First lesson - Wingfoil Convert!
My son Phillip has been windsurfing for 15 of his 25 years. He competed in a HiHo Windsurfing Race 10 years ago and started WIND foiling 3 years ago. This weekend he decided it was time to try WING foiling. Spoiler alert, he did great!
We went to the point at the Launch Pad with the Duotone Echo 6m wing. After a few minutes of basic wing handling on land he was ready to head out. I put him on the beginner friendly Fanatic Stingray 140l foil board with the 99cm Slingshot foil underneath. Phillip has used that board and foil for windfoiling in the past.
Phillip taxied out with the wing and was going back and forth with confident pivot jibes. He was keeping decent upwind ground but wasn't getting up on the foil. I think he was holding the wing too far overhead - being careful not to catch a wingtip in the water. I followed him on the Seadoo and then suggested I try the gear and see if there was actually enough wind to get going. We traded watercraft in the Harbour near the old coal docks.
I pumped the wing several times and got up onto the foil and headed upwind. Phillip was watching from the Seadoo. By the time I was a bit upwind he had learned everything he needed from what I was doing. Indeed I was holding the wing more vertical and using the boom on the Echo wing more like a windsurf sail.
Well that was the trick. As soon as he was back on the board, he got up on the foil. I'm sad I didn't have the GoPro in video mode and missed his first ever run. I did get some photos from the water and then from land. His girlfriend (& LPWA alumni) Rosie and my niece Vanessa were out in the sailboat cheering him on.
The Dutch beginner windsurfers from yesterday were eager to go again but the wind was stronger. Tes gave it a try but found uphauling too difficult near the shore with the waves. Sam did better and had some nice reaches. She thought she had hurt her ankle so I towed her upwind on the Seadoo. Turned out she was fine and headed out again and then sailed proudly right to the dock at the end of her session.
Phillip's runs got longer and longer and basically he was fully in control of the foilboard on his first ever wing foiling session! He came back stoked and thinking he may never windsurf or windfoil again? I was just heading out for my own wingfoil session. I still like all 3 sports, but wing foiling is definitely making converts! Congratulations Phillip.