Wind and Wing – Day One

Isn’t it always the way? On these spring days when it’s warm enough for a paddle the wind is blowing like stink – and usually in the face as I travel upstream in the Deschutes River. With a string of windy days locally I planned to take my first “on the ground” practice session in a wide grassy area near the river. How did I prep for that practice? It was very easy because Starboard has created a wide repertoire of how-to videos for both wing boarding and wing foiling. Since my wing boarding experience will begin with the 4 in 1 inflatable (what a versatile board) I made sure I checked out the board as well.

Since I have the 2019 Starboard Inflatable 12’6″ x 30″ Touring Deluxe SUP Windsurfer that can be used for both SUP and windsurfing I had some questions about how the mast foot attaches to the mast track in the Wingboard 4 in 1. The two setups were different.

I was fortunate to contact John Rainnie (North American Sales Manager) with my question. John immediately contacted some members of the Starboard Team and he forwarded the prompt answer from Raul Delgado. The images ABOVE clearly show that for the Wingboard 4 in 1  inflatable, you mount the mast base into the mast box by screwing it in directly without the threaded nut. The images show the inflatable board configuration.

Starboard was founded in 1994 by Svein Rasmussen. It all came from the vision of bringing innovation, quality and inspiration to the world of wind and water. Together with riders and partners around the world, Starboard and Tiki strive to be the best in the world and FOR the world. Unboxing my board for the first time, spreading my Freewing AIR V2 out in my living room, I felt pride in having products from a company with such an unwavering commitment to the Ocean and the environment. Even the bags the board and the wings came in were constructed from recycled plastic bottles.

Back to the learning! In the 5 part Wing Basics video series, Starboard’s instructor, Sam Ross, takes you from zero to hero, starting from the beach to gliding on the water. With tried and tested teaching methods and techniques coupled together with clear visuals from Starboard’s on-water team, the learning experience becomes rewarding, simple, and fun.

I began with Lesson 1: Mastering Wing Basics on the Beach. First I watched the video several times at home and learned all the parts of my Freewing AIR V2. Yesterday afternoon I headed to the river and the perfect place to start practicing. The area was clean – there were no rocks or other things that could harm the Freewing. I had the 4M sail and was ready to GO! Sadly, there was little to no wind. Still, it was fun to inflate the wing, remind myself of all the parts, and to loft it in the gentle breeze. I plan to head back for more tomorrow – the wind is promised to be better!

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