Where to Wing Foil: From Lakes to Seas
Wingfoiling boasts a myriad of enticing qualities that riders find irresistible, but versatility when it comes to choosing your foiling location is undoubtedly one of its best charms. Unlike other water sports, wing foiling doesn’t rely on the whims of elusive waves or finicky wind patterns. With the right gear at your disposal, you are granted the power to conquer almost any body of water that captures your fancy. This remarkable adaptability makes wing foiling an especially appealing pursuit for those residing inland, and away from the coastline.
Choosing the best location and conditions to start your wing foiling discovery is vital to ensuring you have the smoothest and easiest introduction to the sport. When hunting for your perfect spot, it is important to pay close attention to wind strength, wind direction, swell size and water depth.
As you become more skilled in your wing foiling journey, you will be able to ride in a wider range of locations and conditions. However, as a novice, we recommend starting at a location with flat water that is free of obstacles. This will allow you to master all the basics and fundamentals of the sport. Locations that are choppy and have waves are not ideal for learning, as they will make your learning experience difficult and unbalanced. But don’t worry, as you progress, you will be able to conquer both the lake and the waves!
When venturing out on the water, you need to assess whether the wind conditions are suitable for your wing foiling ability. Although it may seem like you need strong wind, entering the water in these conditions can present challenges in maintaining control over your board and wing. Likewise, wind conditions that are too light can impede your ability to attain sufficient speed for liftoff. An ideal wind strength for learning to wing foil falls within the range of 15 to 20 knots (28 to 38 kilometers per hour).
It is also vital to consider the wind direction, especially when wing foiling at sea. Beginners should approach offshore winds with caution due to the difficulty of returning to the shore without complete mastery of wing foiling. Onshore winds pose their own set of challenges for those learning to wing foil, as they constantly push you toward the shore and into shallower waters. The most favorable wind direction for novice wing foilers is cross-shore wind, which blows parallel to the shoreline. Cross-shore winds allow foilers to move both upwind and downwind with ease. This wind direction provides a stable and controlled environment for learning and practicing wing foiling techniques, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable experience on the water.
Even with ideal weather and water conditions, wing foiling can take some practice to get used to. To make your learning process safer, we always recommend examining the location and ensuring, either through your own research or talking to other riders, that your chosen location is deep enough for a foil and free of any obstacles or debris.
Ocean vs. Lake?
As with any option, wing foiling on both the ocean and a lake has its pros and cons. Still bodies of water often offer a smoother ride making it ideal for a wing foiling discoverer. However, you may find being on the coast offers you better wind conditions. Many European countries are landlocked, and so riders in those areas often rely on the stunning lakes in order to get out on the water; such as our team riders Balz Müller and Eva Nora Wyss from Switzerland, who are lucky enough to have Lake Biel as their local spot. But, if you are lucky enough to live by the coast, like our Brazilian team rider Edvan de Souza, then you could be blessed with warmer waters; but may also have to wait for smaller swell days.
At ENSIS, we couldn’t pick a favourite, which is why our gear is built for all foiling conditions and all riding levels. We pride ourselves on creating wing foiling equipment that is built to provide the most fun and smoothest ride, without compromising on safety, quality, and aesthetics. Everything from our boards to our helmets are designed and built to a professional standard. This is why our ENSIS team riders, who are at the top of their game, swear by our equipment.
We recently caught up with team rider Dionys Mollard, from France, to ask them about their wing foiling journey.
When did you start wing foiling and what made you want to start?
I started wingfoiling ago 2 years. Watching Balz Muller pushing this sport to the limit, inspired me to start wingfoiling.
What are your home spot conditions like, and what are your ideal conditions?
My home spot is at Leucate and the conditions are flat with strong tramontane winds. My favorite conditions are small waves and strong 20-25 knots winds.
What is your go-to ENSIS set-up, what do you love most about the setup?
What advice would you give someone who is about to start their wing foiling discovery?
Get familiar with the wing while on land, and get suitable equipment for the water, I also recommend taking lessons with knowable riders and schools.
If you’re interested in learning more about ENSIS products, or even just wing foiling in general, we have built an incredible community that would be more than happy to help. We often put on demo days across Europe, where we have experts and equipment available for you to learn more about the sport. Our demo days page is regularly updated, so we recommend you keep an eye out for one near you. In the meantime, if you have any questions we would be more than happy to help. Please feel free to visit our store locator to find a store near you. Alternatively, please don’t hesitate to get in contact and one of our team will reach out to you.