With the birth of a new sport, often comes the need to structure the practice: supervision by qualified coaches, competitions, accredited schools, training… But how is all this organized? To find out, we turned our gaze to a country that seems to have made a successful transition to a well-managed wingfoil and where our sport is developing at high speed: Australia. Australia has its own National Wing Committee, a branch of the Kiteboarding Australia Association, which are linked with the BKSA (British Kitesports Association), the GWA and IWSA. In short, a real network intended to promote, develop, structure wingfoiling, whether through training, schools but also competitions. To find out more, we called on Anna Ambroziak, who is a wingfoil coach in her own King Wing school but also Director of Safety, Education & Accreditation within Kiteboard Australia and member of the National Wing Committee. But Anna is also a rider like you and me, so we took the opportunity to also ask her about her favorite spots and her SUNOVA Aviator board, which is very popular in Australia!
Hello Anna! We discovered while preparing this interview that you are a person really involved in the development of wingfoil in Australia! Can you give us a quick resume and tell us about your background?
Hi TotalWing Team, thanks for reaching out! I’m Anna, original from Poland, currently living in Perth, Western Australia. I have a background in sailing and marketing. I competed in the Olympic class 470 for Polish National Team. When my sailing career ended, I fell in love with windsurfing and wave sailing. Prior to covid, I came to Australia chasing the waves and the wind! Fast-forward to March 2023 – here I am after 3 years in Australia and loving it! 🙈😅 In Poland, I was running a marketing agency in Warsaw, focused on business and strategies. During my studies, I worked as a sailing coach and examiner.
How is the wingfoil community in Australia?
Winging or wing dinging is what the Aussies calls wingfoiling here, is taking off!
The wingfoiling community is growing fast. Here in Perth, the conditions over summer are epic for wing foiling. Wingfoil has become a social catch-up after work or during weekends. I’m stoked to see many more ladies on wings and foiling! Past kiters, windsurfers, surfers or even participants without any watersport backgrounds are really keen to try wingfoiling.
Personally, what are your favorite spots?
Western Australia is blessed to have the best conditions in the world.
From October to the end of March we have a stable sea breeze with a constant wind and coastline with plenty of waves spots. I really enjoy wave riding, gliding wing is just sensational. Recently I landed my first air rotation which was totally unexpected to be honest! Now I’m looking into progressing my jumping skills.
My favorite spots for wavesailing are Gnaraloo and Margaret River. An awesome location for wingfoiling is Exmouth and Corronation Beach, in Geraldton. I especially like my local spots where I instruct: Woodman Point and JBSC in Perth.
Australia is one of the few countries to have a National Wing Committee, which (if I’m not mistaken) depends on Kiteboarding Australia, which is itself associated with the GWA. Can you explain to us what it consists of ?
We established a National Wing Committee 2 years ago under Kiteboarding Australia. We don’t have a separate Wing Association, however Wingfoil discipline is recognized as an independent sport under KA. Yes, we are associated with GWA and IWSA. I would love to organize first GWA/GKA event in Australia under our Nationals in 2024. Let’s see how it goes.
You are Director of Safety, Education & Accreditation within Kiteboarding Australia, what is your role and your missions?
My role is to develop the disciplines of wingfoil and kiteboarding in Australia. I am responsible for the training programs, curriculum and school accreditations. I also recently became a wingfoil examiner and trainer, so I will deliver the instructor courses. My goal AND mission is to create a junior program and organize more events dedicated solely to women, including progression clinics next year.
Kiteboarding Australia has an international collaboration with the BKSA (British Kitesports Association), especially in the training of instructors, can you tell us about it?
We have long-term relationship with BKSA. These good practices allow us to share knowledge and build joint curriculum projects. Based on our agreement, Australian instructors can teach in the UK and British in Australia. We as KA and BKSA myself from KA and Andy Gratwick from BKSA working on some International project but can’t share the details yet. Stay tuned !
You are yourself an instructor in your own King Wing center! What do you offer in your school?
KING WING Foil Centre is one of the first Wingfoil centre in Australia fully dedicated to foil and wing, we are the only one in WA. We offer lessons for all levels 1on1, 2on1, groups, clinics and advance coaching. Our center has friendly and experienced staff.
To offer quality instruction and to be a leader in the industry is my goal. We also offer social wing meetings, fun races and involve the local community.
You ride a SUNOVA foil board, a very Australian brand! Can you tell us which model you have and in which dimensions?
Correct ! SUNOVA boards are popular here. My board is a prototype made by SUNOVA designer Marcus Tardrew.
Model Aviator 4’7, volume 46L, this is my favorite board right now and works well with Lift Foils I am currently riding. For next season I will be looking for some custom board, a bit shorter so hope we can design something nice for myself.
In which discipline do you use this board ?
I use this board to all disciplines, board works really well for waves, freestyle and race.
Can you give us feedback on this board?
Board is light, glide easy and take off fast. I really appreciate maneuverability on waves.
Finally, what are your next wingfoil rendezvous? Whether as a competitor or coach or even in organizing events …
I would say rider first hehe, trainer and examiner to be serious. International judging is the area on my list I would like to explore in nearly future. In 2024, I will be organizing Australian Wingfoil Championships under Kiteboarding Australia in WA. I will not run away from organizing competitions and events. 😅🚀
Thank you Anna for your answers and long live wingfoil in Australia!