TOWARDS A NEW COURSE: THE FOIL
NEW WORLDS TO DISCOVER
Where does the foil come from?
The exact inventor of the foil is unknown. In the 1960s, an American aeronautical engineer, Walter Woodward, invented a foil for water skis, which was a great success. But in reality, the idea was not entirely new: Already in the early 1900s, foils were being built for military vessels.
However, it wasn’t until the new Millenium that a foil was seen on a board and the pioneer was a foil surfboard.
Today, foils are seen in a wide variety of disciplines and the family seems to be expanding continuously. Foils are mounted on surfboards, windsurf boards, wing foil boards, kitesurf boards, paddleboards, and even on America's Cup racing boats ...and they are all really impressive.
FIRST STEPS WITH FOILING
If you have read our previous blog about SAFETY AT SEA (and if you haven't, read it!), you’ll know that safety always comes first and that unnecessary risks should be avoided.
The foil itself adds a little "extra danger" to water sports. Due to its flat and elongated shape, its lateral extension in the water (where it’s invisible) and the speed it can reach, it becomes a real knife. Therefore you’ve to be a little more careful when it comes to preventing accidents and guaranteeing security for yourself and others.
Special care should be taken when entering and leaving the water, especially if there is a shore break. Wearing a helmet and lifejacket is, without doubt, the most responsible choice.
If you take into account these small precautions, this sport can give you unthinkable sensations which are very close to the thrill of flying.
Don't you want to give it a try?
WINDSURF FOIL: FLY HIGHER AND LIGHTER
If you are not crazy about big sails and boards, come to Tarifa Spin Out and try windsurf foiling on light wind days.
With good technique and the right sail, you won't need much more than 5 knots of wind to enjoy yourself. This way, you’ll spend many more days on the water and fewer days stuck at the beach "complaining" about the wind. And because you’ll be able to practice in almost any weather condition, your progression will be very fast.
You can forget about the "potato field" effect on choppy days (the chop, chop, chop…) and just enjoy the freedom of flying.
At the Olympics, windsurf foil has even taken over from RS:X - which it will replace from Paris 2024 onwards - thanks to the spectacle it offers to the public.
Moreover, if you learn to windsurf foil, the transfer to wing foiling is perfect... it's almost a “2-for-1” offer!
FIRST STEPS IN WINDSURF FOILING
A prerequisite to starting this sport is that you know how to glide with a harness and both feet in the foot straps. However, on the first contact with windsurf foiling you won’t wear a harness
It’s much easier if you’re used to wearing a waist harness, as the boom is usually placed higher than in conventional windsurfing.
As always, you’ll have to adapt the sail to the wind, but you don't start with a 9 or 8-metre sail like the ones used at competitions. A smaller sail (up to 6.5) is perfect to learn how the foil works. Also, as you won't use as much energy with a smaller sail, you’ll be able to practice for many more hours.
Flying itself isn’t difficult if you’ve mastered gliding in windsurfing. But something very different is to control the flight. So that you don't make common mistakes and know how to avoid them (which means minimizing falls, which are very common... and can be painful) we’re at your disposal at Tarifa Spin Out with the best material and the best instructors, as always.
WING FOIL: THE LAST BORN OF THE FAMILY (OR ALMOST)
Surely many think that the wing is an invention of the last few years. However, this idea is not entirely new either.
Back in the 1980s, Jim Drake designed a sail that was held with the hands without being connected to the board. But the technology at that time did not allow a satisfactory development of the device, which never worked as it should in terms of speed and stability. Attempts were in vain and the idea was abandoned, or at least shelved for the time being.
Today, however, the wing foil has reached near-optimal performance and research aims at improving it constantly. It’s undoubtedly one of the disciplines that attract the most attention, both for those who already sail in other modalities and want a complement for light wind days, as well as for those who are approaching a water sport for the first time.
In just a couple of years on the market, it has earned its place on the beach and is now one of the family!
FIRST STEPS IN WING FOILING
To avoid the risks associated with wing foiling, the first steps should be taken on a board without a foil - ideally an entry-level windsurfing board or a paddle surf with a daggerboard - so that you can concentrate on learning how to handle the wing until you can control it safely.
If you are a windsurfer, the transfer of how to handle a sail will surely be of great help to you and will lead to an easier and faster learning process. But the fact that you start without a foil board makes this sport perfectly suitable even for those who have never tried a water sport before and are eager to try one for the first time.
You won't need many lessons before you can start practising on your own, if you wish, by renting the equipment. But in this particular discipline, don’t self-teach yourself - unless you’re an expert windsurf foiler, in which case a couple of tips might be enough.
If you want to learn wing foiling this summer, come to Tarifa Spin Out. WE ARE WAITING FOR YOU!
...THE QUESTION TO THE ORACLE...
Will windsurf foiling and wing foiling replace windsurfing?
The obvious advantages are the small size of the equipment and, in the case of the wing foil, the easier transport and assembly. And the fact that you can sail and plane in very light winds with light equipment, without the need for huge boards and sails.
But what happens with strong winds, and what about freestyle and wave windsurfing? The adrenaline rush of the Tricktionary manoeuvres, technically and physically complex and yet executed with perfect harmony, as if the riders and the sails would dance together; the unique sensation of taking off from the water using a wave as a ramp direction sky... they are extraordinary and not to be missed.
At Tarifa Spin Out we already have at your disposal a wide range of windsurf foil and wing foil equipment, both for learning and for practice...AND WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO COME AND TRY THEM!
But all of them are no substitutes, but rather complement windsurfing, which we will continue to support with strong conviction, as it always provides unique emotions.
COME AND FLY WITH US!
"I fly! Zorbas! I can fly! - he squawked euphorically from the vastness of the grey sky... Yes, on the edge of the void she understood the most important thing - meowed Zorbas. Oh yeah? And what did she understand? - asked the human. That ONLY THE ONE WHO DARES TO FLY, FLIES.
(L. Sepúlveda, The story of a seagull and the cat who taught her to fly) - & Spin Out Team