Jumping the Wingfoilboard

Question: How do you jump with wing?? Ok let me be more specific, I have many questions… Riders who know how to jump : how did you learn or practice? Should I first learn to jump with kitefoil, or is it easier with wing? One foot strap on the front of the board or two straps?

Short Answer(s): Learn to jump on kitefoil first (i did). Tail-first landings are best. Start small. Two footstraps are best for jumping. Make sure any wings are not sharp, blunten them if necessary. Wear wetsuits etc for protection from bumps and scrapes. You can jump/land a wingfoil with one front footstrap, but I prefer two. Small jumps of maybe a foot or two at first. eventually you can land nose-first as well. Start at an upwind angle, but on higher jumps, turn the board a little downwind in the air, and land “slightly” downwind for a smoother landing.

Footstraps: If you learned to wingfoil without footstraps, that is best because now you know your preferred foot positions. In general you will want to add the straps to the exact same positions where your feet go, but later you may want to move the straps backward slightly. Hopefully the board you have already has inserts for adding footstraps. However many wingboards tend to have insert positions copied from wingsurf strap positions. In general wingboard footstraps will be fairly close to the board’s centerlne. getting the strap positions placed correctly laterally is essential for any foilboard.  If necessary, you can have a board-maker/repairer add more footstrap inserts to almost any wingboard.

Footstrap Use: Yes there is an increased risk of ankle injury when using footstraps, but to minimize risk you must set the straps up correctly. Not too loose or too tight. The problems happen if one foot slips out prematurely (midair or when landing), or when the board “jack-knifes” with your feet still in the straps.  Once you start using footstraps on any foilboard (kite-foil or wing-foil) you will quickly become familiar with these situations.

Freewing Wingsurfing Wings.
You can use a single foot-hook or strap on the front.

Foot-hooks: If you have weak ankles or want to ease into it, I recommend using foot hooks first, they are much safer for your ankles. The trade off is that foot-hooks are not as secure as straps, and your feet may slip out more often, but when that happens you can get out of them much more easily.

Dragonfly Wingsurfing Wings
In mid air, I raise my heel-side to catch air under the board, but I must flatten out the board before landing.

Landing Method: it is best to land flat. By “flat” I mean laterally.

  • Do not have the board tipping toward one side or the other.
  • Keep your weight above it and land on top of it.
  • If the foil is angled sideways too much the board will jack-knife (= bad).
  • Land on top of the foil, albeit slightly on the back wing.

This is essential for smaller jumps. On larger jumps with more forward speed, you can angle the upwind rail downward slightly to compensate for the forward force of the landing. For sure, you never want to land with the downwind rail lower than the upwind rail. 

Dragonfly Wingsurfing Wings
In bigger jumps the board will tend to turn downwind by itself, It can cause you to be out of position and crash on landing. To compensate for this, point the board into the wind mid jump, and the natural rotation will turn the board downwind to a good landing angle by the time you land.