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People fall into two groups. Those of us that love new things and quickly jump on the bandwagon and those of us that are more stuck in our ways – if it ain’t broke why fix it? So on one hand the explosion of windfoiling can be seen as gimmicky. It is extra stuff to own, new skills to learn and more gear to haul down to the beach. But what if windfoiling actually compliments your windsurfing and means you can get out on the water more often?
But what is windfoiling? Also known as windsurf foiling and windsurf hydro foiling, very simply windfoiling is the
addition of a foil to your board. This means you have a piece of carbon or sometimes aluminium or steel with wings like shark fins attached to the base of your board. Once up to speed the foil lifts you off the surface of the water so you hover around a metre above it.
Without board to water friction the amount of force you need to get moving is vastly reduced meaning it is possible to ride in light to moderate winds. Let’s face it, most windsurfers would sell their grandmother for the joy of light wind planing and blasting around in wind weaker than a poorly made cup of tea. To be fair brands have
reacted to this desire and have come up with super efficient, but large and expensive, windsurfing equipment that allows this. But unless you are royalty your gran is probably not worth as much as these rigs cost!
The hefty price tags and cumbersome practicalities of transporting and using a light wind set up remove half the enjoyment of sailing in lighter winds. And this is where windfoiling comes in. There is no need for big sails or super high performance, wallet busting masts. With a foil you can use standard size rigs in wind strengths you’d usually be calling on the big boys. For example, if it’s 9.2m weather for standard windsurfing then you can get away with a 6m sail and be flying above the chop with a huge smile on your face.
It is worth noting that learning to windfoil is not simple. You should get some instruction and learn in the right conditions – flat water and lighter winds. While windsurf hydro foiling won’t appeal to all windsurfers, those looking for a new challenge or a lower wind alternative will love it.
Here is a list of the best wind foiling holiday location on the Planet. These are locations that have top pf the range wind foiling equipment for rental, great flat water conditions (and deep water) for learning to windfoil, plus great accommodation very close by.
North Portugal, close to the town ot Viana De Castelo is an amazing windfoiling location from May to October. There is a wide range of the very newest JP and Neil Pryde windsurf equipment and a stunning boutique hotel right by the windsurf beach
The quiet small island of Boa Vista is one of the Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic off the West coast of Africa. The windsurf beach is stunning, with a huge golden sandy beach, and cross-off shore wind making the butter flat water – a super easy place to learn to Wind Foil. The windsurf centre has the newest Fanatic and North windsurf equipment, and there is a good range of simple but well-operated accommodation within a short stroll. The wind months are November to March, and one of the very few wind reliable locations within a short flight of Europe during this time.
It really doesn’t get more perfect than this incredible flat water lagoon set in the remotest part of Southern Morocco / Western Sahara province. The destination also has a year-round wind plus a steady 23-27 degrees, so a great spot to escape the searing heat of the European summer. There are two world-class windsurf centers in Dakhla Lagoon, with fantastic bungalow-style accommodation right onsite.
The Canary Island have long been a favourite location for year round windsurfing holidays. the best spot for Wing Foiling is close to the resort of Costa Calma in Southern Fuerteventura. The cross off shore wind makes for super flat water conditions, and there is a good range of accommodations to fit all budgets. The wind here can get pretty strong from July to September so the best time for Wind Foiling is Spring and Autumn.
Soma Bay is the very best windsurf spot in Egypt, and a superb location for Windfoiling. The best windsurf centre, with the newest windsurf equipment, is at the Southern end of the bay, called Abu Soma. There is a great 4* hotel based right next to the windsurf centre (not always easy to find in Egypt), so it makes for a great holidays. the best months are March to October.
See the best windfoiling locations in the world here