Wing Foiling: A Guide to Choosing the Right Gear
This is a brief Guide to assist you in choosing the right gear to make your Wing Foiling Journey enjoyable!
Things to consider: Inflatable vs Rigid, Size, Volume and your weight.
- a great option if you think you want to travel with your board, and want to be able to pack it down. Particularly if thinking about travelling on a plane where there is the risk of damage to a rigid board.
- have a great price point for an entry level board. Often you find you start on a high volume board to learn, and then change down sizes. Inflatable boards will give you a lower initial outlay.
- have a smaller footprint than an equivalent volume rigid board as they are thicker to give them stiffness. This is something to consider as they will appear a lot smaller than an equivalent volume rigid board.
- check the thickness of the inflatable board when inflated. In our view you want around 6" to give enough stiffness. (a 4" inflatable board isn't stiff enough). Some inflatable boards now have reinforcing under the feet so thickness can be reduced in that situation.
- check the track length. Can adjustments to foil position be made? It is common to want to position your foil forward or back in the track to help with trimming the foil.
Epoxy and Carbon fibre boards:
- can give a more direct feel when riding on the foil. They have a bigger footprint than inflatable boards of equivalent volume which can provide a bit more stability on the water.
- The rule of thumb is to choose a board size that is 20-40L over your body weight. If in doubt go for bigger for your first board to give more stability while learning Wing Handling. (We think your body weight plus 40% in Litres over your body weight is a better guide e.g a 100Kg rider should look at approx 140L board size minimum. There is nothing wrong with going bigger than this when starting out).
The foil is made up of the Mast, Fuselage, Front and Rear Wings. When learning choose a low aspect Foil with a good surface area on the front wing. (guided by your weight). Somewhere in the vicinity of
>95 kgs. approx 2000cm2
75-95 kgs approx 1800cm2
<75Kgs approx 1600cm2
Low aspect foils are slower and therefore easier to learn on. As you progress you will move to a high aspect smaller foil.
Approx 75cm mast is a good starting point. The first time up on the foil can feel high and a little intimidating until you get used to it.
Have a look at the wind conditions where you will be learning. Wings are measured in m2 and the size you choose will depend on your size and the conditions you will be using it in. The windier the conditions the smaller the wing you will need. Each manufacturer should have a wind range guide for each size wing. Your weight will also factor into this. You will ultimately want a quiver of a few wings to handle differing wind conditions. But as a starting wing if you are less than 70kg a 4m. Greater than 70kgs opt for a 5m.
We are more than happy to discuss this further. Once you have the gear the fun begins and you can get out on the water and enjoy this amazing sport!