And a second point for winter might come up quickly, because the wetsuit functions very well as a layer of protection. Everyone winging or foiling knows that you have some pretty crazy crashes. I’ve had a tough crash myself while kite foiling a few years back so I have huge respect for the foil. Even the crashes on the water itself can be harsh sometimes, so that protective layer all around feels very safe and comfortable so you can push even harder. 2-0 for winter.
It’s looking good for winter, but that ends pretty quickly once you’re cruising around and have zero grip in your hands and on the board. Gloves and booties are extremely limiting in your grip, and quick actions like switching your hands takes more time meaning you might miss the handle or get snagged behind it as you simply don’t have as much responsiveness in your digits. If you’re using footstraps, the same happens with booties. In other words, you’re lacking control in two pretty essential parts, the hands and feet. A point in summer’s favor then.
Talking about lacking control… if you’ve ever been out in near zero degrees, you know that, gloves or not, at some point you’ll no longer feel your fingers. If I can’t even open the valve of my wing, how am I supposed to throw a frontside 360? And if only it stayed at the tingling of the fingers… the entire body is stiff and the wetsuit thick, so there is a significant decrease in flexibility, affecting everything from turns, to tricks, to the harshness of crashes. When the weather is warm your body is more relaxed and therefore everything feels easier and softer, including the water.
So… looks like it’s a tie between summer and winter.
How about a compromise? As winter came to an end in Europe, the weather was softer, and the wetsuit thinner. A sweet little trip to Tarifa also helped in the discovery of perhaps the best weather for winging. Bikini weather on the beach, and the water cold enough to have to wear a wetsuit, ideally a 3/2 or 4/3. No rash, a layer of protection, no gloves or booties, and a warm and functioning body equals the best winging weather, hands down. Solution found, although we might all have to move to the Mediterranean or Cape Town… Neither of which are bad options!
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Coming back to Holland and, although freezing, it almost felt like a breath of fresh air at this point. Thick wetsuit, booties, gloves, cap, so no chance of rash anywhere, while still looking as normal and cool as everyone else out there. One good point for winter!