Learn to Wing Foil with Robby Naish
Learn to Wing Foil with Robby Naish
Wing foiling is a new water sport that is drawing in countless windsurfers, kiters, and foilers looking for something different. There are plenty of videos on social media of people doing incredible maneuvers on wings, but there are very few videos that go over the fundamentals. With these couple of short videos, Robby will explain the integral parts of wingsurfing and by the by the end of, all of our viewers will know what it takes to learn how to wing foil and for sure be wanting to get out on the water to try it!
Getting Familiar With Your Naish Wing Surfer
What is the best way to get familiar with your wing? Start on land! If you wanted to get into kiteboarding you would start out with a trainer kite rather than a 12m, the same logic applies here. Going out with your wing on a lawn, beach, field, etc on a moderately windy day is the best way to figure out how the wing works. You can focus solely on how the wing reacts in the wind without having to balance on a board in the water. These are your first few steps towards becoming an avid wing foiler.
Parts of the Wing
The first thing you want to do is pump up your wing and make sure it holds air. Then you want to get familiar with the leash systems and handles on the wing.
On the very point of the leading edge there is a leash port where you can connect your leash to the wing, double-check this connection as the leash prevents the wing from blowing away when you let go of it.
The next feature to locate is the depower handle. The center handle on the leading edge is the leading edge (depower) handle. This is the go-to handle most of the time when you are not riding. When you are walking on the beach, getting ready to start riding, or on a big enough wave to start surfing, the leading edge handle is what you will be holding on to.
The handles on the wing are great for powered riding, as you can put more torque on the wing and keep the wingtips out of the water.
The center strut handles are the most commonly used handles. Finding the handles that feel most comfortable for you takes some trial and error but depending on wind conditions, your leading hand will hold the 2nd handle down and your trailing hand will reach further down the strut
Learn to Wing Surf Part 1 - The Basics
Drills on Land
Find an open area like a beach, soccer field, or even a large backyard to practice flying the wing.
Carrying the wing
This is the easiest drill to practice yet can be the most frustrating when you hit the water. Practicing this skill on land will save you from struggling to carry your wing at the beach. Start by carrying your wing by holding the leading edge handle or by the leash just a few inches from the leading edge. With the center strut facing the ground the wing will float behind you. Try to avoid carrying the wing with the center strut facing the sky as the wing will fly in a variable manner. While walking upwind it is easiest to hold the wing over your shoulder and let it fly behind you. In a crosswind situation hold the wing downwind of you so it floats next to you. When you eventually have to carry your wing and board, it is best to keep the wing downwind and the foil upwind of you.
Learn to Wing Surf Part 2 - Get going on the Water
Pumping the Naish Wingsurfer
To improve the bottom end of your wind range it is crucial to learn how to pump the wing. This is another technique that new riders seem to struggle with. Many people tend to pump the wing with only his/her bottom hand. This is problematic because this movement only changes the angle of the wing instead of creating power. In order to create power you should pull in your wing with both arms in a rhythmic motion that is just fast enough grip the air. By practicing pumping you can start to figure out the tempo needed to generate power.
The next big thing to work on is switching hands and moving wing around without powering it up. When we first starting wing foiling, its challenging to stay balanced on the board and not powering up the wing. You can avoid this issue by practicing switching your hand positions on the wing without powering up the wing. Practicing this skill is much more forgiving on land because the ground doesn’t move beneath your feet. It may seem like an easy skill but even a small pull with your bottom hand will cause the wing to catch the wind and pull you forward. Keep the wing above your head and practice switching hands while focusing on keeping the wing in a depowered state.
Flipping the Wing
This is a skill that could make or break your first water session. Many times when you fall the wing flips over and lands belly up in the water. If you can’t flip the wing over then your session will be over. To prevent this practice flipping your wing over on land. While standing, it is easiest to hold the wing by the depower handle in front/above your head and use your free hand to push down on the leading edge. The other method we recommend is grabbing a wingtip, then bringing the wing into the air and flipping it over. Once you are comfortable with these motions, try flipping the wing on your knees, and then in a seated position. Even though it is easier to flip the wing while standing, in the water you will most likely be on your knees or seated on your board.
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