Wingfoiling is great, but it’s also a problem for your equipment. Who hasn’t already torn his canvas? It is therefore important to know how to maintain your equipment, but also how to repair it in the best possible way to keep it for longer.
Maintaining and protecting your wingfoil equipment
The first thing to think about is whether or not you should flush your foil. This will depend.
If your foil is made of full carbon, you will not have to do this. This is because the material does not corrode or oxidise. Otherwise, you will have to rinse your material thoroughly to avoid these problems.
If you notice algae or hydrocarbons on your foil, regardless of its composition, you should still rinse it.
Are you wondering whether it is better to dismantle your foil for storage? The answer is: not necessarily. The answer is: not necessarily. You will need to check the tightness of the wing, especially for new equipment.
To store your foil properly, use a cover. These protect your equipment in the best possible way. To store your wing in its bag, you should unscrew the valve so that the air can escape. You will then have to roll one ear to the centre flange and then repeat the process with the other ear.
Once you know these basics, you can also add some actions to better maintain your equipment and especially your sail. Always remember to dry it after your session. How do you do this? Simple, leave it inflated. If this is not possible, avoid hanging your sail by the handle. This will damage the central coil which is likely to twist on itself. This will be a problem when you want to reinflate the wing.
Repairing your wingfoil
As mentioned, practising will almost certainly damage your equipment. You will either have to take it to a professional for repair or do it yourself.
Your wing may break. It may be a small tear or it may be more extensive, but in any case, it should not be left as is. If you have a tear, you can use a patch and reinforce it with a seam.
If you have a leak, the first thing you should do is check where the problem is coming from. If it’s coming from a hose or a pipe, you have no choice. You will have to replace it. If the leak is due to a hole (likewise with a hernia or a tear), you will have to use a patch that you fix with a bladder adhesive. In the case of a bladder with several holes, there is no need to bother with multiple repairs. It is better to change it.
If you are faced with a faulty valve, you should first remove the damaged part. Clean the surfaces with alcohol and then reattach the valve using soft PVC glue. To reinforce the repair, you can apply a self-adhesive valve before replacing your bladder. Be careful not to twist it during the operation.
If it is your handles that have come off, you will have to replace them. The repair will be useless.
You can also make some repairs to the board. These problems may be due to a too strong impact or a collision with an obstacle. You can then fill the hole with resin and fibre cloth (glass or carbon). If it is the insert that has been damaged, it is better to take it to a professional for an optimal repair.
As for the foil, it too may need some repair. It may be scratches, cracks or impact damage. You will need to use resin if the problem is significant. If the crack is small or superficial, you should use very fine grit sandpaper (600 to 1000 and even 2000). The result will be smoother.
If you are not sure whether to repair your wingfoil equipment yourself or have it repaired, you can ask your instructor or the experts at the KGG School for advice. We will be happy to take a look at your board or sail and show you the best solutions so that you can continue your activity.