Wing foiling is taking off around the Hibiscus Coast, and it’s easy to see why. Spring has brought consistent 10 knot plus days, and Whangaparaoa Peninsula captures every possible wind angle making it a wind sports enthusiast’s dream.
Why wing foil?
Wing foiling (foiling on a standup paddleboard) has several advantages over other water sports such as kiteboarding or windsurfing.
- Wing foiling can be enjoyed in a wider range of conditions.
- If something goes wrong, you can lie on your board and paddle back to shore.
- If you don’t like the situation or a strong wind gust hits you, you are not strapped in, so you can just let go of the wind wing.
- Setup is fast, and you can launch practically anywhere. Kiteboarders need a large flat, safe launch area.
- It’s relatively low impact compared with kiteboarding or windsurfing, as the foil cuts through any chop and gives you the feeling of flying.
- The gear easily fits in most cars, so roof racks are not required. The boards are generally in the 5-6ft range.
How to learn
Nick Humphreys from Underground Surf in Orewa runs foiling and wing foiling lessons. Here are his tips for how to get going fast.
- Age is no barrier. I’ve taught teenagers to people in their 70s and the average age would be 40-60 years, so this is not just a sport for young people. However, you need a reasonable level of fitness and a willingness to try adrenaline sports.
- Wing foiling combines foiling and sailing. If you have no previous experience in these types of sports, you will have a different learning curve from an experienced windsurfer or wake-foiler.
- Lessons start with learning to foil behind a jetski. From there, we coach clients on how to get the foil to fly, and while everyone gets a fright the first time it comes out of the water, eventually, it clicks, and you are away.
- The next lessons focus on gaining more foil control and then adding the wind wing. Nick says most people can foil using the wind wing in three lessons, and those with good skills in similar sports often get it in their first or second lesson.
- Depending how often you do it, your fitness and previous related skills, after around 20-40 hours of practice, you should be sailing around pretty comfortably.
- It’s easy to clock up plenty of water time with ideal spots just minutes away from most people on the Hibiscus Coast.
Book a lesson
Underground Surf offers private 2 hour foil lessons with an expert instructor for up to 2 people where we will teach you how to foil behind our jetski. The lessons cost $250 and run from Orewa Beach at a time, weather, to suit everyone. We run lessons every week and all year round. Minimum age 16 years. Book a lesson by buying this package on our website – you can do this using the button below.