WHEN OR HOW DID YOUR WING DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM START, WHO WAS THE LEAD INSTIGATOR IN YOUR BRAND AND DESCRIBE YOUR EARLY EXPERIENCES WITH WINGSURFING DEVELOPMENT?
Back in 2011, kite designer Ken Winner tried an inflatable wing for use with SUPs. According to Ken, it didn’t generate enough excitement for them to develop the concept further, so it was shelved. A few years later, Ralf Grösel took on the idea to design an inflatable sail for windsurfing that became the successful product you know as the iRig. Then in the spring of 2018 Ken Winner saw Flash Austin out on the water riding a SUP hydrofoil board powered by a homemade hand held wing he had built from fiberglass spars and canopy material. Seeing this rigid wing attempt got Ken thinking about making something like that but as an inflatable wing.
WHAT ARE THE KEY DESIGN FEATURES THAT YOU HAVE INTEGRATED INTO YOUR WINGSURFING PRODUCT AND WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF THIS MIX OF DESIGN AND FUNCTION?
Our key design features are our battens, boom, window and fine-tuned leading-edge design. The battens increase the wind range and reduce flutter and drag. The integrated boom stabilizes the profile and offers unlimited hand placements. The window is helpful for seeing where you’re going and is a necessary safety element. All of the elements come together to form the highest performing wing to date that is easy to use and offers safe handling.
HOW DOES YOUR DESIGN HANDLE THE STANDARD ASPECTS OF WINGSURFING PERFORMANCE: RELAUNCH, STABILITY, UPWIND ABILITY AND HOVER-ABILITY?
The unique leading edge and leech design ensure incredible upwind performance while the combination of the boom and battens make the wing very easy to handle offering tremendous stability. The control benefits of the boom also make it easier to lightly hold the wing overhead allowing it to ‘hover’ e.g. it’s not pulling you off the wave and allows you to foil freely.
WHAT APPROACH HAVE YOU TAKEN TO WING SIZING, AND HOW DO YOU RECOMMEND THE VARIOUS SIZED WINGS TO YOUR POTENTIAL BUYERS?
We offer sizes in the 2m to 5m range and recommend sizes according to desired wind range. For 22-35 knots you’ll want the 2m, 20-30 knots the 3m, 14-22 knots the 4m, and for lighter days in the 10-17 knot range the 5m will be the ideal wing size. The boom is also adjustable and should be trimmed appropriately for the wing size and wind speed.
HOW DOES THE WING INTERMIX WITH YOUR CURRENT OFFERING OF FOIL WING AND FOILBOARD DESIGNS AND WHAT WILL BE YOUR FUTURE APPROACH TO BOARD SIZING, VOLUME AND FEATURES?
We recommend pairing the Duotone Foil Wing with the Sky Surf or the Sky SUP and the Aero 1500, 2000, or 2500 foil from Fanatic. Sky Solbach has been working closely with Ken Winner to test and develop our line of foil wing products, which also go hand in hand with the Sky Surf and SUP board range. Moving forward, Sky is working on new size options and optimizing features, particularly for foil wing riding.