We definitely need more videos like this! The industry and wingfoil enthusiasts are all so caught up in in pushing the limits that we forget how it is when you just get started. The content that most first timers now see is pros doing crazy maneuvers. The sport has progressed too fast and possibly left too many people behind.
Imagine yourself that all you see is pros doing crazy stuff on a sport you like to learn. You go down to your local lake or beach and rent some gear or get an a lesson. With all the great images in your head it is easy to get frustrated fast thinking you will never learn this thing. You go back home and say to your self: “This sucks, I never going to try this ever again.” But… if you see videos and pictures or people like you and me, or even a pro windsurfer struggling on his first day, you will be able to relay to the situation better and understand that it will take time to learn this great new sport. You will be more patient with yourself and return to it starting to feel the progression you make and get stoked more and more.
This video illustrates this very much so and hats off to Graham Ezzy for leaving his comfort zone and the great commentary.
This is the official statement after the experiment:
Pro Windsurfer Shares his insight into learning to wing:
“When was the last time you were a complete beginner in public?
Dakine challenged me to learn to wing foil in one day. I’m a purist windsurfer—I focus on my sport instead of trying to do everything from SUP to boogie boarding. This means that I have not been a beginner in years.
With no previous foiling experience, I had to learn both the wing and the foil. The learning process was humbling. Luckily for you, the whole day is documented—you can see my wobbly knees and head-first crashes.
Alan Cadiz gave me some important tips that sped up my progress, like to push the wing down with the backhand to get the wing tip out of the water rather than trying to lift it out. If you’re learning winging for the first time, I recommend seeking instruction. Surfing and its sister sports (kite, wind, wing…) are very individual, which has led to a culture of figure-it-out-yourself individualism. I’m all for the power of the individual, but coaching can speed up your journey by years which leads to less frustration and more ripping.
I do NOT recommend tackling winging as I did it—brute force learning was unnecessarily difficult. If I were to do it again, I would learn the wing and the foil separately. I would learn to foil by renting an e-foil for a day. Then I would learn the wing without a foil on the board. I would get a board big enough to float me and easy to stand on. I would spend a day or two going back and forth to figure out the dynamics of flying the wing. Once able to comfortably go back and forth on the wing—preferably staying upwind—I would give the full wing foil setup a go.
Another tip: I kept getting tangled up in leashes. Often, flipping the wing over was near impossible because of the short length of my wrist leash. I recommend going with a waist leash for the wing. And yes, leashes are a must! You do not want to fall down and watch your precious wing foil gear sail away from you as you tread water.
For conditions, you want to learn on water that is as flat as you can find. Waves will make it hard to orient the board. Though you won’t feel chop once on the foil, chop does make it harder to get up to speed—which can make learning harder.
I was scared to have too much power, so I started with a 3.1m wing, but I actually needed more power and the 5m felt much more comfortable and gave me more control. You don’t need to be afraid of the wind.
Be patient with yourself. Learning new things is hard! But the harder you work for it, the more rewarding the success.
How does it feel to be a beginner? What tactics do you use to help push through the discomfort that comes along with learning something new?”
Follow Graham on Instagram @grahamezzy