This summer, I’ve been using the 4 and the 5m Airush freewing. These are solid chunky wings with some surprises up their sleeve. They are medium to low aspect wings with a not so large wingspan that makes whipping and flipping them around a breeze while doing more advanced maneuvers. The graphics are basic and clean with a mature look that I think are kind of cool in its own right. The windows are quite large and they sit really far forward on the wing.
Windows are not all that useful to me personally, but among all the wings that have incorporated them, I’ve found the shape and placement of these to be the most functional.
They are large and they extend down. When riding, they are in a good position if you need to glance downwind.
On the inside top of the wing, you’ll see there is a solid luffing handle. Pretty standard. Moving down, we;ve got a unique leash attachment on a pigtail and a swivel with a cover. This is useful if you are doing a lot of spinning. You can adjust the length of the leash just a little with the pigtail as well.
The inflation system is a standard boston valve, but the cap covering the valve has some strategic holes that allows air to get out while emptying the wing yet it keeps sand from getting in. It also keeps the cover from closing and preventing the air from escaping while wrapping up. Something us kiters have dealt with for a long time.
There are some y straps used to support the leading edge. On most wings, this is something I enjoy and use often. However, no so much on this wing. This is because they are shorter and more forward to the leading edge. The wing is also far more balanced to the back of the wing. I find that I am using the back handles more on this wing to maintain a better body position.
It is a nice transition point in various maneuvers or transitions so it is still a nice feature to have!
The Handles themselves are good stiffness and size. You can get two hands on each of them most of the time unless you are wearing gloves or have extra large hands. I do have larger hands myself and they do fit well. I find most of the time, I am using the second in and last handle for maximum efficiency on this wing. In stronger winds, I do move forward on the wing.
You’ll see in the video that I am using a harness line. This does not come stock with the wing but there are some solid attachment points for this feature. These are robust and sewn into the boom using nylon straps just like the handles. The placement is well thought out and balanced if you are riding hooked in.
The structure is what sets this wing apart. The boom is huge and rigid. This transfers the energy from the wing into your hands. The leading edge is also quite large. This helps create a lot of response and power in this wing. For perspective, I would say that this wing does not have as much riding grunt as some of the others. However, due to the rigidity and shape, it pumps so well that you get a wing that works well for high winds and is able to pump power into the foil during those lighter wind days or moments. I find after a couple pumps, it's right there with the wings that have more low end power. This is something that makes this wing really special in my opinion. It almost mirrors the concept we see in kiteboarding with more maneuverable kites, that take a bit of work to get low end power yet accessible in higher wind scenarios.
The trailing edge is reinforced to reduce flapping and there is a ton of tension in the canopy. It’s not to tight where you lose the natural curve but its tight enough that pumping can generate a lot of power into this wing. The back panel between the boom and wing, helps create proper airflow to generate more lift. This is a common feature on second generation wings and something I appreciate.
On to the point of low end, this pump power has allowed me to use the 4 while others are on 5m wings. You can really make it work if you are willing to learn how to pump well. A few good pumps and you're ripping. The top end is phenomenal on this wing. In terms of feel, the shape is awesome. The 5 really feels like a 4 while working it. The construction is industry standard and frankly Airush has killed it. Two big thumbs up!