Gaël Espeche

Florida F-One Technical Representative. Born in South France and living in Miami for the past 22 years. Started sailing on a Hobie cat and windsurf as a child, then moved to Mexico and got into surfing. When I moved to Miami, it was obvious that surfing was not going to happen often unless traveling north! Thus I started kiting and practicing all its variations from twin tip, strapless surfing, foiling, race foil and now Wing foiling!
French-American
I live in Miami Beach and that's where I ride ;-)
37 years old
Wing foiling since October 2019

Gear

F-One

Sponsors

F-One

Sports

KiteSurfSUPWindsurfSurf FoilWing Foil

Questions & Answers

What other water sports do you do and how long?

Any sports that involves something that floats on or above water and move, I do it. ;-) I also do mountain biking (great trails in Florida, impressive for a flat state!) since I am 15 years old. Some paragliding and whitewater waters whenever possible.

What do you like about wing foiling?

It is mostly a free ride sport which needs a decent amount of focus and good coordination. It is a slower and more precision sport and less forgiving than kite foiling. Thus you need to take your time for turns with the swell, know when to engage in waves, control your speed and pump your board while you park your wing. The sensation that you get while dropping in a wave and gliding it while you park your wing is the ultimate bliss!

How did you learn and how long did it take you to wing foil?

It took a few sessions (about 3hrs) to understand how to use the equipment. I was coming from kite foiling, thus the foiling part was already dialed in, I struggled more about the position of the wing and the knee start at the beginning. But nothing is hard with time and dedication! Tip: if you don't wear a wetsuit while learning, some knee pads are a great investment.

What is your favorite gear combination and why?

It would be a F-One 4.2m Swing combined with a Rocket Surf 4'-6" in 33 liters with straps, 85cm carbon mast, 1480cm phantom foil. This setup in good conditions leaves me smiling for hours after a session!

What was your favorite wing surfing session?

Best wing surfing sessions are definitely in Dominican Republic for me. Perfect size waves, not too much reef, blowing on shore. Just perfect and consistent!

What do you want or believe will significantly improve the wing foiling gear?

A variety of foils with different aspect ratio to either improve pumping, speed, increase/decrease lift, wider but shorter boards and wings designed to improve jumps and freestyle!

What tips or recommendations do you have for anyone who wants to start?

Meet local riders and try it!

What is your biggest water sport achievement?

I would say foiling! Not for the difficulty to be able to cruise but the sensation that you get while gliding above water without any noise or disturbance to the surface. It is such a peaceful and addictive feeling.