Nowadays, across the UK there is seemingly no end to the disciplines you can find on the water. Paddleboarding is becoming increasingly common, while kitesurfing and windsurfing are seeing something of a resurgence.
However, I recently discovered another exciting piece of kit that you are likely to see on UK waters in the next few months, thanks to F-One Kites. Wing surfing could be about to take the UK watersports scene by storm. Picture surfers gliding up and down the waves with a kite the size of their body beside them, and you get the picture!
What on Earth is Wing surfing?
In its purest form, wing surfing is a variation of kitesurfing designed for easier accessibility. This means that surfers and paddleboarders can get involved using the kit they already know and love. The surf wing is a light, handheld kite that you position to catch the wind and propel you forward – it’s as simple as that!
Is Wing Surfing Just Kitesurfing?
While it works in a similar fashion, there are many key differences between riding with a kitesurfing kite and a surf wing. The most visible difference is the style of the kite. While kitesurfing kites are large and curved, designed to catch as much wind as possible, surf wings are smaller and more streamlined. Surf wings are also incredibly light and can work in much lower winds than traditional kitesurfing.
Kitesurfing involves a lot of extra gear to prepare, namely strings, bars and harnesses. Wing surfing doesn’t need any of those. The surf wing has handles along its spine which allow you to direct it by hand. This design allows for an extra sense of manoeuvrability but also safety. If you begin to lose control, you can simply turn the kite out of the wind and the power instantly goes.
Who is Wing Surfing for?
Wing surfing is for anyone who wants to experience something new on the water! What’s great about it is that it is so accessible, assuming you have experience in another watersport, such as surfing or paddleboarding. It is a real ‘pick up and play’ experience, thanks to its handheld nature and the ease at which you can increase or decrease speed.
However, kitesurfers are also enjoying this, especially here in the UK, because of its ease of use. The primary benefit of the surf wing to kitesurfers is that wing surfing needs considerably less wind to work. The F-One surf wing can work in as little as 10 knots (just over 11.5mph) of wind! Because of its small size, the surf wing is also allowed on beaches that don’t permit kitesurfing, opening up many more beaches.
Wing surfing also has plenty of tricks up its sleeve for veteran riders to discover. Combining the surf wing with a foil is the most popular choice. With this magic combination, you create an incredible feeling of weightlessness – it’s the closest anyone can come to flying on water!
What Surf Wing is Right for Me?
Similar to choosing a kite, the surf wing you opt for largely depends on what you want to achieve and, particularly, the wind levels in your area. If you regularly have strong winds on your beach, then you may only need the smaller version, and vice-versa for areas with low wind ranges.
If you are interested in discovering wing surfing for yourself, why not take a look at F-One Kites? They have been one of the leading brands for kitesurfing equipment in the UK since its early beginnings and recently launched the SWING, the latest surf wing. They’ve been helping people get into the sport for years and will be more than happy to help you discover wing surfing for yourself!