wing surfer learning to wing on a sup

As an enthusiast stepping into the world of wing foiling, It is a good and fun option to learn to handle the wing on a standard SUP. This foundational stage is key in building the necessary skills and confidence before transitioning to foiling. In this tutorial, we will focus on the fundamentals – selecting the appropriate equipment, understanding the basic mechanics of handling the wing on a SUP, and ensuring safety.

The good news is that we can actually use any common SUP for wing surfing. This is also taught in many wing surf schools. You learn on a long board, a windsurf longboard, or a SUP, and then at some point switch to a shorter wing surf board and foil.

If you live in a light wind spot, you might end up always staying with wing surfing without foiling, which is also a lot of fun.

Key points when learning to use the wing on SUP:

  • Use board with a center fin
  • Use long a stable board
  • Use a strap for both the board and wing
  • Chose a proper wing size – around 4.5 to 5.5 m2 is best
  • Practice on land
  • Acquire basic steering techniques
  • Getting on the Board: Start by kneeling on the board
  • Start with basic maneuvers
  • Learn how to paddle back with your hands while laying on the boar

Fin type

It’s important to use a board with a center fin, ideal for light wind conditions. This center fin is important because it extends the lateral drift in light wind. If you have a normal SUP, you may not have the option to mount this fin, but there are solutions, like the so-called “add-on drift stopper” – a strap system with small side fins. Slingshot, for example, offers a system (SUP Winder Fin) with a box that you can glue on to insert and remove the fin.

Board size

In general, the longer the board, the more stable its direction. I would say boards between 9 and 12 feet in length are suitable for wing surfing.

Using a foot strap

When it comes to the board for wing surfing, it’s also important to use a foot strap. Ideal are the quick-release straps that you can pull apart so that the board doesn’t drift away from you in the water. Many people already know this from stand-up paddling. Sometimes, in calm conditions, you can do without it, but in wing surfing, it is absolutely necessary.

The Wing

Secondly, you need a wing if you want to wingsurf on a SUP. The size of the wing you use always depends on your body size and, of course, your skill level. Weight also plays a role.

Wing sizes you can use when learning on a SUP:

  • Rider Weight 40-60 kg (110-132 lbs):
    12-18 knots: 4.5M wing
    18-25 knots: 3M wing
    Over 25 knots: 2.6M wing
  • Rider Weight 60-70 kg (132-154 lbs):
    12-18 knots: 5.5M wing
    18-25 knots: 4M wing
    Over 25 knots: 3M wing
  • Rider Weight 70-80 kg (154-176 lbs):
    12-18 knots: 5.5M wing
    18-25 knots: 4M wing
    Over 25 knots: 3.5M wing
  • Rider Weight 80-90 kg (176-198 lbs):
    12-18 knots: 6M wing
    18-25 knots: 4.5M wing
    Over 25 knots: 4M wing
  • Rider Weight 90-100 kg (198-220 lbs):
    12-18 knots: 7M wing
    18-25 knots: 4.5M wing
    Over 25 knots: 4M wing
  • Rider Weight 100+ kg (220+ lbs):
    12-18 knots: 7.5M wing
    18-25 knots: 5M wing
    Over 25 knots: 5M wing

Ideal for beginners is around 15 knots and preferably smooth water, and of course, you should also make sure that there are no obstacles that you might immediately drift into.

Before you start with the wing, it’s always important that you attach the the strap. In more wind it crucial, because the board can float away if you accidentally let go of it.

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