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Wing surf in waves, onshore?

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Re: Wing surf in waves, onshore?

Postby Adolfo » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:27 pm

mr_daruman wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:11 pm
Would like to try but...all these videos looks super fun just foil kiting...plenty of wind and waves and a smaller board to rip. I mean think about it.
They seem incredibly stoked flying slowly on a huge board, imagine having more speed control and turning sharper on a smaller foil board...
What happens when crashing in the breakers with a wing? These big foil boards have a leash, the wing has a leash...With a kite its super easy to kite loop and just body drag out of an impact zone.
Think of it this way:
Many, if not most, wingfoilers these days also kite foil, surf kite, etc.
In my case; I have19 years of kiting and 4 or 5 of kitefoiling experience.
We know exactly the advantages and disadvantages of a kite in any given condition. We know what you are talking about.
Also, when we get to the beach., we have the kites, surf and kitefoil boards and wingfoil equipment in the bed of the truck. We can pick any of them.
But we are choosing to go out with the wing and not with the kite.
There must be a reason…
These users thanked the author Adolfo for the post (total 3):
Peter_Frank (Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:24 pm) • bigtone667 (Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:19 pm) • juandesooka (Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:12 pm)
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Re: Wing surf in waves, onshore?

Postby stevez » Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:18 am

I've been watching this space pretty closely. My local spot has onshore windswell. When it gets to 18-20 knots it starts to be fun to ride, and at 25 knots really fun. There are a few local wingfoilers who seem to know what they are doing. I've been watching them quite closely lately and how they are riding the swell. I'm riding the same waves with generally a smaller kite than the wing they are using. I've been on a cloud 2.8 (good from about 20 knots solid) with the wingfoilers generally on 4m ozones.

In onshore wind you are not normally riding straight onshore, but somewhat down the line in one direction or other. At times they are able to tuck the wing behind them and that is cool, but there is definitely quite a bit of manoeuvring of the wing when cutting across in the other direction, and this can be quite awkward. This is exactly what I'm seeing in the videos above like Gunnar's. Maybe with more time wingfoilers and their gear will get better and the awkwardness will go away.

In the same conditions I am able to fly the kite unpowered, but still keep it up, and loop occasionally when required especially when changing direction on a wave. Rarely do I need to get off a wave because the kite is falling, and I hardly ever drop the kite. And I have the benefit of riding a tiny pocketboard instead of a sup. In short, unless they're having more fun that it looks, I don't think they are having more fun than I am. But for sure, they are definitely having fun out there.

However I have no doubt in the value proposition of wingfoiling. Lately I've also been challenging myself in different locations and conditions, and I have found myself in situations where I have been a bit uncomfortable with the amount of risk. Specifically in going out in ocean swell where I might end up quite far out. If something goes wrong with the kite out there I don't have many options but a long swim, and my 85cm pocket board is of no use to me, whereas a bigger board like a sup could be pretty helpful. I suppose even a floaty prone foiling board would be preferable in that situation. Also there are conditions where I wouldn't even think of going out in a kite, but with a wing it could definitely be viable, specifically when it's offshore, with sketchy launches etc, and that's where the wing really shines.

I'm very open to experiment, and have been curious about the wing since it came out. In the end I've succumbed to this curiosity. Recently I got a great deal on a 5'5" 104l wavechaser SUP, nearly new for just over half price - so if I don't like it I can sell it and get my money back. That was the trigger to finally try this sport out, so I also pulled the trigger on a f-one swing 4.2. Yesterday I thought I'd try something I've always been curious about, flying a SUP with kite. In thought I'd get a feeling for the board with the more familiar means of propulsion. That was a big failure. Getting standing on a tiny SUP, managing a kite in the air, keeping standing and balanced on the board, diving the kite to get going is very, very hard! At least at my sup level. Being a bit underpowered didn't make it any easier. Nor does the fact that this board has a lousy excuse for a deckpad. But these are just excuses! My setup is actually able to float on its side, so a regular waterstart might have been an option if I wasn't underpowered.

Anyway the takehome was that sup plus kite doesn't really work. What's more, it was enough of a reality check that wingfoiling really is a different sport, with its own learning curve, which may be longer than I first thought. I'm hoping that the process of getting from kneeling to standing to riding is easier when holding a wing and the power of the wing provides some balance.

I can't say I'm not having my second thoughts about this - I'm probably going to have to give up a bunch of very fun 18-20 knot (which is what I thinks is probably good learning wind with the 4.2 wing) kitefoiling sessions on the 3.7 cloud to learn this sport! Anyway at least at the end I'll hopefully be able to answer the question posted by the OP for myself, first hand, and not have to take anyone else word for it! :)

I'll report back my findings if I have any!

Here's my setup, the board plus Cloud 9 X32 wing, which I haven't had much use for kiting.

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