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Find the Perfect Wing Foil Board for Your Skill Level
Enjoying any sport or new hobby is only possible when you are on the right kit for you and your skill level. If the board you go out on is too small in volume for your size, then you will find it hard to balance and may spend most of your time in the water or on your knees! The same goes for something too large in volume for your weight and/ or skill level; as you get better at winging, you will want to test your abilities and go for a small board as the one you are using may be sluggish and limiting your fun and progress in the sport!
How to differentiate between foil boards suitable for beginners, intermediate, and advanced riders?
Wing foil boards come in a wide range of sizes, shapes and volumes so that the board range is tailored to the needs of a variety of customers in one style. These sizes provide a different amount of float, but also as the boards get shorter they become lighter and easier to manoeuvre - suitable for those more advanced riders looking to get some jumps or tricks in on the foil!
Beginners will look for a board that is around 30-40L above their rider weight (for example if you are 80kg you would go for a board ranging 110-120L, if you are 100kg you would choose a 140L board). We would suggest going +30L your weight if you have previous experience and are choosing a board to last for some fast progression, and +40L if you have spent too much time on the water and not expecting such fast progression. Added volume to your weight provides ample float and will allow you to stand on the board and balance with little to no speed. You will find it easier to stand and pick up speed on a board like this to make learning you get up on the foil a more enjoyable experience.
More intermediate wing foilers will go for a board only 15L above their rider weight ( an 80kg rider will use a 95L board, and a 100kg rider will try a 115-120L). Having a board that floats just slightly more than your weight will still allow you to float on the board, but you will feel that it is a lot more pumpable and nimble due to the smaller dimensions. This smaller board will make getting up onto the foil a lot easier and faster, you just have to have a little more balance!
Advanced riders will be on boards that look very different to the ones you first start out on. The boards they use will be a lot smaller, shorter and thinner, with a bit more of a tucked in tail too and sometimes in the nose area as well. The volume of these boards would be around 15L smaller than the riders’ weight and the board will be submerged for the rider to get onto it. The rider will use this board in higher winds as the board is better for using in hard carves and big jumps. You will not be able to stand on it without a strong pull in the wing and good forward speed. This board will be a lot faster and is ideal for getting into the air!
What other features should you consider? (construction)
As a beginner, you don’t need to focus too much on the construction of the board, as the main thing to consider is the volume. That being said, you do want a board that is durable and not going to crack or break if you hit the water hard! Many boards that are suitable for beginners are made of glass fibre and wood so they are stiff and not too heavy.
With progression in wing foiling, many riders are after speedy, stiff and lightweight board as they want a board capable of jumping, early lift, quick gybing and not a board that is dragging in the water / wind under your feet. As such, intermediate and advanced riders may upgrade or look for a board that has more of a carbon lay-up in the construction so it is lighter and has improved performance, these also come at a higher price point.
Our most popular beginner wing boards –
For more progressive intermediate riders –
Advanced riders –
How to test and demo different wing foil boards before making a purchase?
If you can’t decide on what size foil board to go for, I would definitely suggest chatting to your local or preferred watersports shop about it as they could provide some insightful knowledge based on your skill and experience.
If you are a complete beginner or progressing in the sport and want to buy your first board, we would suggest booking in a lesson with a wing school and trying out what they have available there. They will likely put you on a big volume board first to make learning nice and easy, and then could switch you out to smaller ones to test how you get on. Trying different boards on a lesson may help eliminate certain sizes that felt too comfortable or too tricky!
Even if you have your own kit and are stuck on what size to downgrade to, there are a couple of ways you can try out some kit before you buy. Some shops, like ours, try and part-exchange kit when possible, and as such it is always worth a call to see if a shop has anything second hand or on demo to try. Furthermore, demo days with the leading brands in the industry are popping up all over the country at weekends and we would definitely recommend you visiting some of those if you can to try any of the current kit or to chat to the reps with their expert knowledge.
If there aren’t any demo days near you or when you are free, we would suggest contacting some shops to get in contact with those wing brands as they could organise sorting out a demo board from their fleet being sent to your local shop for you to use. We do this regularly if you provide enough of a timeframe to liase with the brand and sort logistics!
An image of our demo day down at Sandbanks this July below!
Take a look at our wide range of boards here - Wing Foil Boards
If you have any other questions or want to try out some boards, give us a call on 01202 700503, email firstname.lastname@example.org,uk or pop in store to see us!