WingFoiling at QMSC
As this new and exciting water sport continues to gain popularity, it is essential that we constantly observe this activity at QMSC and provide feedback to prioritise safety to ensure a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone.
If you're considering starting wingfoiling or you’re a regular wingfoiler, here are some of our safety tips;
Wingfoiling Safety tips
Equipment Check: Before hitting the water, always inspect your equipment for any signs of damage or wear. Ensure that your wing, foil, board, and leash are in good condition and functioning properly. A routine equipment check will reduce the risk of accidents caused by equipment failure or foils falling apart.
Choose Suitable Conditions: Be mindful of weather and water conditions when planning your wingfoiling session. Begin with calm waters and light winds, gradually progressing to stronger winds as you gain experience. Always check the weather forecast and wind conditions to ensure they are within your skill level. Knowing the wind direction is important, at QM offshore winds (Northerly) will push you away from the shore which can be a challenge for beginners to get back upwind to the clubhouse. If in any doubt please ask at reception for the Duty Officer to discuss your plan.
Safety Gear: Prioritise safety by wearing appropriate gear. A well-fitted personal flotation device (PFD) or a buoyancy aid and the wearing of a wetsuit is required, a ‘shorty’ or 'long-john' wetsuit can be worn in the summer months. Full body wetsuits and buoyancy aids can be hired from the club. Wearing a helmet and impact vest is highly recommended, as they provide additional protection. Don't forget to wear a leash, which will keep you connected to your board.
The Wing Blind Spot: Most wings at the moment do not have a window for the foiler to see through. Wingers must also be extra vigilant for other water users considering this blind spot. You must look under your wing, and all around you, before you perform a manoeuvre or change of direction and ensure the space you are heading into is clear.
Learn the Basics: If you're new to wingfoiling, consider taking lessons from a qualified instructor. Learning the basics, including wing handling, body position, and board control, will help you build a strong foundation and minimize the risk of accidents. Practice in a controlled environment until you feel confident before venturing into more challenging conditions. At QM we have resident pro-coach Simon Winkey and team for lessons and advice on purchasing the right kit, and the right kit is extremely important when you're staring out.
Awareness and Right of Way with other craft: Maintain situational awareness at all times. Always be mindful of other water users, such as windsurfers and sailors and give them plenty of space. Understand and adhere to the right of way rules, know your port and starboard, https://www.rya.org.uk/racing/rules/learn-the-rules. If you’re Jumping, then please jump well clear of all other craft. And always maintain a safe distance from all craft in case you wipe out and your foil leash becomes fully extended.
Awareness of QM activities and Safety Boats: QMSC is a large venue and there can be many activities on the water taking place at the same time. All activities will be listed on the daily information board to review and please do ask a team member if you want more information or have any questions. The activities will likely involve instructors in powerboats and safety teams in powerboats, please be conscious when sailing the powerboats will be focused on their activities and positioned in the best place to provide cover for the activity. Be aware, keep well clear and ensure you leave enough space to tack, gybe or fall off without any impact on these other activities.
Respect Local Regulations: Familiarize yourself with local rules at QM including the safety policy, the byelaws and QM Respect. There are specific restrictions or designated areas for sailing and wingfoiling. On each visit check the club’s daily information board before going afloat and the on water and off water times.
Stay Hydrated and Protect from the Sun: Wingfoiling can be physically demanding, so ensure you stay hydrated by have water easily accessible on shore. There is a drinking water fountain next to the café. Apply sunscreen generously to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays. Wearing a hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing is also recommended.
Continued Learning: Wingfoiling is a sport that constantly evolves. Keep learning and improving your skills through practice and by seeking advice from experienced wingfoilers. Attend workshops, read articles, and watch tutorials to stay up-to-date with the latest techniques and safety recommendations. It’s worth reaching out to resident our pro-coach Simon Winkey and lookout for the group coaching and talks offered throughout the year
Remember, safety should always be your top priority when participating in any water sport, including wingfoiling. By following these guidelines, you can enhance your own safety and contribute to a positive and responsible wingfoiling community.
We have a fast-building community and anyone is welcome to join our Whatsapp group to share knowledge, experiences, training and learn more about sailing at QM. See the office and they will connect you.
Stay safe, have fun, and enjoy the exhilarating world of wingfoiling!