Strong wind wing depower – the ‘other’ beauty of wing foiling.

We all know that foiling across the, ahem, board makes best use of slack conditions. Whether wind, wave or even completely flat water choosing to ride a hydrofoil attached to a board will get you more days bezzing about than not. Talking wing foil specifically, there’s another beautiful aspect that some (especially newbie wingers) may miss.

Once the wind ramps up to in excess of (roughly) 22knts your wing becomes much more efficient than in sub-planing breeze where you need more technique to get flying. The wing itself (being full of air) isn’t suddenly less susceptible to warping and bending in gusts as it still does this. The beauty, however, is that this very misshaping of your ‘engine’ allows strong blows to be spilled thus giving you, the rider, much more leaway to not overpower, over foil, cavitate crash and lose the plot. Add in some experience, where wingers alter the sheeting angle of the wing to further reduce overpowering, and it’s safe to say that rising on foil with a wing when conditions are blowy is much more mellow than riding windsurf or kite foil gear in the same breeze strength.

Both these two flight disciplines have engines designed to maximise what little airs are on offer. But unlike the inefficiency of a wing windsurf sails and kites top out much quicker – this knocks on to the foil as well.

Of course, at some point even your chosen wing size will reach it’s limit. But there’s no question about the upper end range of wings. You can get away with so much more and still remiam comfortable. A case in point being the below image. That’s Foilshop UK’s Tez using a Fly McConks Go Fly 6m wing in 25 knots with no trouble.

As wing foiling matures, and riders discover the explained for themselves, wingin’ may fit these riders’ watery life in the upper wind strength band more than lower breeze strengths. Only time will tell. But for now it’s worth remembering that strong winds are definitely doable with your wing gear and shouldn’t be shyed away from.