Skip to content
Wing foiling or is it Wing boarding FAQ - Boardworx

Wing foiling or is it Wing boarding FAQ

The sport of wing foiling or wingboarding. Holding on to an inflatable wing, whilst hydro foiling above the water is a wonderful feeling. We get asked so many questions about this new sport I thought I would try and answer a few of them.


What is the difference between an inflatable wing board or a hard foil board?

  Inflatable wing foil boards are certainly inexpensive, often close to 50% cheaper than there hard wing foil board rivals. They are half the weight, they fold up in to a bag, easy to travel with, but they have a couple of negatives. The inflatable foil board flexes when you are pumping the board and you loose precious energy getting the wing board up on to the plane. The hard wing foil boards have hard rails that let the water release easily away from the board, the soft round rails of an inflatable nearly suck the board back on to the water. The hard glass carbon foil boards are super stiff, so when pumping the board you will transfer more energy in to the hydro foil and your generate more forward speed and lift.


Why do some foil boards cost more than others?

In general it is down to the construction of the foil board. In the Boardworx shop we repair a fair few boards and it becomes very obvious when cutting in to them to repair them, not all wing foil boards are made equal, and the old adage of, you get what you pay for is very true. 


What size wing foil board should I buy?

There is a general rule for getting the right volume board, and this is to look for a board approx. 25 litres more than your body weight in kilo’s. This is a vague rule though as if you are a very accomplished waterman you might want to go closer to your body weight, and if you feel that you want all the easy advantages, go for a board with a lot more volume 40l above your body weight is not silly.

Customers ask what is the disadvantage of getting a foil board with too much volume and there is just one, as you become a lot better and practising more extreme manoeuvre’s a bigger board will be harder for you to do these tricks on. Lighter and smaller boards will come up on the plane faster as long as you have great technique, they jump better turn and spin faster. But it is best to have too much volume than not enough when you are learning.


What size inflatable wing should I buy? And what size hydrofoil front wing should I buy?

For the average 80kg rider it is around the 5m wing.


This will vary a little, if you get a front wing of 2000cm2 plus you might well get up and going a little sooner and if you get a front foil wing below 1500cm2 you might struggle with a lack of power. Most beginners, like the board question, will find getting a slightly bigger wing to hold on to and a slightly bigger front hydrofoil front wing will help them massively at the start of their wing foiling journey.

 We are finding customers who are trying to learn in light winds are struggling, where the more adventurous customers going out in slightly stronger winds are making large strides quickly.

We briefly talked about the hydro foil front wings,  and as discussed the area of the wing will help you get up in lighter or stronger winds depending on what you want to achieve.

Here is a snippet of info I borrowed from the Ensis foil page:

ENSIS PACER 2000 ( this front wing is approx. 2100cm2)
Looking for THE wing foil – here it is

Wing sizes: 2.5 – 6.0 m2
Rider weight: 50 – 100 kg
Wind range: 6 – 35 knots

ENSIS PACER 1700 ( this front wing is approx. 1350cm2)
For light riders and experts

Wing sizes: 2.5 – 6.0 m2
Rider weight:  45 – 65 kg (all round rider)
Rider weight:  65 – 90 kg (race)
Wind range: 12 – 45 knots

EnsisPacer 2000 hydrofoil wing


What does the aspect ratio mean when I look at the specs of the Hydro foil wings?

The aspect Ratio of the front wings is basically telling you if the front wing is long and thin ( high aspect ratio) or if it is a shorter fatter front wing ( low aspect ratio).

A low aspect ratio might be around 3 and a high aspect race wing might be 10.

Below is the information of a Sabfoil 1100 Hydroil front wing. ( or a Ensis 2000 pacer front wing )

As you can see this Sabfoil 11100 with 2100cm2  is a mid-range aspect ratio foil 5.7, so a good combination of early lift and not a slow foil, but not a super-fast race foil. If you aim for a foil with a mid-aspect ratio you will have a foil that you will not grow out of too quickly.

Should I go for a Carbon or Aluminium foil set up?

The likes of Sabfoil (used to be called Moses) make some very light foil set ups but they are usually £200-£300 more than the aluminium set up from the likes of F-one and Duotone The weight difference can often be 50% so 6kg for a carbon set up to 12kg approximately for a aluminium hydrofoil set up. The mast is the really heavy part of a hydrofoil, and this is a part not often hit unless you run across a large mooring line. We are often asked should I be scared of a carbon front wing, and I can vouch for how strong these carbon foils are after I rode mine across a reef in Mauritius, Oups. I was left with some deep scratches, but nothing terminal, and after a fill and a respray all was good. So no do not be scared of getting a carbon set up.

If you want any info please call the shop 01227 276566 or email us on

Previous article What paddle board should I buy and what is the difference?
Next article Winter Wetsuit Stock