What is Wing Surfing: Everything You Need to Know


Surfing is one of the best watersports. If you have not tried it yet, you are missing a lot of fun. The thrill of riding big waves is incomparable. It can be an intimidating experience at first, but with enough practice, it won’t take long before you can do it like a pro.

If you have been surfing for quite a while now and you are looking for a way to make it more exciting, why not try wing surfing? It looks like a variety of windsurfing and kitesurfing. It uses a foil board or a stand-up paddleboard. In some cases, people also use surfboards and snowboards. It uses the wind elements to take the sport into a new level, making it more fun.

The History of Wing Surfing

Robby Naish can be credited as the genius behind wing surfing. However, hand-held wings that are believed to have been first used in the 1980s. It was first developed by Tom Magruder drawing his inspiration from seagulls. He invented the Wind Weapon, which is a rigid sail with free rotation on a windsurfing board. It features an aerodynamic control that allows it to fly like an airplane or cruise like a bird.

In the late 2000s, meanwhile, a new design of an inflatable wing was introduced. Unfortunately, given its flaws, it did not make it to the market.

The windsurfing equipment that we know today is popularly called The Wing-Surfer. It is a combination of the design of the kites used for kiteboarding and windsurfing. It has a handheld inflatable wing that the user will hold while riding a board. There are wings from other brands and it is expected that more companies will follow suit. However, the Wing Surfer claims to be the pioneer.

There is another popular wing that is used by those who are interested in trying wing surfing. It is called the Sling Wing. It is also a simple wing that you have to hold on your hand while you ride your board. It also comes with a leash, making sure that the wing stays close to you no matter what.

What Makes Wing Surfing Different?

Compared to windsurfing or kitesurfing, the biggest difference is that with wing surfing, there is no rigging. There is no hardware or strings that will connect the board to the wing. Because there is no rigging or assembly that is required, this is also simpler. Meanwhile, compared to surfing, the main difference is obvious – there is a wing that will propel the movement of the board depending on the direction of the wind.

Is It Easy?

If you want to give it a shot, you are probably wondering if it is easy or not. The good news is that it is easy! Even if you are a novice, this will be effortless to learn. As long as you already know how to surf, you can balance on the board. There is no need to learn the fundamentals of kiteboarding or windsurfing.

What Board Should You Use?

One of the best boards that you can use in wing surfing is a foil board. Also called a hydrofoil board, this is a special kind of a surfboard with a hydrofoil below. It is a popular kind of board that is used in windsurfing. In most cases, these boards can deliver speeds of more than 6 knots. Stand-up paddleboards are also used. You can also use surfboards and snowboards. At the end of the day, it all boils down into personal preferences. More than what is available, you should choose a board that you find to be most comfortable.

Work on Your Upper and Lower Body Strength

Just like when you are surfing, wing surfing requires proper coordination of both the upper and lower bodies. So, you need to exercise to have the strength that you need to stand up on the board and support yourself.

Among others, one of the most important is leg strength. Squats are among the best exercises to build stronger leg muscles, which will allow you to stand on the board properly despite the force from the wave or the wind. In the same way, you have to work on the strength of your arms and shoulders. This way, you will be able to hold the wing properly. If you have weak arms and shoulders, the wing can easily disengage from your hand, especially when it is windy. However, you don’t have to worry that you will lose it since it comes with a leash.

Tips and Tricks

Before we end this short article, allow us to leave you with some tips on how you can do wing surfing successfully:

  • Use the right equipment. There are two important things that you will need – the board and the wing. From its weight and its size, make sure that it suits your needs. Most wings are lightweight, and hence, they will be easy for you to control.
  • Put your head and your eyes into good use. Similar to surfing, you need to look at the direction where you wish to go. This will have a chain reaction and will allow the rest of the body to follow. Keep your chin up and your eyes open, looking at where you wish to bring the board.
  • It is also advisable that you try foil boarding first. This is a lot easier and will prepare you with the fundamental techniques that you need to learn. To make the experience less frustrating, start with foiling.
  • Master the proper position. Do not exert too much pressure on the board. Mind the space in between your foot. The width and opening of the shoulder will also be important. Otherwise, you will easily lose your balance.


If you want the thrill of a new experience, why not try wing surfing? It has more adrenaline rush compared to traditional surfing. It is also different from kiteboarding and windsurfing in the sense that the wing is not attached to the board. There is no string or hardware. You will just hold it firmly with your hands and let the wind take over your board and your body.

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