How to choose between wingfoil and wingsurf lessons ?

Whatever wingfoil school you go with, you’ll probaly do both !

Many wing foiling schools offer the possibility to take either wing surfing lessons or wing foiling lessons. Why do these two possibilities exist and which one should you choose ? The confusion comes from the fact that wing surfing designates the sport as a whole but also a specific aspect of it. It all depends on how technical you want to get.



When it comes to individual board sports happening in the water, surfing is the starting point of everything. For a long time, it wasn’t conceivable to use a sail without a hull. Wind-powered activities were boat sailing activities. However, the power of waves has been used for centuries to propel wooden crafts. Surfing is the oldest water-based board-sport recorded in history.

As all surfers know: windy days aren’t usually good for riding. Waves become bumpy, they don’t break properly, and aren’t very enjoyable to surf anymore. That is until someone had the idea to attach a sail to a surfboard. The riders could now use the dreaded wind to propel their board, maneuver more easily and catch waves without having to even paddle. Windsurfing was born.

Other water-based board-sport ensued, the most popular being kite surfing followed today by wing surfing. Through their names, they all pay homage to the original water-based board sport: surfing.

Kai Lenny at Peahi (Jaws) showing everyone why it’s called wingsurfing / Photo : Aaron Lynton 


With time, all these water-sports evolved and diversified. Each sport gave birth to several related activities that use the same sail as their model but combine it with different types of boards and conditions. Most practitioners usually focus on their favorite one and can take about it for hours. A time came when names had to be invented.

Let’s focus on kite surfing to explain the situation. As for today, the word kite surfing can include all the following related activities: kite surfing, kite boarding, kite foiling, sup kiting, snow kiting, buggy kiting, or sand kiting. Kite surfing is a generic mainstream name that includes all of the upper listed variations.

The same thing goes for wing surfing. At its roots, the word refers to any wind-powered activity using a wing for propulsion. If you want to be more specific, the board has to be somewhat similar to a surfboard. Add a hydrofoil to it and it becomes wingfoiling. Practice it on snow and you might call it snow winging or wing snowboarding.

The wing just started to open a world of possibilities / Photo : Unknown


Wing surfing is older than most people know. The first known prototype appeared in the early ’80s as an alternative to windsurfing. However, the gear was heavy, bulky to handle, and needed a lot of wind to become enjoyable. It’s only recently, due to the technological innovations of kite surfing and the democratization of hydrofoils that it really started appealing to people.

Inflatable technology made sails more compact, more lightweight, and easier to store. Hydrofoils, allowed riders to have fun in much lighter winds than before. Everything finally came together to make wing surfing the next big thing in water sports. But if wing foiling is the most popular version of wing surfing, why do schools still offer wing surfing lessons ?

Hydrofoil really is a game changing invention / Photo : Ozone


Riding a hydrofoil can be challenging. The balance is fickle at first and acquiring it can take quite some time. Well, it’s even harder if you don’t already know how to use the sail properly. Wing surfing lessons are an almost mandatory step toward wing foiling.

During beginner wing surfing lessons, we set you up with a big buoyant board that can float you with good stability. This board stability will allow you to spend time handling the wing and create good muscle memory before you go on to the next step.

You could also practice wing skills on a skateboard but the fall isn’t forgiving at all / Photo : Unkown


Through my wing foiling school, I created a tailored teaching method to help you learn wingfoiling as easily as possible. The goal of this method is to break down complex skills into more accessible motions. Step after step, you will progress efficiently and gain new abilities. Wing surfing lessons is definitely one of those steps and will lead you to learn how to fly a hydrofoil.

Learn to wingfoil and experience the thrill of flying over water. Just book a wing foiling lesson in Portugal with Wingfoil Now and start living this dream I share.


Florian, your teacher at Wingfoil Now.