With the introduction of an updated A-Wing, I'm sure many of you are eager to understand what the difference between the new and older A-Wing are. I was in the fortunate position to have had some water time with the new A-Wing ahead of the release. I have been out with the new 4.5, one session with 12-14 knots on the 5'5 80 liter board and one session with the 4'5 33 liter board in 15-20 knots.
In this post I will share my experiences. Being a big fan of the v1 A-Wing you might find my findings a bit less objective.
The second generation feels more as a evolution instead of a revolution. Do not get me wrong, I really think this is a good thing! The A-Wing stands out in terms of power and stiffness. This allows to ride a smaller wing as most and it really helps with deep water starts.
The new A-Wing has a tighter canopy. It's difficult to capture the difference in a photo, but I have tried. It might be subtle, but the difference is noticeable. The tighter canopy makes the wing feel more direct. Pumping translates into power and forward motion even quicker. I was amazed how quick I could get the wing flying. It feels if the low end range has been extended with another few knots. This is very welcome, especially in deep water starts. I enjoy riding small boards a lot, and I will always be looking at the smallest board I can get away with given the conditions.
When the A-Wing was introduced I wasn't a big fan of the windows. Feedback at that time is that most companies got it wrong. Much has been said about the material that Armstrong uses, and I have grown to be fan of them. Having a wing without windows now feels awkward. Naturally again I was skeptical on any changes. "Why would we need additional windows in the back". But, having used the wing I can say from experience that the new back windows are really good. They are at exactly the right place. They are at eyesight and allow you to have a very broad field of view.
The front windows have been made a big smaller, also to allow for the new X-ply material.
Another significant improvement that I like a lot is the front handle. i thought the the front handle on the V1 was fine, but if you feel the front handle of the V2, you'll love it. It is way more sturdy. This translates into a very direct feel of the wing when flying down wind. You can steer it much better with your hand/wrist as the front handle does not flex.
Another improvement is more targeted towards safely. The leach attachment has been improved to handle big loads, especially when you get tumbled in waves. This spreads the load.
Last, but not least, the leash. You might not think it is an important accessory, but I think it is very important. I wasn't a big fan of the leash of the V1 leash, so I normally used a bungy leash. What drove me crazy is that it got really tangled up after each turn (I can easily go out for a few hours). The leash of the V2 really is a lot better. It is a bungy leash, with a swivel. This is exactly what I was looking for!
The new A-Wing is also available in new sizes. I am very enthusiastic about the 2.5. Initially I started wingfoiling to have a light wind option next to my other sports. However, quite quickly I find myself out with the wing in very strong wind. The 3.5 was not small enough to cope with these conditions. The new 2.5 is a really great addition to the line! Can wait to have nuclear winds to try it out! A larger size also has been added. The 6.5 will get you flying in very light conditions, even if you are a bit heavier.
If you have any questions or comments after reading this blog, please reach out. For those in the Netherlands, the new A-Wing is available to try. They are also on stock if you want to order one. With the introduction of the new A-Wing there is a special deal on the remaining V1. Benefit from this special price if you are interested.