null
Wing Surfing Terms That You Should Know

Wing Surfing Terms That You Should Know

Welcome to our “Wing Surfing School” blog and video lesson series. Most of the information in this blog is demonstrated in our complete beginner wing surfing video series (link below).

Please watch all the episodes to assist with understanding the written descriptions for the control of wings and boards. All beginner video lessons were shot in light wind so that the control input movements are exaggerated, and the effects on the board and wing are in slow motion in order to visually understand their relationship.


Understanding True Wind, Head Wind, and Apparent Wind

True Wind, Head Wind, and Apparent Wind

  • True Wind: the wind Mother Nature provides.
  • Head Wind: the wind you create by moving.
  • Apparent Wind: the combination of true and headwinds. They are (usually) more powerful combined, and come at an angle balanced between the two main wind types.

Understanding Roll, Pitch, and Yaw to Fly Your Wing Surfing Wing

Roll, Pitch, and Yaw

  • Roll is left-wing versus right-wing raised or lowered. Roll determines if the wing is lifting above your head or pulling in front of your face more.
  • Pitch is nose versus tail up or down. Pitch controls the amount of power in your wing.
  • Yaw is like a bird on a turntable rotating a little clockwise or counterclockwise. Yaw controls the roll and is adjusted by, in a way, twisting the wing to accommodate apparent wind and directional changes.
  • Neutral is when the nose of the wing is pointed directly into the wind, floating without power in any direction.
  • Roll Controlled by Yaw is the twisting the nose down, and the twisting the nose up. Like the hands of a clock, between 12 and 3 or 12 and 9. You're essentially twisting the wing (door) sideways as if on a merry-go-round. Your arms limit the travel, so it arcs from overhead to nose-diving in the water. Your arms move in opposite directions for aggressive turning and individually for corrections.

Any time the nose is not aligned with the tail, it will either dive or rise. The wing lowers by raising the tail and rises by lifting the nose. The muscles in your arms are more powerful when applying pressure forward and down, especially when the wing is in stronger winds.

Moving the front hand to twist the nose (forward and down) in the direction away from neutral overhead will start the bird to dive down. Moving the backhand to twist the tail, even further forward and down than the nose, will cause the bird to rise.


Pro Tip: if the wing is fighting you, let go of your back hand and raise it with your front overhead. You can recover to a neutral position before trying to regain control with your backhand.


More Wing Surfing Terms for Handling Your Wing

Wing Surfing Terms

  • Sliding Door: the wing (door) can be slid forwards or backward depending on the direction you wish to travel.
  • Slide Forward: extending the wing forwards places power towards the board's nose, and it turns in the direction the wind is going.
  • Slide Back: extending/wrapping the wing back places power on the tail, turning the board up into the wind.
  • Neutral: when your wing is directly pointed into the apparent wind. Since it is not angled left or right, it only provides a gentle lift straight up and gives the rider some leverage to help balance.
  • Forward Handles: holding the handles closer to the nose helps you point upwind by shifting the force to the back of the board.
  • Back Handles: holding handles closer to the tail gives you more power. Because it extends the wing towards the board's nose, the positioning sends you downwind as you place more pressure on the front of the board.
  • Shuffle Forward and Shuffle Back: for foot positions on the board and assists with steering up/downwind. This transfers the power in your wing and your weight to direct the board.
  • Inch Toeside and Inch Heelside: feet are centered on the middle of the board or slightly to the heelside of the centerline. This position assists with the balance and steering of the board.


28th Sep 2021 Erik Gabrielsen

Recent Posts