WELCOME TO WINGING!

Winging is the new, exciting discipline to arrive in the world of watersports and uses a lightweight, inflatable wing with handles. Wing tuition on the vast waters of Queen Mary Sailing Club (QMSC) is run exclusively all year round by Simon Winkley Marine (SWM) using the very latest wings, boards and foils from Starboard.

WingSURFing refers to the use of the wing on either a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) with a centre fin or a high-volume windsurf board with a daggerboard.

WingFOILing refers to the use of the wing 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. 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.

QUICK TO LEARN

Wingfoiling is relatively easy to master, typically with a much faster learning curve than other watersports. It is safer than kitesurfing (as the wing can be de-powered easily or let go of at any time) and more accessible as winging is welcomed at a wide range of inland waters. The benefits of winging over windsurfing include having a greater wind range for each wing (so less kit is needed) and easier storage and transportation of the equipment as it packs away smaller (no long masts and much shorter boards). Despite the steep learning curve in the early stages, mastering foiling turns, tacks and gybes requires commitment and time - enabling participants to enjoy an active foiling lifestyle with longer-term goals.

ANYONE CAN TRY IT!

No previous watersports experience is required to learn to wingsurf or wingfoil. The pathway is to learn to wingsurf first and then to wingfoil. Some people may choose to stick with wingsurfing and to enjoy the feeling of being powered along by the wing whilst remaining on the water rather than above it. Most people, however, are keen to progress to wingfoiling asap.

Depending on their previous watersports experience and their balance, wind awareness and fitness level, beginners are likely to need 1, 2 or 3 lessons in wingsurfing before moving onto a foil board. 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), tow-foiling (foiling whilst being pulled behind a powerboat) or dinghy foiling: for transferrable foiling technique
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).
To achieve this SWM currently has Starboard Freewings of the following sizes: 3.0m, 4.0m, 5.0m, 6.0m. In early 2023 we will be adding 7.0m wings. The boards used for wingSURF are 240 litre Starboard Starts and the boards used for beginner wingFOIL are 145 & 160 litre Starboard Wingboards. Development sessions have access to 70, 90 & 115 litre Starboard Wingboards. Foils are Starboard, using 82cm masts with either S-Type 2000 or 2400 front wings for beginners and E-Type 1300 or 1700 for those with more experience.

HOW THE LESSONS ARE ARRANGED

Lessons are of 3 hours duration on a very small 1:1 or 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 is not done at QM as a light-wind option. Sessions booked are subject to terms and conditions and will only be confirmed to run when enough wind is forecast.

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. 6/5mm winter wetsuits are recommended in colder weather. Buoyancy aids and helmets are compulsory for all winging lessons and are provided.

As the kit is refreshed regularly, used kit is often available for those that wish to progress towards owning their own kit. For the latest availability please click here.

Lessons will be delivered by RYA Wingfoil Instructors Simon or Jerome, with 2 more instructors joining the team in 2023. Lessons are available all year round with better availability on weekdays. Timings in the main season are: 1000-1300 and 1400-1700, with adjustments made when daylight hours are less in the winter.

PRICES

For winging lessons (including wing, board, foil, leash, helmet and buoyancy aid) are:

  • 1 person lesson for 3 hours = £195 per person (inc. VAT)
  • 2 person lesson for 3 hours = £165 per person (inc. VAT)

Wing lessons are bookable by contacting SWM directly (please do not call QMSC to book or to make an enquiry). Bookings are currently taken manually (with invoices issued). Online bookings and payments will be available in due course. (Prices correct at 1st January 2023)

READY TO START WINGING AT QM?

Please send a message to Simon Winkley Marine now: info@simonwinkley.com

Join QMSC as a member with your own kit and Wingfoil all year round. Click here to find out more about membership