KAWA Décollage - TEST: The wingfoil board for Quebec conditions
For 4 years now, wingfoil has been gaining followers across the province and it seems that this sport is indeed here to stay. For those not sure what to think of this new discipline, here are some reasons why wingfoil could be for you:
1) Easy access to spots : When compared to kitesurfing, wingfoiling does not require as much space for entry and exit to the water. The arrival of wingfoil has therefore revived several spots formerly reserved for windsurfers because they were inaccessible to kitesurfers (Hello Laurentian lakes!).
Also, places where the wind is too gusty, inconsistent and/or weak for kitesurfing are generally passable by wingfoil (Again, hello the Laurentians!).
2) Simplicity : Learning to control a wingfoil is much simpler than learning to control a kite.
3) Safety : Forget the tens of meters of lines that get tangled, the constant power of a kite or the boom of a windsurf board that brushes against your head. It is extremely easy to release 100% of the power of a wingfoil.
4) Unique sensations : Having just a simple inflated wing in your hands and being able to ride the swell at full speed is an experience that only wingfoiling can offer. This is mainly why many people have taken the plunge!
THE REALITY OF WINGFOIL IN QUEBEC
Although this new sport offers a multitude of new possibilities in terms of accessibility and wind range, learning it still has its share of challenges.
First, the control of the hydrofoil must be mastered. This can be done behind a boat or through wind sports that we already practice (kitesurfing, windsurfing, etc.). Starting wingfoil when you already have a solid foundation in hydrofoil makes learning much easier.
Secondly, the other major challenge of wingfoiling is generating speed in light winds, which is not lacking here in Quebec. Most people will have no problem presenting their kite to the wind and gaining speed on a windy day. That being said, things get worse when the wind drops below 15 knots.
Being in Quebec, a good part of the wingfoil sessions will take place in a wind range oscillating between 10 and 20 knots. We noticed that beginners often had a hard time getting their hydrofoil into the air consistently in these marginal conditions. Here are the two causes of this problem and what to do to fix it:
1) Lack of experience, technique and physical fitness: Practicing wingfoiling in marginal conditions requires a rider to know how to pump a wing and his board efficiently. The rider will also need to know when to pump and when to conserve energy while waiting for the next gust. Good physical shape will allow him to pump harder and longer. In short, there is no magic, you have to go into the water and spend several hours training! Taking a course is also an option that will greatly accelerate learning.
2) Wrong Equipment: Part of the problem can be solved by simply making sure you have the right equipment. Here are some general tips for each wingfoil component.
- Inflatable Wing: We recommend that beginner riders equip themselves with a first wing that will maximize power in conditions of 10 to 20 knots. We then take the largest size wing that we can lift without it becoming cumbersome for our size. We are talking here from 5m to 8m depending on the size of the person.
- Hydrofoil: The biggest mistake we see on the hydrofoil side is selecting a front wing that is too small. As a general rule, a beginner will need to equip themselves with a wing measuring AT MINIMUM 1700cm square. Other factors such as rider weight, front fender shape, etc. will influence the best option to choose. Call us at 450-671-5650 for more details.
- Board: Once again, we saw many people rushing to buy a board that was too small for their level. More than once we have seen them return to the store to replace their board with one with more volume. As a general rule, you can take this formula to determine the minimum volume of your first board: Rider weight in kilograms + 30L = Minimum volume.
Example: An 80kg rider will take a board with a volume of at least (80 + 30) 110 liters to start.
THE DOWNWIND FOIL BOARD REVOLUTION
An innovation in the world of downwind foiling, a related sport, has made its way to wingfoil and opened the door to new, unexpected possibilities.
Downwind foil boards have evolved so that they maximize hydrofoil speed and takeoff while using as little power as possible. The slender and narrow shape of these boards allows them to glide across the water with unrivaled ease.
As you can see above, we are far from the traditional wing board design.
The advantage of using this new type of board in light wind is that it is now possible to take off on a hydrofoil below 10 knots with a smaller inflatable wing than before.
It was therefore this realization that pushed us to create a board made expressly for Quebec conditions.
THE KAWA TAKEOFF
A project of enthusiasts for the conditions of Quebec
With the expertise of shaper Robert Kulka of KAWA BOARDS, we have developed a light wind wingfoil board model that will allow riders of all weights and levels to expand their wind window as well as maximize their session time on the foil. The DECOLLAGE is available in hybrid construction and 100% carbon construction. Here are the 3 sizes available:
The largest model (6'6" x 26", 126 liters) was specifically designed for beginners and riders over 200 pounds looking for a light wind machine.
The mid model (6'6" x 23.2", 5.8", 114 liters) is ideal for intermediate riders wanting a high performance board in light winds.
The smallest model (6'2" x 20", 94 liters) is aimed at advanced and/or lightweight riders wanting to maximize the maneuverability of a light wind board.
We have had the chance to test each size and we can confirm that the model works exceptionally well. Here's what Alain had to say about the 94L Full Carbon:
“This is probably the best one-board-quiver for riders weighing 80kg and less.
No swing weight (inertia) in turns or when pumping and great maneuverability when surfing the swell. Very impressive for a 6'2'' board. Its width of 20'' gives me the impression of surfing a 65 liter board.
On the takeoff side, it accelerates like no other board I've tried. I am confident that I could manage to get it out of the water in 10 knots.
We have something solid in our hands! »
The color of the boards is customizable.
We have one of each size available for testing.
Call us to order your board in time for spring 2024!