wing. Having slightly bigger hands the handles feel no more than I am grabbing a padded thong. The positioning of them is excellent, they just feel a little vague at times due to the lack of stiffness. 2 handles can be a pain with transitions though. But in fairness to the wing it is so well balanced that I am sure you will get used to this. For those with princess hands they are perfect. The finishing and quality of this wing (this does not mean durable) is excellent second only to the North wing in this regard, the bag is a bag nothing special about it and the wrist leash is adequate.

No windows is something I am missing. In the beginning when I was Billy no mates on the beach flapping around like a demented seagull it was no issue at all but as my skill and speed increases and the number of water users multiply the window becomes essential, moving the wing above you head to check around you slows your speed and sometimes your flow it is nicer to be able to glance though the window going full tilt. Give it a year or 2 and F-One will come to the window party it is inevitable.

Graded Areas

Wave and Downwind Riding A

Gust Munching B+

Up Wind B

Pump Ability B

Wing Quality and Finishing B+

Free Ride/ Free Style A-


WING 5 Duotone Unit 4 Metre

The Unit has been around a little while in wing design terms but is still a great all round wing. The shape of the wing helps with the overall user friendliness and has a nice bit of grunt to it without it being overpowering, the wing is light and stable. The handles on the wing are somewhat vague and floppy style but work well with this type of shape of wing. Downwind the Unit flagged well and encounter a little bit of play but easy to get back in shape with a flick of the wrist. Reinforcements on this wing are not as pronounced as other wings so doing land based skate board winging might not be the best option. This is a great all round wing which does everything well without being too flashy. The weight will be beneficial in bigger sizes as it is light. The windows are great to have but could do with a little adjustment similar to the Slick.

Now onto my pet peeve (annoyance) of Duotone as a brand – it is the lack of leash, pump adaptor and suitable repair kit. In over 20 years of kiting I seen the industry go from selling pumps, bars and kites in complete packages to taking bit by bit out each year to save a buck. Duotone is the only brand in this review to not provide a leash, a pump adaptor to be used with any kite pump and a sensible sized repair kit, this is real shame. Providing a leash is a safety feature which every other brand does, Duotone sell leashes with kites why not wings? It is pure madness, the pump adaptor thing is also a little odd, it is almost like Duotone don’t want you playing with their toys unless you have their pump, yet again they are the only brand here to do that. The repair kit is next to useless and this they could have just been left out completely as the piece of repair tape is so small I would struggle to wipe my nose with it.

If you were the client buying a Duotone Wing from an online seller or local kite store with a great wind day maybe these elements could be missed and then you turn up to the beach without a safety device and the ability to pump your wing with a generic kite pump, this is like going to Mc Donalds drive through asking for a Big Mac only to find out they don’t have buns and told to come back tomorrow , rather annoying.

Anyway rant over, the Unit wing works well it is just a shame the brand missed some easy fundamental needs of newbies into the sport who just want it boxed and to go. For those new to winging take note and check to make sure you have everything you need before starting.

Graded Areas

Wave and Downwind Riding B

Gust Munching B+

Up Wind B

Pump Ability B-

Wing Quality and Finishing B+ (Downgraded to a B for lack of leash, pump adaptor and a poor repair kit)

Free Ride/ Free Style B


WING 6 North Nova 4.2 Metre

North have thrown everything but the kitchen sink into this wing which sounds great on paper but, in reality for winging, less is often more. This wing is more like vanilla (same as shinn) but this one has a chocolate ripple through the centre with a more polished and expensive finishing. It is a well-balanced wing without being class beating in any area for performance. The finishing and construction of this wing is amazing and the best in test on this- attention to detail is really nice and the QC (quality control) is superb. Whenever I get a new wing I pump it up in doors and check over all the seams, bit OCD in this regard, I look for loose threads or any stitching slightly off, this is the only wing in the lineup I could not see anything out of place, great job on this. Handles are nice and comfortable however those with smaller hands or wearing gloves in winter time might find them a bit chunky to grip. The window placement on the Nova takes a little getting used to, this is more of a bottom window viewing rather than top which I am used too, not ideal but it works. This wing is like a swiss army knife with its ability to turn its hand to all conditions, I do feel however it needs to go on a diet it is a little bit heavier than I would have liked hence one of the color options is black to hide the extra grams, the durability of the wing does make up for this though. Bigger sizes? I would be a little worried about the weight for lighter winds but the 4.2 worked great in the test conditions.

Graded Areas

Wave and Downwind Riding B

Gust Munching B

Up Wind B+

Pump Ability B+

Wing Quality and Finishing A

Free Ride/ Free Style B+


WING 7 Duotone Slick 3.5 & 5.5 Metre

Duotone make Camping Gear was the initial impression when receiving the wings with a look of horror on my face. The look of the bags and the boom looked like you have tent poles and a spade, with sweat pouring down my face and flash backs from dreaded camping experiences of childhood I opened the bag and to my delight the wings were inside.

This was the only boomed wing in the test and coming from a windsurf and kite background the wing felt very intuitive and enabled myself to push limits into the freestyle world of winging with confidence. This wing is very good for pumping and likes heavy air it is one of the heaviest in the test size for size. Aluminum V Carbon Mini Boom, no contest the Aluminum works yes but it is like putting a heavy lumbering diesel engine into your sports car and writing turbo all over the body work. It works yes but it does not do what it says on the tin. At the time of this review only the aluminium mini boom was available so I made a carbon mini boom MacGyver style out of an old carbon paddle shaft, carbon paddle palm grip, wine cork and some electrical tape the result is a super light mini boom weighing 240grams rather than the 595grams of the aluminium mini boo. After testing both back to back the aluminium mini boom is now used to prop up the garage door.

When using the Slick with the carbon mini boom the wing was super responsive, the boom enabled for a lot of control of the pop and micro adjustments on the fly, one handed flying, surface tricks 360s, tacks and gybes were easier to complete with power and control over the soft handles due to the fact of the boom being firm and controllable even with one hand on it you will never miss a handle again. I would put this wing into the intermediate to advanced category for most riders except ex windsurfers (used to poles) based on the fact you still have a solid boom which could cause damage by hitting your board, yourself and others in the beginning stages, also the wing can be a little less forgiving due to the power.

The shape of this wing is very different to the others on test with a more compact box like shape it wont win any beauty contests but with the straight wing tips the chances of catching a tip is minimised and will help with pumping onto the foil.

This wing will be my go to wing for improving my freestyle air game as it gives the most amount of pop and predictability when trying new tricks. The windows are perfectly placed and give a very clear view of water users downwind of you.

One final comment on this wing is I have the same annoyance as with Unit wing, Duotone don’t provide a leash, a pump adaptor and the repair kit that comes with it would struggle to fix a torn sheet of paper let alone a rip in the wing, I can’t seem to get my head around a company such as Duotone not including an extra 10USD onto the retail price of the wing by providing these elements, the bean counters have gone mad. Duotone are the only manufacturer on this list and one of the most expensive to be cutting costs to save a buck on accessories, real shame on an otherwise great offering.


Graded Areas

Wave and Downwind Riding B- (with the carbon boom B)

Gust Munching B

Up Wind B+

Pump Ability B+

Wing Quality and Finishing B+ (Downgraded to a B for lack of leash, pump adaptor and a poor repair kit)

Free Ride/ Free Style A


WING 8 Slingwing V2 4 Metre

A little lively wing, very well made but does not seem as balanced as some of the other wings in gusty conditions, the bigger sizes work very well but the 4 meter seems a little fiesty. Typical slingshot finishing and construction this wing is made very durable and will take a beating. The V2 feels a little dated now and soft compared to some of the other wings on the test as it has been around for a while, the V2 wing is still a great wing cant wait to see the next generation V3.

Graded Areas

Wave and Downwind Riding B

Gust Munching B-

Up Wind B

Pump Ability B-

Wing Quality and Finishing B+

Free Ride/ Free Style B-

Conclusion

If you own or are going to buy any one of these wings you can’t go far wrong, they are all premium brands and all have elements to improve- if they were all perfect why would you upgrade? Personally, I would love to take elements out of all of them and make a hybrid, this review is based on personal experience and personal opinions, like any review this should be taken with a grain of salt, I am no wing designer just a 40 something 90KG beer loving wingfoiler which probably makes up 50% of the current market but what do we know .

My humble suggestion to all wingers new or seasoned is to support your local dealers, this is the best way to get hold of a wing size to work for you with professional advice and support. By supporting your local shop you enable them to keep stock updated and have spare parts to support you in your hour of need, and if you really support them get previews to demos on new gear. There is an awful lot of marketing out there and this will become even louder as the wing industry grows, try as many wings as possible or speak to as many people around your weight and skill level about their wings and gear to get the best advice.

Hope you enjoyed the review

Next reviews coming out will be.

1) Killer Light Wind, how to turn a 90KG man into a 60KG light wind monster without losing weight. Battle of the Light Wind Machines.

2) Boom V Handles V Hybrid, decisions just got that little bit more difficult.

If you liked this review follow me on Instagram #alohadoha or facebook #wingsurfingqatar https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063584196724 for the next review updates.

ALOHA from DOHA
These users thanked the author bluepearlqatar for the post (total 5):
Blackened (Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:47 am) • OzBungy (Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:52 am) • irwe (Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:54 am) • Dontsink (Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:01 pm) • bigtone667 (Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:26 am)
Rating: 33.33%

Blackened
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Re: MEGA WING REVIEW

Postby Blackened » Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:47 am

I don't wing, but that's an awesome review. Big thanks for writing that out.

nothing2seehere
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Re: MEGA WING REVIEW

Postby nothing2seehere » Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:32 am

Not into wingsurfing yet but that was a brilliant review! Entertaining as well as informative

joekitetime
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Re: Mega Wing Review

Postby joekitetime » Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:02 pm

Thank you for you efforts.

Hope you had a great time! That was a lot of winging!

I would like to comment that all the grades were As and Bs, nearly every grade was a B. Score was it was nearly an "everyone is a winner".

Either all the wings were really good (which very well may be) or the criteria was too soft!

But thanks for the info!

bluepearlqatar
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Re: Mega Wing Review

Postby bluepearlqatar » Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:15 pm

The current wing crop is very close in performance and in quality with the A grade showing exceptional performance which happened a few times. It is tough to find a bad wing in the current batch which is a good thing, until a wing comes out which out shines all other wings (this does not exist in this review) it will be difficult to score wings down as they are much of a muchness with some differences here and there but nothing which is a major failure. I feel in time grades will change, in the kite industry with the leading brands it is also difficult to find a bad kite but find a kite that excels in a certain discipline which is new to winging. In this review for me I was expecting to find a bigger gap in performance as indicated by some other reviews online but in my testing this was limited. In summary thou, North Nova was best quality, Duotone Slick best for freestyle, PPC best for up wind, F-One Strike best for down wind, PPC best for value for money, F-One Strike and Duotone Unit best for Gusts.


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