THE BEGINNING OF WINGFOIL
The first images that created the buzz appeared in March 2018.
Flash Austin, world star of kitesurfing in the early 2000s, posts videos on You Tube where he flyes over the water, towed by a home made hand held wing in Kanaha/Hawaii. Inspired by the origins of this concept, he made this prototype from pieces of fabric of an old kite, assembled with fiber tubes.
The board, a stand up paddle equipped with a hydrofoil, allows him to fly over the water and to complete a series of turns without loosing any speed.
“I was with an idea from a vivid dream. I wasn’t really sure how to build it, but I knew I wanted it to be a wing, a real wing that looked and flexed like a wing that you hold in your hands.” It was what you would call “proof of concept”. It was the first video truly demonstrating that a “handheld wing and foil” worked, and worked quite well. It was like a missing piece of the puzzle had been finally put in place” he explained.
May 2019, almost a year later, a kitesurf brand launches its first wing model on the market.
A more modern, compact wing with an inflatable structure inspired from kitesurfing. The brand, which had proposed this concept (unsuccessfully) at a distributor meeting a year earlier, then launched an important marketing campaign.
Short videos and photos invaded the web. “Wingsurfing” is here and the new discipline is boosted by the booming foil effect.
Even if foiling has been around for more than 10 years, Flash Austin and his prototype impacted the development of this first modern wing on the market. Wingsurf – and more specifically Wingfoil – will burst into the world of boardsports as of summer 2019.
Today, two years after the buzz launched by Flash flying over the water on a foilboard with a “handmade wing” in his hands, there are already no less than thirty brands offering inflatable Wingsurf wings, and more than forty foil brands!