Just Wing It! Learning to Wing Foil


Aloha, it’s Robert Stehlik with Blue Planet
today’s video is gonna be all about wing foiling it’s a new sport for me I’m
super stoked on that right now I just started about two weeks ago and I’ve
been going out every day for the last six days we’ve had some good wind been
going out with Jeff Chang and Derek Hamasaki and we’ve been getting some fun
conditions and we’re all just learning it so we’re not perfect by any means but
we do have some good tips for you how to get started how to do it safely and how
to enjoy this fun new sport for me it’s kind of having the Stoke of first
starting to foil all over again super fun to go downwind without having to
paddle you get catch the waves easily you can let go of the wing when you’re
on a wave and it’s just so much fun to explore a new sport and try to get better
at it. In the introduction I’m going to go over the history of the sport a
little bit and then we’re gonna have a little tutorial for how to get started
safety and so on and then have some footage of us riding doing the
basic maneuvers; jibing, tacking, going upwind, going downwind and so on
riding a few waves as well and then at then we’ll have our wipeout reel showing
you how not to do it so wings are not really something new
it’s been around for a while. Back in the 90s there was the wind weapon if you’ve
been windsurfing back then you would probably remember that like a wing
mounted on a mast type of thing but there’s also been development in wings
people been using them on ice with ice skates or ice boards and snow and
wherever hand held wings are a really cool invention and it’s a great way to
power yourself by using just the wind now using foils with the wing is kind of
a new thing the new breed of wings that just kind of came out this year really
uses inflatable bladders much like a kite inflatable kite and it’s actually
the mostly the kite companies that are coming out with these cool wings
and everybody’s kind of coming out with their own version of it
it was surprisingly easy for me to learn so if you have some background in
windsurfing and if you know how to use a foil then it should be quite easy for
you to learn this new sport and I can tell you right now it’s a lot easier to
do then downwind foiling where you paddle into the bumps because it takes a
lot less effort to get the wing flying and to keep yourself going all you need
to do is sheet in the wing a little bit and you keep going and you fly before
taking the wing on the water I first tried it on land so for me I just took
it on with a skateboard in a parking lot and just got the feel for pulling it
pumping it in light wind having it pull me along doing a jibe turning around
going with the body kind of twists it keeping the feet in the same stance
both directions so just practicing holding the wing and how to keep it up
and keep it from dropping down so that was a really good experience for me so
you can also do that on the beach and we’ll show you how to do that so yes
just some pointers on getting started if you want to try your first session so
first of all before you even get in the water
practice just handling the wing a little bit right now I’m just holding it over
my head getting the feel for it this is a duotone 4 meter wing keep your
leash kind of loose on your wrist loose enough so it can kind of twist on your
hand because sometimes you’ll find your hand the leash kind of twisted around
your hand so I’m going to be able to get it turning around easily if you’re
surfing on a wave you can actually let the wing go I like to hold it in the
front of the boom this one you can also hold the handle up here but sometimes it
kind of flops side to side like this and can flip over so I like holding it on
the boom and then if you need power again you can
just put your hands back on the boom and pull it again this is where it pulls
this is how you depower it just bring it over your head and if you let the
backhand go there’s no one very little power in the wind wing so over your head
and letting the back go is no power and then to power it up you bring it down a
little bit but never bring it down too far cuz then it’ll start pulling you
down and hit the water if you have the wing upside down in the water the
easiest way to turn it over is you know get on your board get on your knees on
your board first then you can kind of lift the wing up and swing it into the
wind and flip it over like this so it’s good to practice this flipping the
window wing over before you get out in the water just practice flipping it over
and maybe both directions then grabbing the boom holding it over
you bringing it down you don’t want to bring it too low you don’t want the tip
to touch the water just keep it up and you can pump it a little bit so just get
the feel for it play around with the wing understand what it does lift up
your front arm to bring the bring it up drop your front arm to bring it down
so you got to steer the wing with your arms you can practice turning on the
beach I’m starting with a jibe which is turning downwind so you do that by
letting the backhand go turn around switch sides in the front and then have
it pull you the other way and then same thing turning around again so do that a
few times this to get the hang of how to pass the the wing from one hand to the
other and to change directions and then it’ll be a lot easier to do it on the
water if you’ve already practiced it on land
tacking which means going upwind into the wind is a lot more tricky because
you have to kind of turn through the wind quickly and get power on the other
side quickly before you slow down and come off the foil so I’m still working
on that I think I today it was the first time I did it and I made I pulled off a
couple of tacks but just barely and it’s pretty tricky but it’s also
something you can practice on the beach and and get the handling down before you
try it in the water and probably save you a few wipeouts well I would
recommend trying to grab the wing by the handle as much as you can especially
like if you get worked by a wave or something like that or if the winds
super strong I wouldn’t just rely on the leash to hold it and gusty conditions
it’s kind of scary to have just that little leash holding that wing because
if anything breaks that wing is going to be gone there’s no way you can catch it
there’s lots of companies making these wings already but they’re kind of in
short supply right now you kind of almost have to preorder them and wait
for them be patient I have a 4 meter duotone Derek Hamasaki has a 3 meter
duotone Jeff Chang has a 4 meter sling wing from slingshot some other
really good foils on the market are the ozone wasp which we’re gonna have in
stock at our shop soon as well you definitely want to look for a wing
that’s lightweight and has good handling on the sling wing there’s different air
chambers so after Jeff pumps it up he closes off the valves on the different
chambers so that if one of them gets punctured or loses pressure the other
ones will still have pressure so that’s kind of a nice feature and you want to
make sure all the valves are secured properly. On
the duotone wing there’s this one valve that you close and then screw shut to
carry the foil you want to hold it away from your board opposite side of the
foil so you have the foil pointing upwind and then the wing on the downwind
side of the board to carry it down to the water I like to carry mine upside
down and kind of hold it against the handle that kind of lifts it up even if
it’s not that windy if it’s windy it’ll kind of automatically lift the foil off
the ground the first time I tried wing foiling I used bigger board, a six foot
stand-up foil board that I’m pretty comfortable on and I used the big
downwind wing that I used for downwind foiling it’s a 2,000 square centimeter
Carver foil wing that I used and it helped me just kind of get up at lower
speed come out of the water early and keep it flying at fairly low speeds
which was good to learn on and then after my second session I switched to my
smaller board a 5’8″ stand-up foil board the Carver foil board 5’8″ and I switched
to a smaller wing as well the 1580 Carver foil with the long mast
of 30 inch long mast so that combination is what I’m using right now it seems to
work really well in the future I might even go to a smaller wing especially on
the windy days because being on the wave and you’re going fast having a smaller
wing should give me more control something that’s suitable for higher
speeds Jeff is using the 4 metre sling wing and
he likes using the really big armstrong wing, the 2,400 armstrong wing he says it
lets him fly pretty easily come off the water easily and keeps flying it has a
little bit draggy it has kind of a lot of drag but that’s actually can be a
good thing because you can kind of stay on the bumps on the slower moving bumps
without going too fast if you have to self rescue or paddle in over shallow
reef or just to get back upwind you can attach the leash from your wrist to your
ankle and then put the wing upside down in the water
and then paddle on your board like a surfboard if it’s real shallow you can
also flip the foil upside down and paddle with your chest on the bottom of
the board so that’s that way you can self rescue if you can’t make it back
with the wing you can paddle upwind or over shallow reef so let’s go over the
launching process first I get up on my knees while the wing is still on the
water then I lift the wing up get my hands on the wing and then slowly let it
pull me up a little bit and then while I’m slowly moving forward and feel
stable enough then I put my front foot in the right place and then I get up on
my back foot I find a comfortable stance to stand in and then slowly try to power
up the wind is light I kind of look up when to see if there’s a gust coming and
then once I feel enough pressure in the wing I pump it a little bit now drop it
down but not so far that it touches the water you want to avoid touching the tip
of the wing on the water and then give it a couple quick pumps and at the same
time pump the board to engage the foil and then once the fall comes up you’re
going to accelerate and then you’re going to feel that pressure actually
increasing in your wing the foil has very little resistance so it’s actually
fairly easy to go upwind with it and you just have to angle the wing so you keep
the pressure in the wing and you can go at a pretty steep angle into the wind
it’s a little bit harder to do on your backside if you have you know on your
toe side if you have the wing and your body kind of twisted but if you keep the
wing a little bit over your head and find a comfortable stance with fairly
straight legs it’s actually pretty easy one thing to keep in mind is that
sometimes when you when you go into a hard carving turn the lift will actually
the the foil lift will actually increase so you want to be careful not to breach
the foil when you do a turn so you want to kind of keep your front foot pressure
kind of start into the turn kind of low so if you lift up a little bit you don’t
breach and then do a nice carving turn let go of the back hand and then switch
the front hand to other side and then get the wing pulling
you the other direction part of the turn sometimes I actually like jiving on to a
wave face I actually flipped the sail almost before I’m turned around and it
helps me kind of just pull me through the turn onto the wave and
that’s super fun super fun thing to do on the wing foil because you can kind of
turn almost at the top of the wave and then accelerate down on the other side
of your turn tacking which is turning into the wind
is definitely more tricky you have to keep your speed up and hand the sail
over your head to the other side and have the wings start pulling you into
the other direction and quickly keep turning the board through the wind so
you don’t slow down so that if you if you don’t do this quick enough you will
slow down and come off the foil so downwind going downwind and a jive is a
little bit easier because you can kind of take your time you won’t drop off the
foil right away because the winds pushing you through the turn basically
if you’re tacking the wind will be against you and will try to slow you
down so you kind of have to turn through the wind quickly and have the wind have
the wing on the other side quickly so you can pull out of the tack another
thing that’s really fun with the wing is just going downwind and riding the bumps
you can just kind of let the wing go a little bit and ride the bumps and then
when you slow down or you need to connect to another bump you can just
grab the handle again get a little bit more power and keep going so it’s it’s a
really cool feeling to be able to have just enough power to stay on the bumps
if you slow down but but then you can also depower and kind of hold just
hold it next to you to ride the bumps or the waves so for me this new sport is
like learning foiling all over again it’s a super fun challenge every day you
get better and you have another best day ever so to me it’s just an awesome
challenge and I’m super excited about it can’t
wait for the next windy day unfortunately today the wind kind of
dropped off and it’s the first day and this week that I haven’t been able to go
wing foiling but I’m looking forward to the next windy day
and going out again and and getting a little bit better every time special
thanks to Tyler for shooting this video he was on the beach flying the drone and
shooting all the footage for this video according to people I’ve talked to that
have some experience trying different wings some of the best wings on the
market right now are the duotone wings I really like those because they have a
boom it allows you to move your hand back and forth this kind of reminds me
of a windsurfing sail so it seems to work really well for me but that’s…
so far the only one I’ve tried we’re also going to have the ozone wings in stock
soon the ozone wasps we’re getting some custom ones with our chromatic fish logo
on the foil that should be really cool those are coming in early October if you
wanna reserve one we have those coming and also more duotone wings so you can
reserve those at our shop coming soon other good wings I’ve heard are the f1
sling wing that’s another nice good performing wing and yeah so those those
are probably the best on the market you know get get some input from other
riders on on what to try what’s good what’s not good it’s still a new sport
so I’m sure we’ll see a lot of development in this sport thanks for
watching if you enjoyed it give it a thumbs up and subscribe down below if
you haven’t already subscribed we’ll be coming out with more videos on foiling
wing foiling stand up paddling all the good stuff just having fun on the water
and sharing the Stoke so have a great day on the water

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