The human condition is attracted toward that which challenges us, both mentally and physically. Typically it promises discomfort and inevitably an element of risk, amplified if short on recognition of one’s limitations or the ability to deal with things when they go wrong. While ocean sports offer a chalice and portal for wellbeing and a sense of aliveness, the harder we test ourselves, the truer this becomes. It’s all part of the waterman creed in learning.
By default, the learning experience of a new sport can result in a rapid arrival at what could be termed, a ‘comfortable ceiling-point’. In the case of SUP, the learning curve is near vertical from the outset, manifesting a presumption the sport is by nature fundamentally ‘easy’ counterpoised by the reality, that stepping beyond the basics takes considerable diligence and effort. Failure to do so could result in boredom and disinterest.
The use of a hand held, wing-shaped free moving sail is nothing new. The idea has been around since the 80s. What’s brought it to the forefront as a going concern is very probably the combination of SUP and wing foiling arriving on the time continuum at similar times and the synergy of combining ideas. Those who SUP are being attracted to wing foiling as an extension of their paddling, while there are those who surf now embracing the possibilities. For windsurfers, windfoiling has been the more obvious route, however many are finding the sheer convenience of a wind sport without rig too hard to resist.
The vast majority of those who take up SUP, do not take formalised lessons; preferring to take the discovery learning approach. On the other hand wingfoiling does offer up a few more challenges and time with a qualified instructor would be a good investment to accelerate your learning, avoid possible injury and learn more about the equipment. During our R&D phase of developing our Sphinx Wings, Sabre Foils, Tempest, Rapide and Kahala boards, we received feedback that many buyers of other equipment, noticed a disconnect between the hype of what it professed to deliver and how it actually performed. This we concluded was due to many brands not being the developers of the product, simply the brander of existing kit. All our foiling equipment has beed designed from the ground up and that makes a huge difference in fully understanding what we’ve created and for whom. We’ve aimed our first generation equipment squarely at the entry to upper intermediate rider; early lift, great flight stability and with plenty of un-lockable potential for high speeds once skill levels are developed. We will be sharing tips and techniques from our team riders, Chris Cunningham and Olympian Emma Wilson in the near future, together with our range of kit.