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best size wing (underwater!) for riding unbroken swell

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neilhapgood
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best size wing (underwater!) for riding unbroken swell

Postby neilhapgood » Thu Nov 24, 2022 11:24 am

Hi all,

I'm wondering what people's thoughts are on the best size wing for riding unbroken swell, at my local spot the waves tend to just close out but there is a sheltered section which picks up good rolling swell which runs for a 100m or so. A few questions:

1 - is a HA wing best for this?
2 - what factors make for the optimal size, smaller is clearly quicker but do you need a bit more surface area in unbroken stuff as there is less power in the wave?

What size do you folk use and/or recommend?

Many thanks

Neil

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Peter_Frank
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Re: best size wing (underwater!) for riding unbroken swell

Postby Peter_Frank » Thu Nov 24, 2022 3:02 pm

The higher AR the better glide, period.

But they can be tricky to ride, and if not small turns worse.

Most wingers ride unbroken swell or waves (only)

The difficult part is, swell, the better the faster, will overtake you.

So you need a fast wing, meaning small and/or thin.
Your faster speed will make up for the loss in lift (because of the smaller area)

But if you have slower waves, say closer to shore or if wind swell and not ground swell, they are a lot slower and you can ride easier with a medium sized wing in my experience.

For average weights, 1500 cm2 thin wings can work in slow waves, but most ride 1200 cm2, and smaller often 1000 cm2.
Some ride 5-600 cm2 wings and use the apparent wind to get lift and power, and the higher speed to be able to turn on the waves or ride diagonally instead of "just keeping up" with the wave pace.

It is easy to ride with a bigger wing, but if the wave speed are close to overtake you, it is too big.

You have to find out yourself what works for you.

Anything bigger than 1500 cm2 is useless though, in my experience, and will be even worse when faster swell than we have here :wink:

If you have no idea, and average weight, go for a reasonably high AR 1200 cm2.

8) Peter
Last edited by Peter_Frank on Wed Nov 30, 2022 6:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
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neilhapgood
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Re: best size wing (underwater!) for riding unbroken swell

Postby neilhapgood » Thu Nov 24, 2022 3:17 pm

amazing thanks loads Peter, thats super helpful

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consumer
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Re: best size wing (underwater!) for riding unbroken swell

Postby consumer » Fri Nov 25, 2022 12:09 am

Peter Frank always has thorough and insightful posts. Thank you dude!
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Re: best size wing (underwater!) for riding unbroken swell

Postby bragnouff » Fri Nov 25, 2022 1:06 am

I'd say this is essentially driven by swell period.
Here's an article about swell period and speed
https://www.surfline.com/surf-news/the- ... eriod/1555

10s swell moves at about 15kts. So the big fat wings would struggle to keep up with that.
However, takes this with a pinch of salt, when foiling, we tend to ride in the zone near shore where the swell has slowed down a bit already, but not so close to the shore that waves are breaking and destroying you. So possibly anything over 12-13s period starts to get quite challenging as it requires close to 20kts board speed to just keep up with the face.
I've had a few days kitefoiling with some 15s swell, where I just couldn't keep up. And wind angle matters too, because shooting downwind at 20kts in a 12kts wind speed is a problem if it's straight onshore!

But as Peter mentioned, a glidey 1200cm2 is a good starting point for most conditions.

neilhapgood
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Re: best size wing (underwater!) for riding unbroken swell

Postby neilhapgood » Fri Nov 25, 2022 8:45 pm

consumer wrote:
Fri Nov 25, 2022 12:09 am
Peter Frank always has thorough and insightful posts. Thank you dude!
second that!


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