Pics & vids: Oli Lane-Peirce
If you’re just setting off on your wing foil (or wing surf) journey then one of the key aspects is to dial in your handling of the wing. Whilst wing foiling wings are more intuitive to use than say a windsurfing sail or kite, there’s still muscle memory needing to be developed.
Holding the wing above your head and having a few twirls, catching the breeze and feeling it’s power, and perhaps having a jump about whilst trying to parachute back to Tera Firma is all good practice. When it comes to wing foiling transitions, however (such as gybes and tacks), there’s no better way than actually dialling the movements in with proper forwards momentum.
As we grow older some may attach stigma to riding a skateboard, seeing it as the sole domain of da yoof. Which isn’t true. Plenty of older skaters exist, all still feeling the stoke of sliding sideways atop boards with wheels.
From a wingin’ point of view having the ability to partner your wang with a skate deck is gold. Not least because it’s fun in its own right. But also because it gives you a wing practice format to be ready when you take it to the water.
In the vid you can see what we’re talking about. Wing skating gives time and space to get to grips with wing skill. You can keep the speed super low, so as to build confidence, and (obviously) unlike wing foiling you’ll not be getting wet, having to clamber back up on your board and in the process becoming fatigued. Wing skating’s also a real winner during cold snaps where the prospect of a moist playing field is less than appealing.
A few tips for wing skating –
- Use a longer, wider board with plenty of ‘roll’.
- Don’t go too big with your wing – a 4m or 5m should be fine for light wind wing skating.
- Choose a wide open space with a smooth surface. Avoid stony areas and rough ground.
- Consider safety gear like knee/elbow pads and a helmet.
- Keep out of others way – if your chosen area’s busy perhaps leave for another time.
- Have fun, smile and enjoy.
Big thanks to Unifoil UK (c/o Next Level Surf) for the use of the brand’s 4m Wind Wing – available in Foilshop UK’s webshop.