Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Easy Winging?

 We went winging yesterday. After 8 wing sessions over the last 2 years, I finally came to the conclusion that winging could perhaps be easy, even for me. Sure, Nina makes it look easy every time, but in my first 7 wing sessions, it was hard work, every single time. There was just one session during an ABK clinic in Florida where I had a bunch of runs with decent control. But when I tried to reproduce that in the following weeks, my success was limited; even when I got up on the foil, it seemed way harder than windfoiling. I took another wing lesson during our recent trip to Cabarete, and learned a few more things - but my success was limited to maybe 50 feet of foiling before the inevitable crash. 

My tendency was to blame the gear, the conditions, or my slow learning. There's a bit of truth in all that -  it took me forever to figure out how to set up the foil properly for winging. But what really helped me was watching an instruction video:

This helped me realize that I had always been standing too far back on the board when trying to wing. I typically tried to stand in (almost) the same position as in windfoiling, except for the foil being mounted a bit more forward. But in windfoiling, there is extra weight pushing the nose of the board down that's in front of both feet: the rig (and any weight in the harness) pushing down on the mast foot. Trying to stand too far back means that the foil will be angled upward too much, and the nose of the board will be pointing too high. That often results in the foil just shooting out of the water, and a big splash when the clueless winger (that's me) hits the water half a second later. With a bit more "skill" and a lot more effort, the winger may be able to keep the foil in the water - but it's plowing through the water, which requires a lot more pressure in the wing to keep going. Which, in turn, give the (incorrect) impression that winging is hard work and no fun. But that's what I got in my first 7 sessions.

At least one of my two wing teachers, and probably both of them, had told me what I needed to do, but I needed to watch another video to really understand:

The key is that as the foil starts to lift the board out of the water, you need to do 2 things:

  1. Shift weight to the nose to flatten out the board, and reduce the angle of attack of the wing.
  2. Sheet the wing out - on the foil, you need less wing pressure than when trying to take off.
I tried exactly that yesterday, and it worked! Surprise? Not! Why did I not realize this earlier? I think my windfoiling "muscle memory" got in my way here. In windfoiling, one easy way to get on the foil once you are at take-off speed is to sheet out. That reduces the pressure on the mast foot and thereby on the nose of the board, angles the foil up, and lifts the board out of the water. Then, to push the nose down so you can foil at a stable height, just sheet in again. So, to stabilize the flight height after take off, you sheet in - the exact opposite of what you do when winging! 

My session yesterday was short, less than an hour (and quite a bit of that time was spent walking gear back upwind). But I managed to get on the foil in a controlled manner in every single run, and flattening out the board and sheeting out worked to keep the pressure in the wing manageable. Another key take away for me from the instruction videos was the placement of my feet. By angling the knees before standing up, it was easier to keep the feet close to the centerline. I'm not sure if I ever even checked where I placed the feet before; placing them further to the outside makes everything much more wobbly and uncomfortable.

A couple more things surprised me yesterday. One was that I was quite comfortable in relatively strong winds, with gusts in the mid-30s and higher (I winged between 12 and 1 pm):
The 4.2 wing felt perfectly fine, except in the strongest gusts near the end. If I had used a sail with the foil instead in these winds, it's quite possible that I would have been somewhat uncomfortable (I've done a couple of hundred windfoil sessions by now, but almost all of them were in lighter winds).

The other surprise was how easy jibing seemed. I fell in at least one of the jibe attempts, but also had a couple of dry jibes, including one where the board remain on the foil until past downwind. In another jibe where I set the board down on the water before turning, it came back up onto the foil when dead downwind. I was nowhere close to foiling through a jibe, but compared to the jibe struggles I still have when windfoiling, the wing jibe sure seems a lot easier. It looks like this time, I won't wait for a few months before trying this wing thing again!

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Gear for sale

There's too much gear in our garage that we don't use anymore, so we are putting it up for sail. This includes foil gear, a SUP that can be used for windsurfing (even beginners), and lots of windsurfing gear (boards, sails, and booms). All sales are pickup in Cape Cod, cash only. If interested, contact us on Facebook or by email or private message.

Foil Gear

2021 Starboard SuperCruiser foil (A-)  $650


  • 1700 front wing, 370 rear wing, 87 cm windsurf fuselage, screws
  • 85 cm alu mast (standard) and 65 cm alu mast (for shallow water/beginners)
  • gear bag 
This is a great foil for cruising, suitable for beginners, in very good shape.

Armstrong HS850 A+ system front wing (B+) $420

Slingshot track adapter (new, unused)(A) $50


BIC AceTech 10.6 (B) - SOLD

Windsurf gear

Slalom/Speed gear

RRD XFire 90 slalom board (A-)  $400 (or $500 with 2 slalom sails)

The perfect board to go fast on flat water. Very easy to sail for a slalom board (but not a beginner board!). Very good condition.

Slalom sails: Hot Sails Maui GPS 6.6 and 5.0 (A) - $120 each

Both sails have seen very little use, and are in excellent conditions. $120 for one sail, $180 for both, or $500 for both sails and the XFire 90 board.

Slalom Sails: Maui Sails TR7 7.0 XT / TR8 6.3 (sold) / TR7 4.7 (A) $140 each

All sails are in very good to excellent condition. Buy one for $140, two for $200, or two and the XFire 90 board for $500. 

Windsurfing: Longboards

Mistral Equipe 2 with 3 fins (A-) $260

Great longboard for cruising and longboard racing. Very good shape. Can be used for teaching beginners.

Fanatic Ultra Cat (B) $200

Beautiful classical longboard, 1987 design. Tons of fun in light to medium wind. Nina won lots of races on this board.

F2 Lightning (B-) SOLD

Windsurfing - Miscellaneous 

2018 Fanatic Skate 86  (A) $850

Bought 2019 and not used much, since Nina started winging in 2020 and has not used it since then.

2011 Fanatic Skate 90 (B-) $300

This board has twin tracks for foiling, in addition to the original power box. Nina started foiling on this board.

Mark Angulo Custom 72 l (A) $450

Mark Angulo built this board for Nina when we stayed on Maui for 6 weeks. She used it only a few times since then.

Slim carbon boom (Goya) 130-180 (B) - SOLD

Slim carbon boom (Aeron) 150-200 (B-) SOLD

Sail: North Idol 4.0 (B+) - SOLD

Sail: North Ice 3.4 (A) - SOLD