A key step in getting started in Wing Foil and starting to enjoy Wing Foil, take-off is not very complicated but requires the right approach and right equipment, to get in the water with your gear in the easiest way without damaging it.
The first step consist in getting on your knees on the board and getting used to having the wing in your hands (not upside-down) with the handles made for that. Then you try to position the wing above your head so the sides don’t touch the water, and a little further close the nose of the board by putting it in an upwind axis almost neutral. The aim of this step is to learn to control the lift of the wing, its reaction to the gusts, and to find a stable position on the board. Once you are stable and able to control the wing as you want, you can orientate it more on the side to get more lift and make your board go faster.
To go to the second step you need to have accumulated enough speed with the wind. Once the speed reached, you can position your front foot on the center of the board. This allows you to stand up in two steps which is a lot easier.
You can then move on to the third step, this time placing your back foot flat on the foil board allowing you to stand. It is essential to have a good foot placement for a successful launch: the back foot should be centered on the board and ideally located just above the mast of the foil, the front foot should be centered on the board in front of your back foot with a spacing between the feet equivalent to the width of your shoulders. These gaps may differ depending on the size and volume of your foil board.
We advise you to keep the wing relatively above your head in a position close to lift neutrality (first photo on the left) in order not to be unbalanced by the gusts. Then in a second step, bring it down to orient the central boom (or wishbone depending on the model) so that it is almost parallel to the water. You get more lift and the board accelerates.
The fourth stage is the take-off stage. You now have enough speed with your board for the lift of the foil to kick in. To facilitate this, you can perform a light pumping motion by successively lightening your weight on the front leg and then on the back leg to play with the angle of the front wing of the foil and make it more buoyant. When the foil takes off, shift the weight back onto the front leg and hold the wing firmly, staying upright to maximise the wind lift. Repeat this sequence as many times as necessary (sometimes once, sometimes ten…) until you take off.
You are now in flight and the duration of this flight depends on your ability to distribute your weight efficiently between the front and back legs, but above all on the direction / axis of lift you give to your wing so that the wind allows you to keep moving. Transferring the weight to the back leg raises the foil and transferring it back to the front leg lowers the foil. It is important to stay upright and keep your centre of gravity above the foil to avoid falling.