An inflatable handheld wing that’s a cross between windsurfing and kitesurfing rigs, the Naish wing-surfer is refreshingly straightforward and can be used to power a wing-foil
First came sailing and surfing, then windsurfing, before kiteboarding, paddleboarding and more recently foiling arrived to light up the watersports market. The trend for 2019 is this Wing-Surfer or wing-foil – an inflatable wing, which is a cross between a kiteboarding sail and a windsurfing rig, but with no strings or rigging needed.
It allows a very simple, pure method for a board rider to harness the wind, be it on a foiling kiteboard or a SUP – just blow it up, grab the handles and go.
The Wing-Surfer was developed by legendary Hawaiian windsurfer Robby Naish and is built like a kiteboarding sail using a Quad-Tex canopy and Teijin Dacron leading edge.
The 4m2 sail inflates quickly to provide enough power for light breeze cruising on a paddleboard or get a wing-foil airborne in mid teen winds. We asked local kitesurf tester Rich Boughton for his thoughts having tested the prototypes in Tarifa:
“What the Naish Wing Surfer offers in spades is pure simplicity and practicality. For seasoned wind sports enthusiasts from both the kite or windsurf disciplines, it’s a refreshingly straightforward affair with a fast learning curve.
“Pump it up, hop on the board, point it downwind and with a quick pump of the sail you’re off and cruising. It feels a little awkward at first, but once you learn how to handle the wing and keep the tip out of the water it becomes plain sailing.
“From a ground-up perspective, anyone who’s competent on a paddleboard could pick this up with basic instruction. You can also rig it exceptionally easily from the back of a yacht (where kites can be downright mischievous).
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“This Wing in particular packs down much smaller than an average sized kitesurf kite and it’s completely soft, without any battens or boom, making it very safe for those first few crashes inevitable in the learning process.
“On a standard SUP, expect to be pottering about and just about making upwind, while on a hydrofoil things inevitably get far more adrenaline fuelled.
“As an activity it’s just in the beginning phases and it could open up locations which have restrictions or a lack of space to kitesurf.”
Prices start from $799.