What are the weather conditions for wing foil sailing?

Before sailing, it is important to check the weather conditions and observe the spot. So we will give you some guidelines to observe a spot. Feel free to consult our complete guide to learn wing foil .


Which wind direction to start wing foiling?

A beginner will prefer conditions with a headwind, also called sea wind. Indeed by drifting, the practitioner will naturally return to the beach.

The onshore wind is reserved for experienced riders who know how to ride upwind. Indeed, the wind will take you offshore and it will be much more complicated to get back on board.

At the beginning of navigation, for beginners, favour small tacks. This allows you to adjust your equipment but also to anticipate its drift and analyze its position. If we manage to stay on a small tack, a beam, it means that if we go further we should be able to go upwind. So to avoid surprises, start with small edges.


Regular wind/irregular wind?

First, we can observe the wind direction and its regularity. Indeed, on a body of water, depending on the surrounding landscape (mountains, buildings), the strength of the wind can vary. A “blank” spot will allow to have a regular wind in space. This is ideal because you don’t have to worry about your position on the water. A “crowded” spot can lead to areas of slope. Lhe wind will be irregular in space. This can be read on the water with light and dark areas. It is better to go for dark areas, where there is wind. And inevitably, we will try to avoid the clear zones, zones of calm. An irregular wind is more complex and will require observation of the water. You will have to turn around, observe, turn back and look for the dark areas. This requires a more advanced level.


How strong is the wind?

The force of the wind can be observed on the water with the formation of small sheep: the foam. When you start to see little sheep appearing, it means that there is about 10 knots of wind (18 km/h). Of course, the more sheep you see, the stronger the wind. Ideally, you should start with 12 – 14 knots minimum, which allows you to balance with the force generated in the wing.


Predict the direction of drift

The direction of the wind will also give us the direction of drift. Indeed, once on the water, you drift in the direction of the wind. To give you an image, it is a large conveyor belt on which we will unroll from the top to the bottom. The stronger the wind, the faster the belt goes, and the less wind, the slower the belt goes.

Knowing the direction allows you to anticipate the drift, we talk about safety margin: I know that I may end up far away so I take a small safety margin. That is to say, you have to walk with the wind (go up to the top of the mat) and, when you drift, you will fall back on your starting point.