I’ve been pushing myself to learn to wingsurf in light conditions. The lighter winds a couple of weeks back were 20mph max, but offshore and gusty, as well as more cross-shore and around 15mph in the gusts initially and increasing through the session. Sea states were super flat, with a very slight swell pushing downwind.
This gave me a chance to practice my take off in the lighter conditions. I’ve been working on remaining standing on the board with the wing ready for when the wind drops and then timing the pump for take off when a gust comes through.
In the lull I try to pull my back hand in and round to my side occasionally to repoint the board across the wind, especially if the swell is running downwind which turns the foil in that direction.
When the wind does come through, I step back a few centimetres with my back foot and start pumping the wing. I allow the board to bear off slightly (maybe 15-25 degrees) as it starts to pick up speed and then try to pop the board onto the foil. As soon as it lifts I level it out at whatever height it naturally gets to and then pump the wing to generate more speed. Once it’s going nicely I start heading more upwind.
To keep power through the lulls, some of which have been 30-45 seconds, I’ve been allowing the wing to fully extend my arms and doing one big pump. At the same time as the pump I bear slightly downwind to increase speed, then I slowly bear off allowing my arms to fully extend again. Usually a few quick pumps will keep the momentum going after this.
My balance is definitely getting better, I managed nearly 9 minutes before I even got wet!
All in all, wing surfing is currently my new favourite sport! I’m able to get out in most conditions and remain local. This is a real bonus having had to travel all over the county in search of optimal conditions for other wind sports.
If you’re looking to learn to wingsurf, have any questions or just want to chat about wing surfing in general then get in touch. If you’re local to Hythe then we also give wing surf demos so contact us here, on Facebook or Instagram.