Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I start?

  • Read our detailed article on how to learn to wing foil here.
  • If you are in Auckland visit the “Madloop” school at Lake Pupuke in Milford on Auckland’s North Shore.
  • Watch YouTube.
  • It is ideal, if your budget permits, to buy your own gear and spend as much time on the water as possible.

What can WingFoiling.co.nz do for me?

We want to offer practical advice to those keen to get into this new and exciting watersport. Foiling (kite, windsurf, sup, surf) has been accessible for a few years now, but it is only wingfoiling that has really taken off. Our focus is on getting beginners to progress. All our advice is directed towards learners. We are a reseller of Axis foils and boards, which are designed in New Zealand, and Flysurfer Mojo wings. If you want personal advice on how to progress then please contact us.

Who are you?

Wingfoiling.co.nz was set up by Mike Ward to provide wingfoil advice, sell Axis Foils and Flysurfer Mojo wings. Based in the Bay of Islands Mike has been foiling (sup, surf, windsurf and kite) since 2017, wingfoiling since 2019, surfing and windsurfing for 40 years. Mike’s obsessed with winging, his wife, Rina, is progressing, and while their son Jake is an expert kiteboarder, his wingfoiling needs work, which is difficult as he lives at the skatepark. Mike has been a friend of Axis Foil designers, Adrian Roper and Kevin Trotter, for over 35 years, and is privileged to test all the new gear. Given foiling is a new sport the gear is always evolving.

What gear do I need for wing foiling?

The simplicity and efficiency of wingfoiling is obvious. The fun factor increases with each hour you spend on the water. Once you have it mastered you end up hunting swell, which offers the thrill of constant wave riding. You need a board, foil rig (attached under the board) and a hand wing (as you get into it you will need a quiver to cover the full wind range). When you are learning your board needs to be stable, the front wing on your foil rig needs to be big to give you lots of lift, and your hand wing big enough (usually a 5m) to generate enough power to get you out of the water up onto the foil. Your budget and getting good advice is critical. Obviously you get what you pay for. Given wing foiling is such a new sport, with gear design evolving so quickly, newer gear will always be better. Yes, you can find used gear on Trademe and Facebook, but you do get what you pay for. Older, cheaper, used gear can be adequate to learn on. It will not be as good as new gear, but if it gets you on the water progressing, then that’s fine. As you improve you will outgrow the gear you learnt on. This is a great problem to have. There are people queuing up to buy wing foil gear to learn on. As you improve you will want a smaller foil wing and board (faster and more manoeuvrable) and better quality hand wings (nicer feel, more powerful, bigger wind range).

Will any old board do?

When you are starting out wingfoiling you can almost get away with any old board. This initial board just needs to be something to stand on, allowing you to get familiar with how the hand wing works. Provided the board is stable enough for you, any old stand up paddleboard or windsurf board will suffice. Provided however, you make provision to get back up wind (boat support is best) because when starting out you end up a long way downwind from where you started. A windsurf board with a centre board down will help you stay up wind. From this very early step you then move to a foil board. You need to know what foil rig you will be fitting to the board and make sure the boxes in the board (twin boxes or a tuttle box) are compatible. Most modern foil rigs and boards are trending towards twin boxes. However, the common GoFoil brand of foil rig still uses a tuttle head for their mast. It is the mast of your foil rig that attaches to your board, which will either have a baseplate that screws into the twin fin boxes, or a tuttle head (no baseplate) which slots into the tuttle box, goes right through the board, fixed with bolts through the deck. Do not worry about any gear confusion at this early stage because as you get into the sport you will live and breathe gear options and become familiar with them all. When you first get on the water with your foilboard you will have a lot going on, therefore provided your foil rig is firmly attached and the board is nice and stable (very critical) your board should be fine to learn on. It is only as you progress that you become better qualified to critique your board’s design and demand something smaller. When learning you are much better off with a board that provides more stability than you need, rather than a board that is too small, which you optimistically think you can grow into. A board that is too small (unstable) will greatly hinder your learning progress. This is a common mistake, which if you have made, bite the bullet and get yourself a more stable board. Either sell your small board, or hoard it until you are good enough to ride it. When learning you will tire very quickly, each fall saps energy, balancing and handling the wing is hard work, add a tippy board to the mix and your problems become much worse. A board’s volume is the most important measure to familiarise yourself with. Hang around wingfoilers for a while and you will soon hear them compare the volume of the boards they are riding, “90 litre”, “130 litre because I am a big boy” etc. A useful rule of thumb when selecting your board size is to add 30 to your weight (eg: 70 kgs + 30 = 100 litre board should be good). If your balance is not great and you are not that athletic, then it maybe in your interest to go a bit higher than this +30 guide. A board’s volume is a result of its length, width and thickness, which are still very relevant measurements to a board’s design. Whilst volume is stated in litres (metric), a board’s length, width and thickness is stated in feet and inches. Because wingfoiling is a new sport, gear design is changing rapidly. Anything newer will be best, but of course it depends on your budget. Older sup foil boards that you find on Trademe are adequate to learn on, but their design tends to be longer and narrower, whereas current wingfoil boards are shorter, wider and fatter. The shorter board you can get away with the better. It is all about riding the foil. A longer board will mean more “swing weight” which is a negative for foiling. Less relevant now given more gear is available, but it wasn’t so long ago that converting a sup board to a foil board was a thing. This meant putting two fin boxes in a sup so you could attach a foil. A few of these converted boards are around and are ok to learn on, but to do the conversion now is uneconomic (it can cost $500 to do). These older style foilboards, being longer, can offer an advantage when learning, as they will be slightly faster than a shorter board, which will make it easier to pop up onto the foil. The most practical advice we can offer is to simply accept that you will have “board churn”, which means regularly upgrading (going smaller). This is a great problem to deal with as it means you are progressing. The sport is new so board design is evolving rapidly.