Wingfoil is a wind propelled water sport that developed from kitesurfing, windsurfing and surfing. The sailor, standing on a board, holds directly onto a wing. It generates both upward force and sideways propulsion and thus moves the board across the water.
This young sport is poised to become wildly popular, the first Europe Championships had been taken place at the lake of St.Moritz in the Swiss Alps in 2021. ANOC, NOC Indonesia and World Sailing also confirmed that Wingfoil will be added to ANOC World Beach Games Bali 2023, replacing Kitefoil on the programme.
The history of wing foiling begins with the invention of wing surfing dating back to 1981, when aeronautical engineer Jim Drake, the inventor of windsurfing, and Uli Stanciu, European windsurfing pioneer, together invented the first wing. Their patented concept was based on the symmetrical shape of the flying fish. Unlike windsurfing, their wing was hand held and not fixed to the board via a mast.
In the years that followed, new technology was adapted and wings repeatedly came onto the market in different variants. While older wing models were often stretched and held by means of rods, the influence of kite development is currently becoming increasingly important. The wing is made of light kite fabric, which is stretched by inflatable air tubes. To grip the wing, some brands use struts with hand straps, others use telescopic aluminum poles.
Organisation And Competition
The International Wing Sports Association (IWSA) and Global Wingsports Association (GWA) have been founded and organized various international tour since 2021. The competition od Wingfoil is mainly consisted of two disciplines: Surf-Slalom and Surf-Freestyle.
In the Surf-Slalom discipline, multiple competitors ride around a course with a start and finish line that combines jibes, tacks and parts of pumping or surfing without wing assistance.
The Surf-Freestyle discipline includes the expression format where competitors surf waves or swells and perform air tricks using the given water conditions.
Development In Hong Kong
Wingfoil had been introduced into Hong Kong in around 2018-2019. In February 2022, Windsurfing Association of Hong Kong (WAHK) named Wingfoil as 滑浪風翼 in Chinese, which was based on the online voting result. As the growth of wingfoiling had been raised fastly, WAHK held the first local Wingfoil Championships in May 2022. A GWA qualifier series was also hosted in Stanley Beach between 3-4 December 2022.
In March 2023, Rafeek Kikahoy and Chan Hei Man Hayley claimed gold for Hong Kong in the first ever Wingfoil Racing Asian Championships,both secured the tickets to the 2023 ANOC World Beach Games.
10 Safety Tips In Wingfoiling
1.Beware the forecast of wind and the strong offshore wind;
2.Check the water depth of the launching area and the spot of recovery;
3.Stay away from rocks, cliffs piers or channels:
4.The leashes of the board and the wing should be attached to the ankle and the wrist respectively;
5.Double check the air pressure of the wing before launching;
6.Put on impact vest or buoyancy aid;
7.When falling, stay calm and no treading of water;
8.Going back ashore soon when the wind dropped gradually;
9.Avoid collision with other downwind water users by reducing speed or changing course as and when necessary; and
10.Bring mobile phone or reliable communication device for asking help if the wing damaged.