Top 10 Winging Tips - Theo Galyer
1.Make sure you start on bigger kit as this will make the start of the winging journey much less painful. For example, when deciding on a board to start your journey as a Beginner the sensible formula is Weight + 40L. So, if you are 80kg I would suggest getting at least a 120L board. As this will provide stability which is your friend. The second-hand market is massive, especially on Facebook groups as people are often downsizing kit as they progress
2.Always wear a helmet no matter your ability. The are some sharp and solid elements to the kit that are worth avoiding if possible. Make sure you are attached to both the board and wing, choose the combination that works for you. I like a waist leash. Booties and knee pads are also an essential at the beginning. Trust me I learnt the hard way and ended up with bleeding tops of toes and very sore knees. Over time you may be able to drop the boots and pads as you spend more time flying!
3.Watch out for other riders and obstacles. When you are a beginner I would hope people should give you space. Over time, you will go upwind and downwind covering big distance. Sometimes you have a loss of visibility so check to see if there is anyone downwind when you start riding the waves.
4.Stance is vital, most will have the urge to bend legs and arch back ideally stand tall, straight arms.
5.When starting out a solid breeze is your friend. I found as a 100kg rider a 20 knot consistent wind was the magic number to finally start getting first flights. It also meant going from kneeling to standing up I had something to pull myself up on. However 15 knots and above is ok especially for practicing taxiing but don’t expect miracles in this. On top of this you want to find a flat sea state if possible.
6.When you are starting to ‘Pump’ on to the foil you should point further downwind then you might initially think. Here is short but sweet tutorial; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMuuOGBoASo. YouTube is your friend on this journey and there is so much out there to help progress.
7.I started using a harness to extend my sessions. It is a great hack/mod that can help give you longer sessions. When you have some ground to cover upwind it’s a life saver. It is worth considering as you start to progress.
8.Location is key, find a local spot where there are other riders. The community is super friendly and not only provide valuable tips. They could potentially spot you getting in trouble. If I am going out on my own or somewhere I might not be seen I carry a phone inside my wetsuit. Avoid offshore wind and strong currents. Dead onshore breeze can also be difficult as it is hard to get off a beach.
9.Don’t loose motivation. I assure you if you put the time in to winging it will give you a lot of joy in return. However, don’t be surprised if you spend at least 5 sessions flapping around and getting frustrated. Just remember to tell yourself that no session is a wasted one. I guarantee each time you will learn something.
10.Know your limits. It is a serious work out especially in the early days. Although it can be very tempting to keep going and going. It is vital you take breaks and know when to call it a day. I think the phrase is ‘live to fight another day’. Plus, there is only so much you can do in one session. Make sure you are having fun!