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Windsurfing vs wingsurfing.
Windsurfing will always have its challengers (no pun intended. And currently it’s windsurfing that’s seen as that. ‘Ggggrrr! Bleddy wingsurfing! Another stupid sport aimed at taking riders away from windsurfing. Gggrr!’
Maybe the above is a bit strong as we appreciate those who don’t necessarily fancy winging wouldn’t react like this. More like they’ll carry on with their windsurfing job at hand, not caring what ‘he over there’ is up to. There are a few though… And some feel strongly that wingsurfing will take yet more numbers away from windsurfing, leaving few to enjoy the sport of sail.
Windsurfing has been around for a fair few years now. The equipment’s reached a performance point that’s right on the money. Tweaks and tuning still (and have to) happen with better gear getting even more refined. And this does deliver advantages (even to the everyday rider) when on the water. Mostly though we know what windsurfing gear does these days. And that’s a good thing if you’re in the market for kit. This also makes windsurfing a lot less hassle in some ways.
When it’s blowing dogs off chains you rock up at the beach, knowing what’s going to be rigged and (hopefully – as much as possible) know how your session’s going to pan out. That leaves riders to focus on actually doing the thing and enjoying it to the full. Gold in this day and age when’s time’s often limited.
Wingsurfing isn’t quite the same. There’s very much an element of discovery with wing foiling. The learning process is one area before flyers move off into the realms of jumping, wave riding and exploring newer and faster ways of foiling. For the majority, wingsurfing is also something that’s done on lighter breeze days. And/or when fluky/gusty conditions move in. But as soon as the breeze ramps up it’s back to fin riding and tearing down the strip hooked to your rig.
Picking, choosing and swapping between both windsurfing and wing foiling is a surefire to up your count of days scored on the brine. Gone are those times looking forlornly out to see at a lacklustre breeze. This used to be especially killer if there were waves in the mix. Of course, float and ride sessions (maybe atop a windSUP), are still options. But windies being windies riders usually want more performance.
Step forward wingin’! There’s nothing quite the unique feeling of gliding effortlessly on foil, being huffed along by wave power, wing flagged out, before gybing and heading back out to sea ready to round about and do it all again.
…except that is of course when Mother Nature ramps up proceedings and you’re hurtling down the face of a wave, cranking into a full rail bottom turn, feeling the fin(s) bite before being slingshot back into a pitching lip. At this point it’s chucking buckets as you wrap one off the top and send a load of spray sky high, dropping back down into the trough ready for another hit.
Alternatively your favourite speed course is on fire. There’s not a piece of chop out of place and the whole area is cooking. Flying down the flat you bear off, sheet in and hammer down. Everything goes silent; you’re in the zone and without realising your knuckles are bright white! Clattering along you edge faster and faster until the needle is redlined. And then, in an instant, you lay the sail down, carve off the wind and begin to slow. Another successful bid for supercharged windsurfing NOS nirvana.
All the scenarios above are very different and each as addictive as the last. Freeride cruising in the summer sun can also be another blissful exercise in fun. To be honest ‘fun’ is whatever you want and make it. Which is exactly our point. Whatever gets you wet and frothing is all good in our book. And it’d be folly to not broaden your mind and accept all of what’s on offer.
Which is where we come back to windsurfing and wing foiling. Whilst windsurfing is (and always will be) Challenger’s bread and butter there’s nothing stopping us explore other avenues. And that’s where winging fits. It’s another choice for enjoying the outdoors, the elements and getting yourself up and out from behind those screens. So it’s all good in our book and a great addition to any water person’s ‘toy box’.
If you want to chat windsurfing or wings foiling then give us a shout. We have gear to suit all occasions and scenarios. Let us know your queries and we’ll do our best to sort you out.