The Wingy Dingy Thingy or whatever the heck you call it is the newest kid on the block that the surf industry is promoting the hell out of. (I am sure it cost under $100 bucks to make one and selling them for $800 plus has something to do with it-chaaa ching! $$$$🤔). I have been asked about a zillion times this year what is my take on it? Everyone who knows me knows that I never sugarcoat nor B.S. anything.
After playing with a wing all summer I now have some experience doing the Wingy Dingy Thingy Thing or “Stringless Kiting” or whatever you want to call it. Let me first say that it’s fun! Anything that gets you on the water is fun in my opinion. The most asked question is “don’t your arms gets tired?”, and my answer is no, not really. I would go out for a 2-3 hr session and my arms never got tired. The wing mostly pulls on your arms lightly in a neutral kind of way. When I first started learning to use it, my back arm would get a little tired from sheeting in while trying to get going. As I got better with the wing, that arm stopped getting tired.
Within a couple of days, I learned to use it and I was flying and gybing on my TopGun Foil Board, which works amazingly for winging. 👍👌 I give the disclaimer that I am also a very experienced foiler and waterman so I would not expect that to be the norm for the average or beginner folk. In fact, If you don’t know how to Foil, windsurf or kitesurf it’s got to be very hard to learn to wing-foil because there is a lot going on. First off, you are tethered to the wing and you are tethered to the board. Many times I would wipe out and come up a tangled mess.😆 Also, foils and Wingys don’t like to come in contact with each other. The foil is basically 4 knives trying to cut the kite up. There is lots of tape holding my Wingy together let me tell you. 😆 Once you get past all that, the Wingy experience is very cool; flying all around back and forth was lots of fun.
One of the appealing things of Wingy to me of course was riding swell (oh and I rode lots of swell with it!).😉 One negative thing I found was the lack of stability in the whole process. It’s hard enough to foil surf alone and then you add a flapping wing throwing you off balance all the time, that sure doesn’t make it easy.😒 When catching swell heading up-wind or side-shore it’s cool to just let the Wingy go neutral and ride the swell up wind. That’s fun stuff! Now if you want to ride a swell downwind, that has the same problem as kite surf foiling. You are now going with the wind matching it’s speed, which means the wing loses it’s lift and falls out of the air. So you literally have to hold the wingy up over your head and try to foil surf at the same time.😣 Not any fun and a very frustrating experience. The only time I could downwind foil surf on the wing was in 25-35kts+ where you had lots of wind keeping that wing in the air. So my conclusion of Wing foiling in the surf is- if you want to leisurely ride some swell upwind it works great, otherwise you need lots of wind to ride downwind. Side off conditions, for the lucky few in this world, are the best for the Wingy. Side off conditions work much better to be able ride a wave any way you want and they are best for keeping the wing flying.👍
“How is ‘Wingy Dingy Thingy’ compared to ‘Windsurf Wave Foiling?’” is the second most frequently asked question I have been asked this year. Both sports actually share the some of the same traits such as using a way smaller power source which makes it so easy on the arms/body (as long as they are paired up with the big surfy glidey foils). I am a bit biased but my conclusion is that Windsurf Wave Foiling wins that debate by a large margin and here is why. WWF is way easier and way way more stable (at least on a TopGun/GoFoil combo). The sail/mast being attached to the board always gives you something to lean on. When flying with the Wing, you need very good balance and two brains because you have to fly two independent things at once (the wing and the foil board…that is a lot going on!). WWF is way more efficient with the sail. I will use .5m to 1m less in sail size compared to Wing size. The smaller the size the more fun it is… that goes with any sport. WWF is way safer because the rig is attached to the board you pretty much always know where the foil is when you wipe out. When you crash while winging, you sometimes have no idea where that board and foil is which can be a bit nerve-wracking. When it comes to Riding swell, WWF is the big winner because you can ride any wave in any direction you want just by flagging out the sail. Winging is limited to upwind riding unless its blowing 30 or is side off (and if it’s blowing 30, I really don’t want to be on a foil). Good clean side off conditions can be where Winging can be on par or maybe even more fun…again that’s if you’re lucky enough to live in such a rare place. Traveling on planes would be much easier with the Wingy dingy Thingy. It packs up in a big backpack (though RRD has made sail kits that do the same now).
Well that pretty much sums up my experience with the wingy dingy thingy so far. I am looking forward to see how this new sport evolves. I expect to see lots of innovation in the next few years. Wingy dingy thingy is in it’s puppy stages. I feel like it’s just like Kiting was in the beginning; it took kiting about 6-8 years for the gear to start to be any fun. Luckily everything evolves faster these days.👍🤙 Remember, this is just my opinion on the subject. As always, with anything in life, give it a try and come up with your own take on it. Some people will love it and some will think it’s stupid. Either way it’s always fun learning new sports and playing with new toys.