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5m Wing Test 2021 / SUPboarder PRO Head to Head

In the first SUPboarder Pro Tests for 2021 we’re going to be testing the newest accessory for any SUPer wanting to increase their water time… 5m Wings…to access this head to head test of an amazing 13 wings, sign up to SUPboarder PRO.

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GOWERPRO
GOWERPRO
1 month ago

Well done boys ..pro testers

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  GOWERPRO

Thanks for the comments guys.

ciaranmoore
ciaranmoore
1 month ago

Brilliant test Reuben and well done to the whole team! I lost patience waiting on the test… and bought a 6m Airush/Starboard wing about a month ago and have had such good fun in all sorts of conditions. In my limited experience of a few session with one wing, I definitely agree with everything you said in the comments about that particular wing. One of the most amazing things for me, coming from a Windsurf background, is the massive wind range these wings have! I’m now considering a smaller wing and was thinking about a 4m Airush/Starboard Freewing. Based on… Read more »

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  ciaranmoore

Hey Ciaran. Sorry it took so long but glad you made the right choice with the wing. Size wise you are bang on, a 4m would work really well along side your 6m. And like you said the wind range is crazy. These two wings should have you covered for on the wind strengths you will want to go out in. You could get some epic down wind swell surfing on the loch at yours. Happy winging!

Mike Birt
Mike Birt
1 month ago
Reply to  Reuben Ellis

I have the 4 and 6 too – as a windsport I’m blown away by the windrange of wingsurfing – and the freewing too.

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Birt

Hey Mike
Yeah, it’s crazy how much wind you can use these wings in. Quick to pump up too!
Good to hear you are enjoying the Airush.

jeroensurf@gmail.com
jeroensurf@gmail.com
1 month ago

Wel worth the wait!
Thanx for the good work.

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago

Thanks for the feedback.

Kent Wright
Kent Wright
1 month ago

I can’t seem to access this wing comparison.
I have signed up and am logged in but keep getting the sign up to supboarderpro to access message

Kent Wright
Kent Wright
1 month ago
Reply to  Will Rogers

Managed to get access now.
Great review, cheers for that.
I have had 3.5 and 5 F-Ones for a year and I am still happy with them as I mainly downwind and waveride but happy to hear my upcoming purchase of a 6 Smik sounds justified

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  Kent Wright

Glad you enjoyed it Kent.

Bjoern Lauschke
Bjoern Lauschke
1 month ago

Great test! First of its kind. Only missing the Slinwing v2. Perhaps you could add it later if you can get a hold on it. Thanks!

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago

Yes this would of completed the test.

Julian Dorey
Julian Dorey
1 month ago
Reply to  Reuben Ellis

And the Duotone Unit

jonnyhSL
jonnyhSL
1 month ago

Great review Team!!!
Coming from the isup world though .. i just dont understand these such high prices.
I can see where the money goes in isup’s , with all the tech of drop stitch and heat welding etc etc.
but can’t seem to relate that to a £800+ wing.
i understand all the R&D and stuff … but they’re just coming with such a heavy price tag 🙁

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  jonnyhSL

We hear you Jonny. The Prices do vary from brand to brand and there are definitely cheaper price point wings are coming onto the market now. It’s the same with kite surfing, prices vary but there definitely seems to be quite a lot of complexity in designing and making a wing that works well. There will always be cheaper price points and more expensive price points. The only thing I will say comparing wings to inflatable paddleboards is that can be a lot less design work going into an iSUP because they are very much constricted by using a drop… Read more »

Fraser
Fraser
1 month ago

Great review!

IMO an all rounder category for intermediate/advanced riders would be great if you only wanted one do-it-all wing.

On the contrary, maybe a follow up video with recommendations if you are considering two wings, eg power/pumping for low wind, other factors for high wind.

And on pumping- getting up on foil is one of the hardest things to do as a total beginner. Lots of pumping power helpful when inefficient and learning … but that’s missing from getting started category…

Cheers!

Last edited 1 month ago by Fraser
Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  Fraser

Hey Fraser, Thanks for your comments and suggestions. Reg pumping as a beginner. Philip Seu hights the same comment. We found in our experience from teaching beginners that they are not at the stage of learning how to pump with the wing. They just use the wing to slowly pull themselves back onto the foil. So the getting started award and categories does not include pumping. With the power category also most beginners found it harder to control and use more powerful wings when they first start. But if a certain rider thinks they need more power then they can… Read more »

Fraser
Fraser
1 month ago
Reply to  Reuben Ellis

Thanks for the response! I think the key thing here is that without pumping power (and bad technique) it’s really hard to get on foil in lower-moderate winds as a beginner. I started with a 5m f-one and pumped until I fell over from exaustion while other riders were getting up on smaller wings and smaller foils easily. I swapped wings once and a 6m powerful ozone wasp had noticeably more pull! Looking back, it was the 17kts + days that got my foiling for the first time because there was enough wind to compensate for my lousy technique. A… Read more »

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  Fraser

Yeah I got you… We have had some great feedback from readers about how to make the test better for next year. The hardest thing now is keeping the time dowm
Happy winging Reuben

Philip Seu
Philip Seu
1 month ago

Very well done overall. I I like how you explained your rating criteria in detail and the numerical scoring as well as objective date such as weights and dimensions. One criticism is with your concept of giving a category award because the criteria used are too narrow. For example, everyone knows that one of the biggest challenges for a beginner is getting on foil yet your “Getting Started” award does not consider power (static or pumping) and neither does your “Wave Riding” category. What good is all that other stuff such as ease of turning over if you cannot foil… Read more »

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  Philip Seu

Hi Philip. Glad you enjoyed the test. Reg, Award categories, we did think long and hard about what categories to put into the awards. And like I said in Frasers comment below about the getting started award. We found in our experience from teaching beginners that they are not at the stage of learning how to pump with the wing. They just use the wing to slowly pull themselves up onto the foil. So the getting started award and categories does not include pumping. With the power category also most beginners found it harder to control and use more powerful… Read more »

Philip Seu
Philip Seu
1 month ago
Reply to  Reuben Ellis

Again, you did a very comprehensive, labor intensive test and produced great information that will help consumers make decisions. However, I have been thinking more about your methodology of the Discipline Scores and I really feel you made a pretty big mistake in the way you came up with these category winners. Your response above is reasonable but the “headlines” I see online are things like “my wing won or came in second in ….” It is misleading because the power of the wing was not a factor in 2 out of the 3 Discipline Scores. I little thought experiment… Read more »

Reuben Ellis
30 days ago
Reply to  Philip Seu

Hey Philip, Thanks for your comment and i like how you have highlighted your point. We will defo take you points up with the team and make sure the test improves into the future. I do understand what you are saying. There are so many things to consider when doing a test like this. But as ever we want to improving things into the future for sure. Do you want to be in charge of data and testing criteria next year? I can only imagine how many wings we will have!

Philip Seu
Philip Seu
30 days ago
Reply to  Reuben Ellis

Reuben, I am excited about what you are doing because this is by far the most serious tests of wings out there. You might find it helpful to get more diverse opinions on your approach to next year’s test. Let me know if I can help.

Reuben Ellis
18 days ago
Reply to  Philip Seu

Thanks Philip. Yes we are looking to always make out tests better. Where are you based?

Hum3
Hum3
1 month ago

Fantastic work guys. Really valuable insight. My comments would be: – your testing shows that price does not necessarily give you a better product. I know you didn’t go into pricing but clearly there are some brands who can deliver a great product at great value. – the F1 is STILL near the top of the pile and there haven’t been any leaps made to surpass it, YET! A shame you couldn’t get a couple of the newer / soon to be released models, but I’m sure you’ll slot them into the table once you get a chance. I’m very… Read more »

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  Hum3

Hi Christian. Thanks for adding your feedback and comments. You have some good points in there. Yeah the F-one could do with an update but it’s still so good in the surf. Trying to time this test at the right time was an issue. It was a shame that we could get the new OZONE too. But so many buyers wanted this test out months ago we couldn’t wait any longer. As I said in this video there are so many other wings out there, some brands just could make wings in time for the test and some brands didn’t… Read more »

Peter Piet
Peter Piet
1 month ago

Great test! Happy to pay you a month’s worth of subscription 🙂 Besides the obvious (c’mon Slingshot!), and maybe I just missed it my 1st time watching; Is there a real difference between the wings concerning the width of the windrange? Seems there’s a small difference in lower end (either more power of better pumpability), but are the top ends comparable or do some wings have noticably broarder ranges? What would your real world guess for the windrange of the 5m wings be? Funny thing about this new sport is that after one answer mulptiple new questions arise, but would… Read more »

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Piet

Hey Peter Good question. I would say that a 5m wind range for me would be 9-25knts. But Im quite happy to use many wings powered right up…bigger jumps! When it comes to keeping control in the high winds just have a look at our De power category. It incorporates a few other things like going into manoeuvers but it gives you a pretty good idea about how we felt the wings handled the higher winds. Most of the wings were pretty comfortable. But the Duotone is the one wing that can get a little bit awkward in the high… Read more »

Peter Piet
Peter Piet
1 month ago
Reply to  Reuben Ellis

Thanks for your reply.
I currently own a WASP 4m, but that limits my riding chances significantly because I need around 16 knots to get going, 20 to have fun. On inland lakes that windstrength is rare, at our North Sea coast it usualy means you have to deal with breaking waves/shorebreak (in knee tot bellydeep water) and currents. Not ideal to get the hang of it… :-).

Keep up the good work!

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Piet

Hey Peter I agree launching in surf in marginal conditions can be really hard work.

ICSurf
ICSurf
1 month ago

Congrats, you Kernow testers knock it out of the park!!! Great review and a really great insight into wings. I own 3 wings by 3 different brands to use in very different circumstances. I think as you correctly point out what’s good for one person isn’t necessarily going to be best fit for someone else. Beginner, wave rider, freeriding etc.. I don’t know how you test this but I’d like to know if a 5m or a 5.4m is actually the correct area. I feel some brands maybe passing off a slightly larger wings as a smaller wing and thus… Read more »

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  ICSurf

He he, only got through about 4 Pasties if I remember rightly. Glad you enjoyed the test. Thanks for your kind words. Like you said riders are all so different and trying to match them to the right wing isn’t always easy. Having more awards is easier to do this. But after last years feedback from readers wanting less awards. We kept it at 3 this year. Reg area. We did talk about this, but decided not to include it in this test, also hard to manage accurately. I think you are right though and thats why the feel of… Read more »

ICSurf
ICSurf
1 month ago
Reply to  Reuben Ellis

I was lucky enough to test a few wings before buying. The 3 I settled on..

6.4m Slingshot slingwing v2. This is for very light wind. Its fantastic and really powerful low end.

A takoon 4m which is very light but most importantly has the smallest wingspan of any 4m wing. This is for strong wind and for teaching my kids.

The 5m Fone is my general use wing and learning to go in waves and using depowered downwind.

I’d definitely test before buying as it’s a very personal preference.. In saying that I could have fun with any wing!!!

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  ICSurf

Thanks Ian. You have a good selection of wings there. Let us know how your kids are getting on with it. I’m sure others would like to find out about that.

RobCee
RobCee
1 month ago

Great test guys. The range of experience within the team and local conditions mean each wing is put through a series of useful tests.
I have an air rush/ starboard wing and agree your assessment.
Probably a good thing to not discuss price… so many variables there depending on country, time of year and, for the UK, post Brexit currency rates!
Loved the outtakes BTW.
Thanks again and all the best for 2021.

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  RobCee

Thanks for your positive comments Rob. Price wise it’s always a hard thing. Because like you say. Prices can be so different.

Gerhard Kessel
Gerhard Kessel
1 month ago

I’m dizzy, and that’s a huge plus 🙂 excellent job!!!

How about GONG wings?
What about Wings for lakes with changing directions plus low wind?

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  Gerhard Kessel

Hey Gerhard Thanks for the comments. Gong didn’t want to to be involved with the test. We have heard mix things about the GONG wing. Most seam to find it ok and good value but we have heard of some breaking early in use. I will try and get some more feedback from Gong owners here… TBH When it came to using your wings in gusty and lighter wind conditions we tested all the wings in a few locations and one of the locations is directly off the front of where we are based which gives us gusty conditions, so… Read more »

Julian Dorey
Julian Dorey
1 month ago

Great review, well structured and a lot of info packed in. I started on an Echo and have just gone to the Ensis 5.2 thinking of the Unit 4m as a quiver partner. The Echo was great, a bit of a flip flopper in bigger wind and heavy/sinky when maneuvering in/close to the water. But it was so good to use as as an ex windsurfer – totally boomTastic. Ensis? not sure yet but it has the long handle design so close to the Echo but not as grabbable, super easy close to the water when reloading and good power.… Read more »

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  Julian Dorey

Thanks for your feedback Julian. Glad you are loving the winging.

Andrewfriend
Andrewfriend
1 month ago

great test, shame the gong guys didn’t send anything over… one question I had is how these wings stack up compared to last years? by the looks of it some havent changed – the ozone and fone? but others are different – duotone naish etc. has there been much development, and how does for instance a 2019 duotone wing stack up against all of these ones? thanks!

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrewfriend

Good question. I still personally really like the original duotone. But the newer wing definitely has had some big improvements and it feels more comfortable in a wider range of wind conditions. Talking about the F-one it just goes to show how well designed that wing was in the first place. I feel if it had a few extra handles it would’ve taken the top spot in the surf this year. Unfortunately the new ozone wasn’t available for our test because it’s out in March. And Gong were a no show! As a summary of the new wings compare to… Read more »

David Keeley
David Keeley
1 month ago

Well done, good read.
Be interesting if the review contrasted the likely more comparable Armstrong 4.5m (rather than 5.5m), as I think an oversize wing is a liability most most other categories.

Last edited 1 month ago by David Keeley
Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  David Keeley

Hey David, Thanks for your comment. We did discuss this at length. We decided the 5.5 would fit better as many of the other wings in the test where 5.2 /5.3m so plus 5m in size and only had one PPC wing smaller than 5m.
But we have a 4.5 Armstrong here now so we will give it a go and answer any questions about it. Thanks again for the feedback, please keep it coming.

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