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Wing in Extreme Winds

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OzBungy
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Wing in Extreme Winds

Postby OzBungy » Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:32 am

My aspiration with wing foiling is to be able to ride safely in extreme winds of around 50 knots. I don't expect it to be lots of fun in 50+ knots, just survivable and safer than kite foiling.

I've had a few sessions in around 40 knots with my 4m wing and that was doable. Lots of noise and fluttering of the trailing edge. It's very nice to be able to launch in a boat harbour or other sheltered area and sail out into the wild and woolly stuff, and pop in for a break without planning how to manage a kite that might not want to land.

I bought a 2.8m wing hoping for an ideal wing for those extreme conditions. It is not much more pleasant in very strong winds and loses a bit of bottom end, which limits its usability and versatility. The handling can be quite twitchy in gusts and the noise and fury factor is about the same as the 4m.

I suspect a lot of the noise comes from the helmet and the general conditions. When kite foiling the kite is 25m away. I can't hear the fluttering and I am somewhat insulated from the surging and shaking around. With a wing it's all there in my hands. The shaking and fluttering is pretty much in my face.

So, is it unreasonable to expect to have a pleasant time with a wing in 50 knots? Are there any wings that people would recommend for those conditions?

PS As I've said in another thread, being overpowered is not so much of an issue. There's no absolute top end to the wing. If I hang my body weight on the wing handles it can translate the forces into power and dump me off. If I stand on the board and simply support the wing on my hands then it flutters and shakes but doesn't drag me off. It's actually quite fun when riding waves downwind holding a single handle and taking a small amount of power. The 2.8m seems to have a shorter transition between not loaded and loaded. I can feel it wanting to throw me off and have to react before it takes me away. The 4m seems to have a little more inertia and can be slower to change from depowered to pitching me off.

Herman
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Re: Wing in Extreme Winds

Postby Herman » Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:46 am

I suspect you really know that it is unreasonable to expect a “pleasant” time in 50knts but I understand the lure of the challenge. I don’t wing but I used to challenge myself windsurfing in extreme conditions, when you are seeing gusts by how much surface water is being ripped off you know it’s windy. Finding a safe venue, knowing where you and your kit will drift, or perhaps a better description would be spat out, is so important. As you said having shelter to rig and pack down can make a lot of difference to how pleasant the experience might be. Hopefully you will get the satisfaction of meeting the challenge out of your system before you injure yourself.

I suspect it is a worse experience if you are underpowered because it becomes all too twitchy and slammy, but presumably you can’t fully sheet the 4m at these wind speeds. Presumably you can ride with just the back third of the wing driving. Out of curiosity I have two questions.

How close to the wind can you ride with the wing just held by the nose and flapping?

When sheeting in at high wind speeds do you find the need to start pushing with the front hand?


We used to use heavy boards and rigs with lots of luff and leech tension (pin head sails) and so fluttering or flapping was very limited. Can’t say I fancy being leashed to anything in 50knts but I’ve got a bit old, or is it wiser.

From memory my 2.8 rig was fine in 50knts but I am guessing you will not be requiring as much power.

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Re: Wing in Extreme Winds

Postby ronnie » Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:31 pm

Balz Muller with what looks like the 2.8m Ensis.

The wind looks a lot less than 50 knots. Duotone list their Slick 2.5m as useful up to 45 knots, so something at 2m or below would probably be suitable for 50 knots.

This is a 2m sail in 50 knots.

OzBungy
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Re: Wing in Extreme Winds

Postby OzBungy » Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:11 pm

Herman wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:46 am
....
How close to the wind can you ride with the wing just held by the nose and flapping?
....
It's not held by the nose and flapping. It's held more or less flat with each hand free to move with the surge. The upwind angle is the same as everybody else gets, and a fair bit higher than the windsurfers. It's not hard to do. Its a bit slow. There's not a lot of scope to bear off and get some speed up.
Herman wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:46 am
....

When sheeting in at high wind speeds do you find the need to start pushing with the front hand?

...
Not really sheeting in as such, see above.

I suspect you're thinking in windsurfing terms. You don't need to sheet in, you just need to keep the wing aligned with the flow and bias it a fraction to direct the lift.

If you do "sheet in" then you do get in the situation where the wing tries to roll over or umbrella or all the other silly things wings and sails try to do. If you treat it as a kite and let it find its own stability and level it's easy ... but noisy. I believe that a lot of wings have some reflex built into the profile so they will seek stability if you let them.

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Re: Wing in Extreme Winds

Postby Herman » Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:08 pm

Thanks for the reply Oz. Your comment regarding letting it find it’s own balance point has changed my mindset. Sheeting certainly implies a fixed leading edge and even though it is all angle of attack blah blah, the fact that you can hang under and let the wing balance itself is distinctly different from developing mastfoot pressure etc. Probably enables you to feather the wing more effectively as there is more scope to balance the forces up…..
Last edited by Herman on Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tegirinenashi
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Re: Wing in Extreme Winds

Postby tegirinenashi » Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:26 pm

.

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Re: Wing in Extreme Winds

Postby irwe » Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:17 pm

My biggest concern is recovering from a fall when High Wind WingFoiling
Last season 30 Kts gust 45 kts out on 3m Wing and 6'6" 127 l WingFoilBoard.
Falling on a gybe the board shot upwind, I had let go of the Wing and it went downwind. I watched in horror has a .5 m wave with the wind picked up my board through it in the air and the foil went through the Wing :(
Now when falling if possible I try and hold onto the Wing (front hand) and get upwind of the board as fast as possible.
Any other tips?

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Re: Wing in Extreme Winds

Postby Herman » Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:00 pm

After a wipeout don’t look upwind unless you really have to. Then if you have to play peekaboo between raised forearms. If the board is not down wind of you it might be coming to get you.

I was unlucky enough to get a face full of board immediately after turning my eyes upwind. Fortunately just a few stitches, but blood and water being blown around by a F9 Gale made me look like something out of a horror film by the time I got back to the beach.

Herman
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Re: Wing in Extreme Winds

Postby Herman » Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:38 pm

OzBungy do you do any high wind landboarding with the wing. I still manage to landboard with my small windsurf rigs in 35knts if I don’t want to kite, but just riding nowadays; still good exercise and foot changing practice. Nowhere near as dangerous as it sounds as speed control is not that difficult. Not sure how safe a wing would be in comparison with the right skill set?

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Re: Wing in Extreme Winds

Postby OzBungy » Fri Jun 11, 2021 6:32 am

Herman wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:38 pm
OzBungy do you do any high wind landboarding with the wing. ...
No. I had a land board years ago but found it more fun and safer in the water. Also easier to find a place to do it.
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