Wing foiling has changed the dynamics of surfing as it offers exceptional flexibility in terms of launch locations due to the potential of light wind wing foiling. Wing foiling cost is also low and less gear is required as compared to kite wing foiling or windsurfing. Let’s take a look at one of the renowned windsurfers in the world.
Stefan Spiessberger is acclaimed as one of the best windsurfers in Austria. He started practicing during his school days when he would travel on a bike carrying all his gear on his back to Lake Traunsee in Upper Austria. After he became relatively fluent in kite surfing, he moved to Egypt to polish his skills.
He became Austrian champion in 2009 and thereafter went on to make it to the national team and subsequently to the international team of prestigious brand North Kiteboarding. Stefan has earned a name for himself by winning scores of prominent national and international kite surfing awards. Here are some glimpses of the interview of the accomplished kite surfers in the world as to what wing foiling has to offer.
How did Stefan start Wing foiling?
During summers in Austria, he would spend much time at lakes. As wing foiling can be practiced even in low winds so wind speed would no longer keep him from engaging in the sport.
What did Stefan use to do before turning to kite surfing?
Stefan said, around 10 years ago i.e. before coming into Kite surfing he used to windsurf. Windsurfing is relatively easier and you get tuned to waterboarding and handling the wing. It gives you much-needed confidence before plunging into a more demanding water sport.
Is wing foiling difficult to learn?
According to Stefan, it's quite easy to learn wing foiling these days owing to the rich wing foiling community, wing foiling discussion forums, low wing foiling prices, options of renting wing foiling equipment, and also used wing foils sales with wing foiling guides.
He said it was the combination of windsurfing and kite wing foiling that did the job for him as he got accustomed to surfing fairly effortlessly. Wing foiling can turn out to be an enormous workout if one goes for physically demanding moves but if you choose not to put much effort then it’s not an excessive workout.
What’s the difference between wing foiling and freestyle?
Kiteboarding cannot be compared to winging straightaway. Although some of the kiting moves can be replicated in winging, wing foiling is an entirely new sport and offers brand-new possibilities.
What pushed you to explore high alpine lakes?
The summer of 2020 was quite different. The whole world was facing unprecedented lockdowns so traveling to potential spots was out of the question. We could not go out of Austria and started to deliberate over available options and the highest Alpine lakes in the country caught our attention. This exceptional idea struck us as quite promising and we embarked upon the exciting journey.
Stefan and Max both had to take their full wing foil gear as they wished to session simultaneously. We got to the first lake after strenuous hiking of 3 hours only to discover that there could be no wind as the lake was surrounded by sky-high mountains. The second lake was a further 1.5 hours hike.
Anticipating low winds, we had brought larger foils and wings which enabled us to the session even in low winds of 8-10 knots. The beauty of wing foiling is that you can have a reasonable session even in low winds. This adventure was quite different from our previous ventures as we were going to surf in a lake high up in the mountains. Planning, hiking, and executing the plan were exciting and unprecedented fun. However, we were quite uncertain about the wind speed, and figuring out a suitable lake proved to be difficult.
What’s going to be your next adventure?
We are looking for top spots for wing foiling. Once we figure out the suitable locations we would have sessions there.
What took Stefan to the glory of the Austrian championship?
Performers presented some of the finest moves that supplemented the fun of the championship. I engaged in a couple of 360-degree moves which distinguished me from the rest of the competitors.
What sorts of moves are trendy in wing foiling?
It is fascinating to see people coming up with their creativity. Frontflips and backflips are growing in popularity. Freestyle winging is set to become increasingly interesting. Let’s see what the future of wing foiling holds to amaze us. Wing foiling discussions are rife with new variations.
What’s your recommendation for people interested in winging?
Wing foiling is a must-try sport. It is super easy to grasp and can be practiced even in low wind conditions without looking for the best spots for wing foiling. Want information about how to start wing foiling? There are wing foiling forums that also have valuable information. Wing boarding schools also offer training for beginners.