A New craze in board sports, the wing is a means of traction that fuses the advantages of windsurfing and kiting. Simple, compact, aerial, the wing reveals its true potential with a Foil, demonstrating in return all the qualities of flying navigation.
Find below all the categories of wing products, followed by our advices to equip you.
Why do we like the wing?
The decade 2010 will have revealed the immense qualities of the Foil to a great number of people. The gain in speed by reducing friction has propelled us into a world where all the mediocre sessions have become real paradises for the Glide.
Everybody knows now that he can fly on the water. The time for frustration is over. Now you can have fun with nothing.
In this movement that we could call low energy, we have rediscovered a forgotten means of traction: the wing.
Imagined and developed in France in the 80s, its power was not sufficient and docile for the sports of the time.
The huge democratization of inflatable machines, first in boats, then in kitesurfing and SUP, gave credibility to this process which goes far beyond the initiation machines.
Foil + inflatable + Wing of the 80’s = new generation Wing!!!
The combination of these elements has recently appeared as an evidence for the gliding world. Some people believed in it earlier as it was the case for GONG who put a lot of work both in R&D and in communication of the desire to wing.
- We like the wing first of all because it’s simple. Easy to set up, easy to practice, easy to transport.
- A wing inflates in a few seconds. Four screws to connect your foil to your board and off you go! It couldn’t be simpler. The wing fits in a backpack, the board is more and more compact, and the foil can be taken apart. The whole thing fits in a golf bag. It’s just great.
- The handling is almost immediate. In a few minutes we understand how it works and, in a few sessions, we tame the foil.
Then we like the wing because it reminds us of the best sensations of windsurfing. We find the grip that we love, the handling of the board, the almost identical tricks. But no more back pain and untransportable gear, the wing is very cool. ?
We like the wing for its traction close to the one from the kite. You don’t need to carry the wing; it relieves your arms. The traction is in the same angles as the kite, providing comparable sensations. At the bottom it pulls hard and at the top it makes you feel lighter.
We like the wing because it’s safe. We can leave from anywhere. We usually have volume, so at worst we paddle like surfing to get in. You stand on the board in cramped and poorly ventilated places, easy to start.
You can release all the power just by letting go of the wing. No question of getting ripped off like in kite, everything is coooool.
We like the total harmony between the wing and the foil. One seems to be born for the other to give a smooth glide, without any break, fluid to the extreme. We are not talking about racing foils, even if it will inevitably come. We mainly use surf foils because of their lift and for maximum efficiency at very low speeds. This reinforces the simplicity and smoothness.
We like the tolerance of this means of propulsion which accepts more than any other the irregularities of the wind, the tilting, the wind holes. In wing, everything seems cleaner because its inflatable structure with large sections gives it the necessary room for this tolerance. A lake, offshore wind, squalls, a branch of a river, all bodies of water are tops in Wing on a large surface foil. It will take over when the wing is out of breath. With some technique you can even go up against the wind by the simple force of pumping on the foil. Amazing. And you don’t need a lot of space, you can have fun on a 200m wide spot.
We also like to chill out on the water and take time to chat with our friends. The inflatable wings against each other, no danger, everything is fine.
We love wing surfing.
Perched on a long foil, we slide with optimal fluidity on slopes and bumps. The water offers endless combinations of pure glide. The wing is only there to provide the useful traction for going upwind. Just awesome.
Finally, we like the wing because it is economical. Budgets are not anecdotal, of course, it’s a technological water sport. But the wing only costs a few hundred euros, the same for the foil, and a little more for the board. That’s still very reasonable and light years away from windsurfing budgets for example.
Wing at GONG
GONG is very involved in foiling, with high performance products at incredible prices. This has placed us very quickly in the top tier of the market, allowing a considerable number of people to become foilers.
It was therefore more than natural to get involved in the wing from the very first hours to offer a successful combo from the start.
Convinced that our love for the wing will be shared by the greatest number of people, we strongly invested and gambled on development for the evolution of the wing, program and range developments, leadership on the creation of dedicated shapes maximizing compactness and performance. We are clearly ahead and on the initiative, because we love to ride and especially to wing.
How to practice the wing?
There is no school, but no doubt that they will be created quickly.
In any case, it is globally the same functioning as windsurfing, and ten times simpler. Raising the wing is childish and effortless. Getting up on the Board is just as easy.
The progress is very fast because the absence of a mast removes the leverage your kidneys have to support. Less effort and above all an almost infinite freedom of positioning of the wing. No more need to tilt the rig in front or behind the mast step. You move the wing forward or backward depending on whether you want to lower or luff it. It’s very instinctive.
The only thing you have to understand is the umbrella or screen principle. If you put your two hands above each other, the wing will be placed as an umbrella and rise flat above you. Conversely, if you put your hands at the same height, your wing will be placed as a screen (zero power), vertical in front of you (maximum power).
The action on the wrists to place the wing is a fantasy without effect. It is the raising or lowering of the hands together or on the opposite side that makes the piloting of a wing. That’s why soft handles are sufficient to drive your wing.
The main defect of the wing is its fragility. All manufacturers use lightweight materials from kite materials to make the wing fly as soon as possible, so that you do not have to carry it. The other side of the coin is that it does not have the strength of a windsurfing rig because in this case its weight would be multiplied by three.
So, you have to be careful, and keep a small repair budget. Problems are inevitable when the foil falls into the wing, but they are fairly simple to stitch up. We have all the spare parts and fabric colors at your disposal.
The other defect of the wing is the passage of the waves. Being fragile, you should never drop it in the waves. There is a real risk of being crushed. Spots with waves on the edge are therefore to be avoided. But there is surely a launch a little further away.
The depth of the foil is the last unpleasant subject. On some spots you will have to walk a little bit to find the depth necessary to the passage of the Foil. And be careful not to hit any shallow water. You would risk to break everything.
Our very lively wing Forum offers discussions that will teach you a lot. Check it out and contribute your knowledge and experience.
How to equip yourself?
First of all, a 5m² is the most common advice. This size is ideal for sailing in a reasonable wind without having a wing that’s too big to handle. A wind of this type is often synonymous with easy water.
Then you will build a quiver to exploit all the wind forces.
Your first board must be generous in volume, floats easily and be wide. We recommend at least your weight plus 20 to determine the necessary volume.
- Example: 85kg + 20 = 105L minimum to start off right.
If you don’t have any riding experience, add 50 to your weight.
- Example: 85kg + 50 = 135L minimum to start well.
As you progress, you will want a shorter and livelier board. But at the beginning this liveliness will rhyme with repeated falls.
Don’t forget that the wing is in full development. You will have no difficulty in selling parts of your Quiver to make it run and modernize it.
Concerning the foil, you need large surface wings. Without excess, but a size XL is a standard.
The large mast length is a real plus in all respects. Except in your first sessions, as soon as you fly you will prefer a long mast. The ideal is a 85 cm mast. You have more margin, more tolerance, more glide, more angle. It’s great.
Tips and information
Do not hesitate to ask your questions on our Forum, or consult our tutorials on Wing in the How to Wing section if you want to improve your skills or learn more about the technique.