Author Topic: First day on the Wing  (Read 743 times)

nalu-sup

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First day on the Wing
« on: May 19, 2019, 12:08:38 AM »
With some inspiration from PonoBill's thread, I went out today for a first try at the Wing. Like Pono, I was smart enough to hire Alan Cadiz on Maui for some instruction. I would not say that controlling the Wing is difficult, but there are a few tricks Alan taught that were easy once you knew them, but would have made for a long miserable day if I had tried without his instruction. The lesson was certainly worth it, and I would highly recommend.
The wind was about 20 when we started, built to a steady 25+ by the time we were in the water, and we were using a 3 meter wing. Started off with land work to get the skills of controlling the Wing, both for when things were going right, and if things went wrong.
First day was on a beginner windsurf board (200 liters). We did two runs on our knees just to master handling the wing, being able to sail upwind, and making a tight clean jibe without having to worry about balance; smart progression, especially in high winds and very choppy water. Pretty easy to sail out, jibe, and by the second run come back to near where we started. For anyone with a windsurfing background, this part is pretty easy (once Alan told us the tricks). Both of us in the lesson were in our late 60s, so the hard part turned out to be getting to our feet. Imagine getting to your feet on a SUP in 25 mph crosswinds, with large confused wind chop, while holding both hands over your head, so no paddle to brace with. At least for us, the Wing did not provide any significant lift to help you up like a windsurfing sail or kite would. Not too bad if you are young and limber; trickier if you have old stiff joints. Happily, both of us old guys in the lesson got to our feet after two to four attempts. Once you are up, sailing around is fairly easy if you have any basic windsurfing skills, but we were moving pretty slow on the big board, even in the 25+mph winds. Jibing on the big board is not too challenging if you are experienced at switching your feet without rocking the board.
After this first day, I would agree with those who say that the key to the Wing's appeal would be in the next step of getting it on a foil. Without the underwater low-drag efficiency of a foil, the Wing does not have the power of a windsurfing sail or kite to power a board through the water. After the lesson, Alan and one of the other instructors went out and foiled around around with the Wing, and they were blasting around very impressively in the 25+mph winds, having a great time. Alan's skill with jibing and tacking the Wing/Foil combination is very impressive, never dropping out of flight.
8'7" Sunova Flow  121 L
8'8" Blue Planet 'All Good' 120 L
8'10" Sunova Speeed 130 L
9'0" Tabou SupaSurf  145 L
16' S.I.C. F16 downwinder 323 L

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Re: First day on the Wing
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2019, 04:06:16 AM »
That sounds like a great start nalu-sup.  We are waiting for wings (and jealous).  Do they put you on a foil board for day 2?