Book Now SailiaSailia logo
top of page

Wing School   

Our wing school is at Queen Mary Sailing Club (QMSC) in Surrey on a clean, deep 700 acre stretch of water raised high above the landscape. We are a RYA Training Centre for all levels of wingsurf and wingfoil. We have a unit right by the water with a large astroturf rigging area and we use the very latest boards, foils and wings from Starboard and Freewing.

BOOK A LESSON NOW USING THE BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN

No previous watersports experience is required to learn to wingsurf or wingfoil. The pathway is to learn to wingsurf first and then to wingfoil. This is because learning the wing basics whilst learning to foil at the same time is too much to take in. Some people may choose to stick with wingsurfing in order to remaining on the water rather than above it. Most people, however, are keen to progress to wingfoiling asap.

Depending on previous watersports experience and balance, wind awareness and fitness level, beginners are likely to need 1-3 lessons in wingsurfing before moving onto a large foil board. Then with another 1-3 lessons on the foil most people have enough knowledge to carry on themselves. So that’s an average of 3-4 lessons in total which is a remarkably quick transition from beginner to basic competence. Some will continue the rest of their journey independently whilst others may choose to return for occasional coaching sessions to help with, for example, gybing or progressing onto smaller kit.

 

Previous experience that can contribute towards a quicker progression includes:

·      Sailing, windsurfing or kiting: for wind awareness

·      SUP, skateboarding or snowboarding: for balance

·      Windfoiling (foiling on a windsurf board)

BOOK A LESSON NOW USING THE BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN

WIND SPEED & EQUIPMENT

  • WingSURFing is best learned in approximately 7-27 knots (Beaufort low-force 3 to upper-force 6)

  • WingFOILing for beginners (who are not yet able to pump the wing and foil) is best learned in approximately 14-30 knots (Beaufort mid-force 4 to mid-force 7)

  • WingFOILing for those with experience (who are able to pump the wing and foil) can be in as little as 8 knots

  • To achieve this we have Starboard Freewing GO wings of the following sizes: 2.5m, 3.5m, 4.5m, 5.5m, 6.5m. The boards used for wingSURF are 246 litre Starboard Starts and the boards used for beginner wingFOIL are 140 & 160 litre Starboard Wingboards. Development sessions have access to 65, 80, 95 & 115 litre Starboard Wingboards. Foils are Starboard, using 82cm masts with carbon front wings: S-Type 2400, 2000 or 1500 (low aspect) and E-Type 1400 or 1700 (medium aspect)

HOW THE LESSONS ARE ARRANGED

Lessons are 3 hours duration on a very small 1:2 ratio for maximum instructor input with powerboat support to help to save time getting back upwind during the early stages. Each session starts with a short introduction to kit and technique before heading out onto the water. Please note that tow-foiling, e-foiling and power-assisted foiling are not permitted at QMSC. Sessions booked are subject to terms and conditions (found in footer) and will be confirmed to run a day or two before the session when we are happy that the forecasted wind will be suitable.

 

Participants should provide their own wetsuit and suitable watersports shoes. 4/3mm wetsuits may be able to be supplied on request yet these are suitable for Spring, Summer and Autumn. 5/4mm winter wetsuits are recommended in colder weather. Helmets and impact jackets with 50N of buoyancy are compulsory for all winging lessons and are provided.

 

Sessions will be delivered by one of our friendly and experienced instructors who are all RYA qualified.

BOOK A LESSON NOW USING THE BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN

LESSON AVAILABILITY

On days when we have wind and instructor availability, lessons are available all year round as follows:

·      (April – September) 7 days a week, mornings and afternoons

·      (October – March) Wednesday - Sunday, mornings and afternoons

·      (April – August) Wednesday evenings

 

Weekend bookings are popular so we would be grateful if you are able to make weekday bookings.

 

PRICES

For winging lessons (including wing, board, foil, leash, helmet and impact jacket) are:

·      2 person lesson for 3 hours = £175 per person (inc. VAT)

Wing lessons are bookable online and individual requests can be made by contacting SWM directly. Please do not call QMSC to book or to make an enquiry. (Prices correct at 1st January 2024)

 

READY TO START YOUR WINGING JOURNEY?

Book now or send us a message. If you would like to join QMSC with your own kit to wingfoil all year round then click here to find out more about membership.

BOOK A LESSON NOW USING THE BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN

  • What makes SWM good for wing lessons?
    Our wing school at Queen Mary Sailing Club (QMSC) in Surrey is on a clean, deep, 700 acre stretch of water raised high above the landscape. It is simply brilliant for wingfoiling! We have a unit right by the water with a large astroturf rigging area and we use the very latest boards, foils and wings from Starboard and Freewing. Our instructors are friendly and knowledgeable and our ratio for teaching is very low (mostly one instructor to two students) so you should. expect a fairly personalised service, not a large group experience. Every lesson comes with powerboat support to keep things safe, to enable rest time afloat and to transfer learners upwind away from the shore whenever necessary. We are a RYA Training Centre for all levels of wingsurf and wingfoil, with our kit, facility, qualifications, procedures, teaching standards and safety inspected annually by the RYA.
  • What is wingsurfing?
    WingSURFing refers to the use of ‘an inflatable wing with hard or soft handles or a boom’ on either a high-volume windsurf board with a daggerboard or stand-up paddleboard (SUP) with a centre fin and/or side fins (drift-stoppers).
  • What is wingfoiling?
    WingFOILing refers to the use of ‘an inflatable wing with hard or soft handles or a boom’ on a specific wingfoil board with a hydrofoil attached to the underside. This allows the board to rise up out of the water as it moves forwards and foiling occurs.
  • What does wingfoiling feel like?
    Foiling above the water feels exciting yet relaxing at the same time, delivering a very smooth ride. As the foil slices through the water, the usual noise and bumping of the board against the surface all but disappears and the sensation of gliding is second-to-none.
  • What previous watersports experience do you need to have to learn to wingsurf/wingfoil?
    No previous experience of watersports is required. Previous experience with balance sports and/or understanding of how the wind works will help a little yet this is not essential. Experienced windfoilers and kitefoilers tend to make fast progress. People from all backgrounds have learned to wing with us, from those with zero watersports experience those who enjoy surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing, windsurfing and/or kitesurfing.
  • What is the pathway to learning this sport?
    It is important to learn to wingsurf first and then to wingfoil. This is because learning the wing basics whilst learning to foil at the same time is too much to take in. Some people may choose to stick with wingsurfing in order to remain on the water rather than above it. Most people, however, are keen to progress to wingfoiling asap.
  • How many lessons do I need before I can go wingfoiling by myself?
    The basics of wingfoiling are relatively easy to master, typically with a much faster learning curve than other watersports. Depending on previous watersports experience and balance, wind awareness and fitness level, beginners are likely to need 1-3 lessons in wingsurfing before moving onto a large foil board. Then with another 1-3 lessons on the foil most people have enough knowledge to carry on themselves. So that’s an average of 3-4 lessons in total which is a remarkably quick transition from beginner to basic competence.
  • What wind speed is required?
    On the flat, accessible water at QMSC: · WingSURFing is best learned in approximately 7-27 knots (Beaufort low-force 3 to upper-force 6) · WingFOILing for beginners (who are not yet able to pump the wing and foil) is best learned in approximately 14-30 knots (Beaufort mid-force 4 to mid-force 7) · WingFOILing for those with experience (who are able to pump the wing and foil) can be in as little as 8 knots
  • Do you do tow-foiling behind a power boat is the wind is too light?
    No. Water-skiing, wake boarding or any other method of being towed behind a powerboat is not permitted on our waters at Queen Mary Sailing Club (QMSC). Further, we have taught a number of people who have previously experienced tow-foiling and this does not appear to have helped them very much in terms of their ability to foil. Whilst tow-foiling can help with the feel of foiling, the sheer consistency of the forward power provided by the boat can perhaps give you a false sense of confidence. This may even lead to disappointment and frustration when you try to reproduce that consistency by using the less-direct power of the wind in the wing. We feel that the foiling element of winging is best learned and mastered using a wing rather than the boat’s engine.
  • I see that lessons are 3-hours. I don’t think I can manage to stand on a board for 3 hours! Can I do a shorter lesson?
    All of our standard lessons are 3 hours and not all that time will be spent standing on the board! We tried 2-hour standard lessons when we started the school and we quickly discovered that this was not enough time as lessons have to include diverse elements: on-water wing practice, kit selection, rigging, any land drills required, any shore teaching required, on-water instructor demos, transferring learners upwind when they (inevitably) lose ground downwind, a little rest time in the boat, returning to the shore and putting the kit away. This 3-hour block contains about 90 - 120 minutes of actual winging time(depending on the absorption speed, fitness and balance of the learner) which, together with all the other elements facilitates the ideal session.
  • Can I do a full day of winging lessons?
    We honestly think that a full day of wing lessons is not at all a realistic option as exhaustion would become a barrier to progression. The 3-hour block is just right. If you are super-keen for more then you could book 2 lessons over 2 successive days.
  • Can I book a private 1:1 lesson?
    Private 1:1 lessons are available for those who can already wingfoil reasonably well. Otherwise you are invited to book onto one of our standard 3-hour lessons for 2 people. Our 1:1 lessons are 2-hours and are for those who have their own kit, have decent wingfoiling technique and need help with a specific skill such as using a smaller board, improved pumping, foiling gybes etc. In order to make a 2-hour lesson work you are required to start on time with your kit fully rigged, ready to hit the water straight away. A couple of these lessons per season will really help you to maintain focus on your technique which will help you to improve in the most efficient way.
  • What do I need to bring?
    You provide: your own wetsuit and suitable watersports shoes. 4/3mm wetsuits may be able to be supplied on request yet these are suitable for Spring, Summer and Autumn. 6/5mm winter wetsuits are recommended in colder weather.
  • What is provided?
    We provide the board, foil, wing, leashes, full access to the club facilities and a powerboat for instructor to teach from. We also provide a top-spec helmet and impact jacket with 50N of buoyancy.
  • Who will deliver my lesson?
    It will be one of our friendly and experienced instructors who are all RYA qualified as wingsurf/foil instructors. Simon delivers some of the lessons.
  • How do I book a lesson?
    Simply click on the booking button that floats over every web page, register or log in, select your session and make payment online. As soon as payment is received you will automatically receive your confirmation as well as everything you need to know about the lesson.
  • It’s a while until my lesson. If I book now, how will we know if there will be the right wind on the day?
    We don’t know that so, like any weather-dependent event, you just book onto and pay for the future day and time that suits you and then - closer to the time – we will assess a range of weather forecasts (especially Windguru which is good for QMSC). If we have confidence in the wind around 2 days before, we will confirm your session and proceed. If not enough wind is forecast around 2 days before then we will check it again the following day and either proceed or transfer your booking to another session without penalty.
  • What happens if the wind is too light once I have arrived for my lesson?
    If this happens we would continue with the lesson even if the wind dropped below the optimum strength for foiling. We might use a larger board, foil and/or wing. We would remain optimistic as the wind often comes back after a lull. We would focus on the development of the following skills: balancing on a board in non-foiling conditions, riding toeside (switch stance), tacking, gybing and pumping – essential training elements of winging that may get neglected when the wind is stronger In the unlikely event that the conditions are hopeless (despite a good forecast) we may be able to abandon all or part of the session and re-book it, carrying over a full or part credit for the unsuccessful session (this would be at the discretion of the instructor on the day).
  • What are the dates and times of lessons/sessions?
    Sessions are available all year round as follows: · (April – September) 7 days a week, mornings and afternoons · (October – March) Wednesday - Sunday, mornings and afternoons · (April – August) Wednesday evenings Un-booked sessions may be removed from the system as the day approaches. Weekend and Wednesday evening bookings are popular so we are always grateful to those who are able to select weekday bookings.
bottom of page