Re: First wingfoil session. First impressions

Don Ledford

I was at the Event site Friday and Saturday. On Saturday I spotted a winger on a fancy Roberts board and figured it had to be Wilson. Yup.

From my perspective he did really well. He was on foil most of the time and managing to slog through jibes.  Using a biggish wind-foil board and an i84 isn't a great winging experience, but it beats drifting downwind like I did for my first sessions.

The difference between a 1st and 2nd gen wing can be very significant depending on the brand. I started with Duotone Echo wings and these were pretty good.  Not as good as my Duotone Slick wings, but very adequate. Many 1st generation wings, however, feel very wimpy and don't go up wind well . Not a huge deal if you have a lot of wind, but very annoying when you're dealing with our local conditions. I also like booms over handles.  The dual mini-booms might also work for me, but I can one-hand the Slick boom and it's connects to my windsurfing roots.

On Friday the wind was weird when I got to the Event Site. Light and somewhat off-shore. I went out with a 7.0m2 and it worked until the wind came up and I switched to a 5.0. If you rig a 7.0 wing at the Event Site you'll have the place mostly to yourself. Bruce Barry came out windfoiling with a HUGE sail (4.5m2 I think).

On Saturday I started with a 5.0 and then switched to a 4.0. The 4.0 was barely enough sometimes, but I got practice pumping a small wing. I quit about 12:30 and it had come up enough to make me think about a 3.0.

I spotted a loose wing fluttering down and managed to position myself to catch it. I dropped in the water, waited for it, and got a lucky grab. The wingless winger paddled down to collect it. He had a belt with a plastic snap connector. These pop loose when pressed by crawling onto the board.  Been there, done that, and desperately paddled. Wilson - if you start winging trust not a belt with a plastic snap hook; my belt has a plastic buckle and some velcro.

On 8/27/22 19:29, Wilson wrote:

Today I rented a gofoil 4.5 m wing from Northwave and used it with my freerace 76 cm wide, 220 m long, and 135l Roberts foilboard. I used my slingshot infinity 84. I launched from Lurh Jensen (waterfront park). I was not happy having the board strapped to my ankle (I never surfed) and I was not sure how to start going so I decided to just stand up instead of the typical knee, first foot up, back foot up. Man, the board without the sail feels so tippy! The tail was also sinking a lot when stepping back. 

but within few feet from the launch, I got on the foil and foiled all the way to the middle of the river. I decided to turn around because I did not know what to do if the wind went up. I was barely able to do a gybe (not flying, of course) and head back to shore. Again, I flew all the way to the launch without losing any ground. I know most people end up downwind so I was paying attention to it. I did this few times and it was time for lunch with the family  

the wing feels very light and I really liked how depowering it does not affect the board at all because they are not connected by a mast. The board felt way more nimble than when using for windfoiling  and I can totally see why a much smaller wingfoil board can be a big plus. The infinity 84 is a very slow foil compared to my race foils but it can foil at very low speed

but I missed the feeling of holding a sail/boom, loading the harness, and leaning back. 

overall it was a nice and short experience. I can see myself buying a 4.5 m wing to use it with the same combo very now and then, and then see if I want to get dedicated board/foil. I know people say I should get a v2 wing (second generation), but i don’t know how to tell between a first and second gen wing (any tips appreciated).

I was using a GoPro but I’m not sure if I recorded the session. If I did, I will post a link. 

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