After a longer break and Corona Lockdown, I finally have to organize a Wing and tackle this project seriously. My colleague Bart De Zwart – also a seasoned waterman who does not need to be introduced here – runs a store and a windsurf rental near Kanaha. He can certainly give me the best advice. I spend a good hour with Bart in his store and he gives me some really good beginner tips:
A good profile (dihedral) means that the wing goes down a bit in the middle when viewed from the front. Bart said that this is enormously important. Because when you hold the wing at the front of the hand strap and the wind blows in, it must remain stable. That’s especially important when you’re in the wave and you’re pulling the wing behind you. At the end of the day, a wing is a lot like an airplane wing: to build an aerodynamically good wing, you almost need a degree in airplane design. So when you go to the store, have the dealer explain the profile to you.
Bart also advises me to pay attention to the weight. Lightness is a big advantage, he says. I tried to find out from various manufacturers how heavy a wing like this is, but couldn’t find any weight specifications anywhere. In any case, these things are so light that a few grams more or less hardly matter. Leash For “normal” sailing I recommend an elastic leash. For waves you should use a normal surf leash. At my first try with Bobo I had a coiled leash. (untwisted) leash like on SUP raceleashes and it was twice as long afterwards and often got in my way.
The first generation Wings were mostly built without windows, not everyone agrees on the necessity. Personally, I would take a Wing with a window – this provides a much better overview on the water.
Loops or boom
Here the opinions are somewhat divergent. That’s why I have started a small survey. For Bart, however, the case is already clear: He prefers loops.
Bart and I also talked about the foot position. I told him about my first experience and how I had struggled with my jibe. Bart suggested that I learn to reposition my feet. It’s just more comfortable to sail with the wing in front of you. However, he also advised me that when you are foiling, it is very difficult to reposition your feet without sinking. He explained to me that when he does a gybe, he always comes back into the water with the board first, then rearranges his feet, and then comes back into “flying”. For him, the shoulder turn (going toe side) is very difficult.
Wenn ich mir die Leute anschaue, die mit ganz kurzen Brettern und Fussschlaufen unterwegs sind, sehe ich, dass die alle ihre Schultern verdrehen und nicht die Füsse umstellen. Ich denke, es ist sicherlich auch eine persönliche Einstellung, ob man nun lieber so oder so unterwegs ist. Ich werde aber sicher versuchen beides zu können. Mein Ziel ist aber, ein kleines Brett mit Fussschlaufen zu beherrschen.