Having the right equipment is key to progression. We see too many wing foilers with the wrong size or board, and foils too. Check out this overview of combo set up you can get from F-One.
As for its intended use, the 1500 seems like a top choice for wingsurfing and prone foilsurfing, but it would probably also be a fun wing for carve and wave-focused kitefoilers. We didn’t get a complete sense of the 1500’s foilsurfing pumping drive, but our feeling is that for foilsurfers looking to connect waves with pump-backs, the 1500 will keep the party going if you start with high-speed, but the Phantom line of wings may offer better pure pump performance. The 1500 is probably perfect for small and medium-sized riders, but bigger riders will want to move up in size to the 1800. Beginners will do fine on the 1500 but can always consider starting with the older stabilizer for extra directional stability. One thing is for sure—the new Gravity 1500 fills an important hole in the Gravity line, and along with the new stabilizer, we’d consider it a landmark addition to the Gravity offering. In terms of size and spot-on performance, we’d put the 1500 on our top list to demo when thinking about your next wingsurfing or prone surfing foil.
The Gravity series of wings in the 1800 and 2200 sizes are ideal options for the new sport of wingsurfing. Both wings feature a carbon fiber fuselage that bolts together with Torx head bolts for easy assembly and mates with an aluminum mast. The construction brings together an excellent blend between stiffness for crisp performance and robust lifting wings with a nice medium weight. The Gravity 2200 is the big gun that offered the lowest foil-up speed and the most amount of lift. We’d recommend the 2200 for bigger riders that need extra help getting lift-off, and to riders that are challenged by lower wingsurfing wind conditions. If we had a low volume prone board and lighter wind conditions, the 2200 would be very helpful for getting a sinking board up onto plane and in the air. Average-sized riders may find that the 2200’s lift is excessive and might spend more energy trying to keep the wing in the water while trying to ride waves, yet bigger riders will enjoy every bit of that lift.
The Gravity 1800 seemed like the perfect wing for wingsurfing with a nice slow foil-up speed that promoted easy waterstarts and allows you to carve as tight as a turn as you’d like in the pocket of windswell. What we really liked about the 1800 was its higher top-end speed that allowed us to keep up with the faster swells when the larger of the two Gravity wings couldn’t. The 1800 has a really nice foil-up speed with smooth lift delivery, meaning that as you approach lift-off the wing generates lift evenly and intuitively. The foil-down speed was slow enough that we never had trouble stalling or slowing it down for a tight snap off the lip while riding swell. The 1800 is the perfect size for most small and middle-sized wingsurfers looking for the widest spectrum of performance.
This is the third and final blog on my Wingsurfers Guide Through Progression. If you missed the two earlier blogs on getting started you can review them here. They will help to give some context on my experience during the early days (funny, just 3 months ago) and lead up to this final blog. Thanks in advance for reviewing and hopefully this will help some of you out that are learning this relatively new sport. Now well into my efforts to become better at winging I’m very happy with the progress to date. As mentioned in previous blogs, it’s a quick learn if you can keep at it. I’ve had the luxury of getting to try a good amount of the F-One Winging lineup and finding the right gear for the right conditions is helpful and makes the learning curve much quicker. With the right gear you’ll spend way more time up foiling and avoid getting exhausted trying to get up or stay up on foil. After a few months of practice, I can now competently get up on foil, stay upwind, tack, jibe, surf swell and have a great time out on the water doing it. Throughout this time, I started on larger boards, foils and wings and moved to smaller ones as my skills progressed. Here’s what I found works well for me now.
F-One Kite Ambassador and local Wadell (well known kite surfing spot near Santa Cruz) resident Brian Friedmann is fleeing the upcoming cold and often windless Pacific North West Coast and will be spending the winter in La Ventana, Baja Mexico. La Ventana is a fantastic destination in the winter, with strong daily thermal wind, great vibes, good food, and plenty of outdoor things to do. Brian recently started winging and he is telling us his progression from bigger board to smaller ones, including the rocket air surf, the F-One inflatable foilboard series. Not everybody are or will be able to ride very small boards (<50L) when winging, but that being said the smaller you can deal with, the more freedom you have, whether wing surfing or not. The Wing revolution is marching on and we are all having so much fun with it