Cornwall LivingIssue #150

Winging it

And now for something completely different – winging, wing dinging, wing foiling, wing surfing…

There are lots of funky names for this exciting sport. It’s a mix of windsurfing, kitesurfing, paddleboarding and foiling – and it’s a lot of fun! Wind wings were around in the 1990s, but never really caught on – probably due to their heavy and unwieldy construction. Then along came the inflatable wind wing in around 2018 and an amazing new wind sport has emerged. It’s extremely simple and the equipment is really light, so virtually anyone can have a go. You basically hold the wing in your hands above your head and use it like a sail. Starting on a nice, large stable board you can work towards smaller boards and even introduce the hydrofoil and fly above the water.

Stithians Lake, near Redruth, is an accredited Royal Yachting Association wing centre and probably one of the best and safest places to learn or to progress in winging in Cornwall. It’s one of the UK’s windiest inland waterways so it lends itself to winging and you don’t have to worry about tides.

Efoiling, also available at Stithians, is a great way to learn the basics of foiling. This electrically powered surfboard gives you the magical feeling of flying over water. You control the speed via a handheld Bluetooth trigger – once up to speed, the board lifts off the water and flies on the foil alone.

Stithians Lake Activity Centre is open seven days a week for watersports equipment hire, launch and tuition. During the school summer holidays, join a ‘have a go’ sailing or windsurfing session – a great way to try an activity for the first time with friends or family. There are three efoiling sessions every day, with beginner wing surf sessions for adults and juniors also available. Or try your hand at a variety of land and water-based activities on a Multi-Activity Day or Multi-Activity Week. This could be sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and raft building, depending on the weather conditions on the day.

Charity South West Lakes Trust runs two other activity centres in Cornwall where you can hire watersports equipment or launch your own: Tamar Lakes, near Bude and Siblyback Lake, near Liskeard.


South West Lakes Trust