BREAKING DOWN THE LEARNING PROCESS
The stages of learning to wingfoil, taken from the British Kitesports Association’s official instructor training syllabus
For those of us who have learned to wingfoil / wingsurf, now thinking back and analysing where and how the blocks of our skills were built is probably quite difficult to pinpoint. We can just do it! Muscle memory is an amazing, autonomous thing, but it doesn’t make us great instructors. This issue we pulled out the breakdown of the various sections that qualified BKSA Wingfoil Instructors take their students through, from having zero wind / watersports experience, through to being safe, self sufficient wingfoilers within just a few days of well structured lessons. The BKSA’s wingfoil training syllabus was written by Andy Gratwick and Sam Ross. For more information on where to learn, or the benefits of joining the BKSA as a wingfoiling member (including 3rd party insurance), visit: www.britishkitesportsassociation
INTRODUCTION TO WINGING
LEVEL 1 – WINGTRO
All done on displacement (usually SUP) boards. These four parts are usually taught in two part blocks of two to three hours, or over a full day’s course
PART 1: INTRO TO KIT AND ENVIRONMENT SHOE (Assess: Surface, Hazards, Others, Environment) Setup Parts of the Wing Part of the board and leaving ashore PART 2: FLYING ASHORE - WING CONTROL & MOVEMENT Basic Wind Awareness and Wing Handling Power Control Moving and Turning Wing Walking
PART 3: ON WATER ONE - GETTING IN, ON AND UP Launching landing, Self rescue and flagging down wind Launching and Winging across the wind, kneeling Winging across the wind, standing Basic steering PART 4: ON WATER TWO – TURNING, CONTROLLING SPEED, AND RESCUE TECHNIQUES Steering and Heading Upwind Increasing speed Developing Tacks and Gybes Lower Volume Boards / Advanced Rescue Techniques
LEARN TO WINGFOIL
LEVEL 2 - THE WINGGO
First taste of foiling! Each of these sections is usually broken down into two or three hour blocks, depending on the number of students in the group.
PART 1: INTRODUCTION TO THE FOIL AND ENVIRONMENT SHOE Introduction to the foil and how it works Assembly and maintenance Manoeuvring and securing kit ashore PART 2: RIDING THE FOIL BOARD Launching and Recovery Standing and Basic foil board stance Trim and Steering Foil Safety and Rescue
PART 3: THE RISE AND GLIDE- FIRST FLIGHTS Generating speed and first flights Maintaining Flight Pumping Trim / Stance PART 4: CONTROLLING FLIGHT/SUSTAINED FLIGHTS Controlling speed on the foil Steering on the foil Up and downwind Basic turns off the foil
Finally, if you’re very new to the sport, you may also appreciate this graphic used by BKSA instructors to illustrate to their students the various parts of a wing and their technical names, which are often thrown around in this mag!