6 months of wingin’ – wing foil kit testing and focus.

Words: Tez Plavenieks

Pics: Tez Plavenieks, Oli Lane-Peirce

Towards the end of 2020 I decided that if we were going to start an online shop selling wing foil gear (among other flight products) I should focus on the discipline and learn as much as possible about the different styles of gear.

Vayu VVing 6m boom/strut hybrid and Axis 1150 high aspect foil.

I’d done the same with surfing, windsurfing, stand up paddle boarding, windfoiling and SUP foiling so now it was time for some focused wang action.

FusionX X-Wing 4m wing and Mistral prototype gear.

Over the course of six months or so I’ve tested all styles of wing (boom wings, 100% air wings, hybrids, high/mid/low aspect), foils and their different component parts (high aspects, low aspects, different foil mast lengths/fuselages/tail wings) and boards themselves, from high volume floaters, to mid-tier sizes and low volume sleds.

Fly McConks 5m wing and Hypr Hawai Coffee Table.

Plus, in that time frame I’ve had most kinds of weather scenarios you’re likely to find as a winger. Uber light wind cruising, medium wind freestyle conditions, high wind rocket boosting weather and surf.

Unifoil Hyper 210 hi aspect foil and Wind Wing 4m.

To cap all this off I was approached by Mistral’s International Brand Manager Steve West to help with testing their wing and windfoil products around the start of 2021 (more on that later).

Mistral Tempest and 2000cm2 proto board and foil.

As you can see it’s been a pretty busy time. But suffice to say I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on the wing foiling market as it stands.

Hyde Sail Pterodactyl prototype wing.

And this is just a statement of fact rather than implied arrogance. Hopefully this experience gives customers confidence we (I) know what I’m on about when discussing kit options.

Unifoil Wind Wing 6m and Slingshot i76 foil.

The Mistral connection.

When you get asked by a longstanding watersports brand to help out with R&D of a new range of foil gear you’d be daft to turn the opportunity down. As well as having toys to play with you get to see how products are developed and brought to market.

Mistral’s Rapide low volume protoype board.

This insight and experience with Mistral has been super interesting. Taking a product from conception to fully fledged ‘machine’ is a long winded process with much toing and froing and discussion.

Ullman Wingsurfing Falcom II boom wing.

But it’s worth it if what you end up with is pucka! Suffice to say I can’t wait until the production gear proper lands.

Axis hi aspect 1150 & 900 foils.

Back to the broader topic of wingsurfing and the different styles of gear really do make a difference to people’s riding. Some differences in kit are subtle, but enough to affect all areas of a person’s riding – for better or worse.

Unifoil Wind Wing and Hyper foil.

Other contrasts in equipment design are more obvious, such as the actual size of a foil wing for instance, and how that affects early take offs. And the gaps are growing as the sport matures and brands bring out more specialist kit for the differing areas of wingin’.

Fly McConks Go Fly 6m wing .

As such the testing of new products doesn’t stop. Who knows what’s coming down the road and how wing foiling will evolve.

Zeeko Ypsilon wing and Slingshot Infinity 84 foil.

If you want any info or have any questions relating to wing foiling then give us a shout hereat Foilshop UK. We’re only happy to chat.