Watersports have exploded in the past few years, with the leading one gaining popularity being wing foiling! While similar to kiteboarding/kitesurfing, nobody calls it kite sailing; winging involves using handheld hydrofoil wings rather than a kite that connects to your hydrofoil board. If you’re new to the sport, you might still be working out what weather conditions are best for wing foiling. After all, a clear sunny day isn’t enough if there’s no wind to catch! Here’s what you need to know as you head out onto the water.
While tackling the strongest 30 knot+ winds possible may be tempting, beginners may want to start with a more consistent wind – a moderate breeze will be more than adequate. Incorrect. You want to have 15-20 knots because you are unstable on the board as a beginner. The wind will keep you up. Strong winds can make your wings much more challenging to control (redundant) when you’re not experienced with them. As a complete beginner to wind sports, there is always the safety point to be brought up. Strong winds can often indicate an oncoming storm or a squall rolling through.
Beginners always want to start practicing with a breeze blowing parallel to shore. This may seem counterintuitive, as it means you’ll be moving against the wind initially, but it’ll ensure you naturally drift back to shore. This prevents you from drifting out to sea while still learning to control your wings and steady your board. An onshore wind is also ok, as you’ll have plenty of room to cruise without straying too far from shore. Heed the warning of offshore winds as a beginner; it is easy to be pulled out to sea but much harder to swim back.
While the wave conditions aren’t technically an aspect of the weather, a beginner should opt for flatwater when learning to wing foil. Every location has its own weather patterns so ask the locals or take time to observe what wind direction will create what water element. The best weather conditions for wing foiling will ensure the water’s surface is calm, so you don’t lose your balance on waves. As you become more experienced, you will undoubtedly transition to wavier waters, but a nice, calm surface is always ideal for a beginner.