7 WAYS TO QUICKLY IMPROVE AT WINGSURFING

The BKSA is the UK's lead body for wingsports. Head of training, Andy Gratwick, runs you through his magic tips to help intermediate improvers find a rapid route to success!

7 WAYS TO QUICKLY IMPROVE AT WINGSURFING

The BKSA is the UK's lead body for wingsports. Head of training, Andy Gratwick, runs you through his magic tips to help intermediate improvers find a rapid route to success!

7 WAYS TO QUICKLY IMPROVE AT WINGSURFING

The BKSA is the UK's lead body for wingsports. Head of training, Andy Gratwick, runs you through his magic tips to help intermediate improvers find a rapid route to success!

PUT WEIGHT THROUGH YOUR FEET, NOT YOUR HEELS

Unlike other watersports we may enjoy, foiling requires a slightly different way of applying the right pressure through the board. Imagine you've jumped off a small wall or bench and then freeze frame yourself absorbing the landing. This bent legged squat with weight evenly spread through your feet, from heel to the toe, is a good position for you to begin with. Get your weight going ‘through’ your feet not only your heels. Once you're up and riding, again avoid the urge to dig your heels in. Keep the pressure through your feet.

THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH FRONT FOOT PRESSURE

Get all that weight forward to load the front wing and focus on keeping the board trimmed nice and flat.

LET THE WING 'LIFT' YOU

Stance wise, try to let the wing ‘lift’ you and straighten your front arm skyward. This will reduce the chances of the wingtip catching in the water and give you lift and drive, rather than too much rail pressure and a feeling of drag across the board.

LEARN TO FLOW WITH THE CHOP AND GUSTS

If you are riding in lumpy water then water-starting and getting up and going can be more difficult. Don’t rush and try not to force your equipment. Once you're standing, wait for a reasonable gust to compliment your pump.

PUMP WITH RHYTHM!

Pumping is a rhythm (practice it on land). The idea is to load pressure through the foil by pulling the wing towards you while sheeting in and lifting it. If you give the back foot a little push down and then bend your legs as the lift in the wing reacts, this will free up the board to rise onto the plane. It's all timing; it’ll either work straight away or you’ll look like a drunk dad dancer after midnight. You will click with it sooner rather than later, though.

If you feel like you're slowing down, the pumping technique is the same: pull the wing towards you, sheet in and up while loading your back foot, which will help the foil rise again.

LOOK AHEAD

If the chop / bumps in the water are bigger than your mast then you need to plan for a bit of up and down in your cruising. Look ahead and let the board / foil rise over a bump but prepare to lean forward and push the nose down as soon as you reach the crest of the chop. Again, the technique is all about timing and controlled speed. Try not to go too fast and manage your speed nicely, both up and down.

LET THE BOARD AND FOIL DO THE WORK WHEN LEARNING TO TURN

Turning is easier to learn on the wing than when kiting or windsurfing. The key to success is to let the board and foil do the work. Gybing is easier than tacking, so learn that first. I advise entering the corner like any board sport, with your weight forward and knees bent.

Keep the wing high and flip it very early, allowing use of the wing to help you come through the exit of the turn. (You can even prepare your hands before the turn.)

Trust the board to carve on the foil… but you must lean into the turn to succeed.

Don't worry about your feet. You can practice the foot switch separately.

GYBING ESSENTIALS: Lean forward and commit, trust the board and carve the foil, flip the wing early and don't worry about your feet switch until you're comfortably going in and out of your turns.

HOLD THE WING HIGH WHEN LEARNING TO GLIDE

This is where a lot of joy and fun in winging comes from. Again, practice holding the wing on the beach. When you're cruising along and want to attempt to glide on the wing for a second; swap your back hand onto the front handle and hold it high in your backhand.

The higher you hold the wing the better, as this balances you and reduces the tips snagging on the water.

Look for a little slope on the water surface or even a wave. Do be careful not to chase the waves in too shallow though for your foil's sake!

As with turning, trust that foil, maintain flat foot pressure, lean forward and keep the wing nice and high!

BKSA MEMBERSHIP NOW INCLUDES WINGSURFING AS STANDARD!

BKSA MEMBERSHIP NOW INCLUDES WINGSURFING

AS STANDARD!

BKSA MEMBERSHIP NOW INCLUDES WINGSURFING

AS STANDARD!

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