Wing Surfing | Deep Water Foilboard Start

Learning deep water start on the kite wing will allow you to ride your low volume prone foil board.  With foiling, the smaller the board the more maneuverable the foil will be. These starts can be pretty tricky so you should train on a SUP foil to learn how to ride and pump the wing and the foil. Once you can ride both directions, and stay upwind on the SUP with the Wingy Thingy, you can transition to the prone board.

 Step One: Get to deep water and right the wing.

You will need water that is over your head to do a deep water start.  When you sheet in and stand up on the foilboard, you push down and need over your height so you don’t hit bottom. 

Righting the wing is a little harder with the prone board because you are up to your chest in the water. Push the wing to the opposite direction you want to flip it and then swing it and flip it over. Once your wing is righted with the strut and handles on the water, release it so you can get on your board.

Step Two: Stand on your board.

This is one of the trickiest parts of the water start. Push the nose of your board underwater like you are duck diving while you bring your back foot up to the board.  Put your back foot in the foot strap. Having your front leg off the board and extended with your hands on the nose of the board will stabilize your board. When the board is flat, bring your front foot up and put it in the strap. You want to keep the board flat with your knees bent. Spend some time hovering over your board.  Once you add in the wing, things get pretty unstable so you want to be comfortable standing on your board in the water.

Step Three: Sheet in your wing and stand up.

Pull the wing so it is over your head. Grab the lowest handle on the wing, sheet in and point the wing straight up so the strut is almost vertical. Stand up and start pumping the wing. This will start pulling your body and board up and out of the water.

It is important to keep the wing pointing up to try to keep it out of the water. As you pump the wing, the board washes back and forth as it comes to the surface, so foot straps really help to keep the board on your feet.  If you are in a lull, you can push the strut and wingtip down into the water while you wait for the puff. This kind of works like a kickstand to keep you stable until the wing feels powered enough to pump up and on to foil.

Step Four: Pump the board and ride away.

As soon as the board starts to clear the water, start pumping the board while you are pumping the wing.  This is the final push, and if you made it this far, you should be able to get the board on foil and ride away.

Gear Tips:

  • Wing Size: Go one hand wing size up for what you would ride on the SUP.
  • Foil Size: You don’t want a huge foil because getting those giant foils to the surface is pretty tricky.
  • Board Size: You should ride your standard shortboard volume.  You want to have low enough volume that you can sink and stand on the board for the start. The higher the volume board, the harder it is to balance on.
  • Footstraps: This is a must at least for your first few sessions.  It helps a ton to control the board during the hover and when it is washing back and forth as the board comes to the surface.  If you are a ripping surf foiler, you could get by without the straps but it will be harder.
  • Waist Leash: Putting your hand wing on a waist leash will allow you to have both arms free. This is clutch for paddling your board out to deep water or through waves. The wing leash also gets less tangled up when it is around your waist rather than on your wrist.


If you have questions about the wing surfing call a REAL Pro at 252.987.6000 or email us at

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