WIND WING REVIEWS

 WIND WING REVIEWS

Words by Dominic Hoskyns

DIMENSIONS:

Gong Wing Plus 7m Width: 4m approx Depth: 2.3m approx
Duotone Echo 7m Width: 4.1m Depth: 2.2m
Duotone Unit 5m Width: 3.5m Depth 2.03m
Naish s25 5.3m Width: 3.1m Depth: 1.97m
Takuma Wing Ride v1 4m Width: 2.9m Depth: 1.71m

Gong Wing Plus 7m:
The measurements of the Gong are approximate because the leading edge exploded which
meant I couldn’t measure it inflated like the other wings.
Fairly flat profile – only a very slight dihedral shape to the leading edge.
PRO’S:
 Quality materials but a question mark over build quality compared to other brands.
 Windows.
 Good quality handles - medium sized, oval shaped, webbing covered and fairly stiff.
 3 handles on the leading edge makes it easier to turn over on the water.
 Easy to handle, well balanced, smooth power delivery, good power range, especially it’s
low end.
CON’S:
 Windows present but visibility is impaired due to split window panels on each side and
the large diameter centre strut.
 Thick window material prone to creasing & damage when folded (esp. in cold climates).
 The wing feels heavy even in flight – drops during transitions and needs to be
consciously held up or risk wingtips touching the water.
 Does not move as easily into position through transitions as the Duotone wings.
Duotone Echo 7m:
The Echo has a VERY pronounced dihedral shape. Very wide diameter leading edge. Boom in
place of an inflatable centre strut.
PRO’S:
 Excellent build quality. Quality materials and construction.
 Padded section under the leading edge handle – prevents knuckles from being scuffed
when luffing the wing.
 The boom is comfortable and allows for infinite hand positions – makes transitions
super easy, even without looking.
 Easy to fly one handed due to the boom.
 Moves through transitions really smoothly – moves into position effortlessly.
 Pumping is very effective due to the boom, and no centre strut means no scraped
knuckles.
 Very easy to handle in all conditions, very smooth power delivery (absorbs gusts really
well), goes upwind really well, excellent power range, both high and low end.
 Windows give excellent visibility due to there being no inflatable centre strut to get in
the way.
 When holding the front handle to luff the wing, the 7m is very stable.
 Dump valve makes deflating really fast.
CON’S:
 No Kevlar reinforcements on the wingtips.
 Large wingspan (4.1m) might be a problem for those under a certain height.
 Wingtips touch-downs are difficult to recover from.
 Awkward to turn over when on the water – but hey, it’s a big wing!
 Some flapping of the trailing edge of the canopy when in flight.
Duotone Unit 5m:
The Unit has a medium dihedral shape – more than the Naish s25 but not as much as the
Duotone Echo. Fairly wide diameter leading edge. The centre strut is curved.
PRO’S:
 Excellent build quality. Quality materials and construction.
 Very light and very well balanced. Super stable when luffing/holding by the leading edge
handle.
 Padded section under the leading edge handle – prevents knuckles from being scuffed
when luffing the wing.
 Excellent handles – x4 large sized, round, made of a high density foam material (not
covered with webbing) that gives great grip and has excellent comfort – my favourite
handles!
 The handles are VERY well positioned and allow perfectly balanced flight. They feel very
intuitive for taking hold of the new handle in transitions. I never once thought it needed
more handles.
 Moves through transitions really smoothly – moves into position effortlessly.
 Pumps well, very easy to handle in all conditions, very smooth power delivery (absorbs
gusts really well), goes upwind really well, excellent power range - a decent amount of
‘grunt’ (low end) but also handles high power well. No flapping of the canopy
whatsoever when flying.
CON’S:
 No Kevlar reinforcements on the wingtips.
 Windows are fairly small and due to centre strut the visibility wasn’t great, but certainly
better than nothing.
 Because of the curve of the centre strut there is restricted space under the first handle.
 Holding the wing with one hand (by the 2 nd handle) is not easy to control.
 The wider wingspan was more noticeable than the Naish, but despite this, wingtip
touch-downs were not an issue.
Naish s25 5.3m:
The outline shape is a continual curve from wingtip to wingtip, so much so that the wingtips are
not the widest part of the wing. Fairly flat profile – very slight dihedral curve to the leading
edge.
PRO’S:
 Excellent build quality. Quality materials and construction. Excellent compromise of
Kevlar reinforcements vs weight.
 3 handles on the leading edge – makes turning over very easy.
 Large windows give reasonable visibility (but are partly blocked by the centre strut).
 Feels super light when flying.
 The wingtips NEVER felt like they were in danger of touching the water when in flight.
 Can generate decent power through pumping the wing.
 Good upwind flight and good power range. Excellent apparent wind – generates extra
speed when flying.
CON’S:
 Handles are really small (esp. awkward for large hands), flat and the webbing becomes
loose. They are NOT rigid enough to prevent your knuckles from rubbing against the
centre strut when pumping.
 Not the best low end power, although this could be made up for when starting with
vigorous pumping.
 Skittish – moves around a lot during gusts, therefore did not feel as stable as the
Duotone Unit.
 Moves easily into position through transitions, but having lots of small handles meant
that during transitions it was difficult to grab the new handle cleanly without looking.
 I did not feel comfortable flying the Naish with one hand at all.
 Reasonably stable when luffed (holding the handle on the leading edge), but not as
stable as the Duotone Unit.
 Window material prone to creasing & damage when folded (esp. in cold climates).
Takuma Wing Ride 4m (v1):
Takuma are on v3 of their Wing Ride now, so I realise this wing is quite old now, but I included it
as a comparison for the others.
Similar outline shape to the Naish 5.3m – more or less a continual curve from wingtip to
wingtip. Fairly flat profile – minimal dihedral shape. The leading edge does not taper down at
the wingtips as much as the other brands.
PRO’S:
 Quality materials and construction. Very sturdily built, lots of Kevlar reinforcements.
 Good quality handles - medium sized, oval shaped, webbing covered and fairly stiff.
 Easy to handle, smooth power delivery, reasonable power range - very good high end.
 Large windows give reasonable visibility.
CON’S:
 Window material prone to creasing & damage when folded (esp. in cold climates).
 Heavy for its size.
 Not as much power as newer models, especially in it’s low end.
 Does not move as easily into position through transitions as the Duotone wings.

Takuma Wing Ride - Wing Surfing Tips

UPDATE - Wing surfing

So having had a very busy August period, welcomed by 2nd child into the world, been on the water teaching and in the shop 6 days out of 7 , I cant say I've had a lot of time with the Takuma Wind Ride wing or the whole wingsurfing phenomenon.

During the short sessions I have had, I have not ended in the smooth foiling experience I anticipated would occur !

Here are my tips to make you own wing foiling sessions as successful as possible !

ROLL ON WINDY SEPTEMBER!

  1. Use appropriate board - don't get steered into getting a tiny board especially if it's your first time 'winging or foiling'. Board volume 20+litres above your weight in Kg.
  2. Use / purchase the biggest front foil wing for greater lift at slower speed- additional smaller wings can be purchased later.
  3. Avoid gusty conditions.
  4. Don't get 'suckered in' too much on wing size a 4m will do the job if you have thought about point 1 & 2 comprehensively and you are under 85kg, over 90kg go 5 metre.
  5. Try a session  with the wing on an ordinary SUP first.
  6. Know your chosen spot !
  7. Fly the WING ...like a wing , not like a windsurf sail
  8. Top/forward arm straight - back hand use as a pump ...Technique.

If you need any advise on foils or wings please get in touch !

 


Wing surfing

Whatever you choose to call it ...this new version of windsurfing or kitesurfing is set to explode onto the watersports scene.

In simple terms these are hand held wings capable of pulling you on your chosen craft be it a surfboard, SUP or foilboard in the wind.

Inflated via a hand pump these wings of varying sizes (between 2-5m2) depending on which brand you choose, enable the rider to accessibly utililise their existing craft and gain easy entry into the world of windsports. see below a rider using a Stand up paddle board and a inflated 'wind wing'

SIMPLE, SAFE, FUNCTIONAl & FUN

The utilization of a foil board which is a board be it a STAND UP PADDLE board or surfboard with a Hydrofoil attached to the underside allows the rider to use the wind with less resistance on the waters surface as the hydrofoil is far more efficient.

How does it all work ?

The hydrofoil essentially is a aeroplane attached to the bottom of a board allows the board to lift from the waters surface once a certain level of speed has been achieved. Think of a heavy aeroplane as it speeds down the runway buliding momentum before its wings create lift and it leaves the ground. The hydofoil works in the same manor!

 

Why use a wing rather than a sail ?

Freedom of movement and simplicity mean that once you have inflated the wing you can hold the wing into the wind and start to move. Rigging windsurfing and kitesurfing equipment takes time and bigger areas are needed to aid safe set up and launching. The wing wings allow the rider to simply inflate and off they go.

no rigging !

no lines !

no boom !

no bar !

Is it physically demanding ?

These inflated wind wings support themselves in the wind and are very lightweight. The wing is only attached via a simple wrist leash so they can be easily dropped and picked back up.

Some knowledge is wind sports will help and we recommend getting introduced by your local windsurfing or kiteboarding school.

Sound like fun ...We are ready to help you get into WIND WING surfing having plentiful knowledge and experience running a Kitesurfing and foiling school for many years.

I think in essence we're all wanting to feel the power of the wind in our hands regardless of which wing brand we choose ....so i don't see much difference.
The use with a hydrofoil is the main difference and the area which i feel will bring most reward to those that choose to venture into the dark art.

Get in touch for a demo - [email protected] / 07799062447

or Pre book your WING SURFER with us here WIND WING RIDE .

Other brands available via Naish or Duotone - pricing may differ.

Read a recent interview with Ken Winner designer of the Duotone foil wing