The Wingy Thingy Pyramid

When Kai Lenny broke the internet with his video winging on a mere chip of a foilboard, the world bowed down and hailed the “King of Wing” and also started building their own volcano for wanting to learn this crazy new sport.
Kai Lenny breaking the internet.

In building out our instructional program for Wing Surfing, we created the “Wingy Thingy Pyramid”. Each level is its own category of wing surfing, with the degree of difficulty increasing as you go left to right. Not only does the pyramid show the correct path to shredding like Kai, it also makes it attainable, because you can’t hijack Kai’s gear and shred on day #1.

Lastly, the Wingy Thingy Pyramid also shows us all the different applications of these new inflatable wings, that can be used by riders of ALL abilities, on land, water, snow and ice.

Level 3: Non Foiling

Level 3 of the Wingy Thingy Pyramid consists of pairing your wing with non foiling activities that can usually be successfully ridden the first day. These include skateboards, large SUPs, skis, snowboards, canoes, kayaks, etc. For the purpose of our pyramid, we chose skateboarding as the easiest of the three, and snowboarding as the hardest.

Using your wing with any of these craft, gets you to the enjoyment level the fastest, and also allows you to learn wing handling without being up to your eyeballs in water (like if you tried to session Kai’s chip on session #1).

Wing Surfing in the Watermen's Retreat Foil Garden.

Level 2: Foiling with more flotation

Level 2 includes boards that lift out of the water on foil, but have added flotation compared to what Kai rides. The easiest of these two are the new generation short/wide SUP foilboards with powerful, high lift foils. With these boards, you can get started by kneeling, and then work your way to standing, and then foiling.

The problem is, you can’t go from “Zero to Hero” in a day, a week or even a month. So it’s best to break it down into achievable goals, that are also FUN on their own.

Matt Nuzzo, trusting the process.

Your next challenge is using a prone surfing foilboard, meaning one you’d use to paddle into a wave on. These are typically 4’6 up to 6’0, and will require a deep water water-start to get up onto them. This is where you will feel the added benefits of going smaller with your board and only using the lift of the wing.


Level 1: Micro Chip Foilboard

This is where you can get your Kai’ on! After you’ve mastered wing handling with Level 3, and deep water water-starts with Level 2, it’s time to advance to a micro chip foilboard similar to what Kai rides. What exactly does micro chip mean? Basically it’s a board so small, it’s volume is negligible, only offering a place to stand and ride, but minimizing all the drawbacks of added volume, size and windage you feel on the larger boards. It’s small boards like these, paired with his wizard like skills, that allow Kai to pull of the crazy stuff he does.

Hopefully the Wingy Thingy Pyramid exposes all the fun sessions you can have “winging” varied craft on your way to shredding like Kai. Have fun with it at every level, it’s a blast!

To book a Private or Semi-Private Lesson with a REAL coach click HERE.

If you have questions about the Wingy Thingy or want to know which one is right for you, call a REAL Pro at 252.987.6000 or email us at

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