World's fastest skate sail, 75 mph, 120 km/h. As fast as big Ice Boats. Simple, Light, Compact and Inexpensive! Wing Sailing, as refined as it gets!

Here I sail one of my wings on ice. It hangs on the shoulders and I wear ice skates.  
  Wind is very light, you can hardly feel it in your face, still speed is some 40 km/h, 25 mph, or some 6 times faster than the wind. In strong wind, at top speed, it sails 4 times faster than the wind.

Frontal view. An Ice Wing cockpit is cramped. Generally a thinner wing is faster.

Sail on ice, snow and land. And water?

Breaking News Video: Ice Wing wins One of a Kind race

For sale: Building and sailing instructions. A Wing Sailing article.

The tiny Ice Wing Skate Sail raced big US ice boats. Result?

Four Speed Records to possibly break/establish with an Ice Wing

My fastest Skate Sail Concept
The sailor supports himself on one leg in the lower wing. His body is horizontal in the streamlining. The other leg is horizontally backwards in the streamlining. This way the sailor's body resistance is minimized.
This is the fastest skate sailing concept I can come up with. Fastest because its sail area can be made very small.

Sailing video. Very light wind 4 knots, 2 m/s, note flag movements. 
Still speed is 25 mph, 12m/s, 40 km/h - 6 times faster than the wind! Filmed by skating, panting, person. Note plenty of text with the video. (Video is short: having breakfast, driving to the lake, rigging, waiting for wind, etc. has been cut out.  :)  )

A wing sailor sailing at top speed in a strong wind. He leans to windward to balance the force of the wind. Speed is some 120 km/h, 75 mph.

Ice-Wing Cabriolet, has good performance for its size because the sailor makes no air resistance.
 Rolls into a tubular pack for storage, or transport on the ice when there is no wind.


The sail I had to beat! The then current skate sail in Sweden.

This is the Ice Wing Skate Sail that beat the then current skate sail, picture left.

This is an incredible performance for its size and simplicity. With no restrictions to the design, it is probably the most challenging ice sailing class to design, build and sail.
Ice Wing beats large ice boats in the US. Wins One-of-a-Kind Race.  Click for more 

 It has not yet really been tried on land, with roller skates, on skate board or on a bicycle. Will you be first to beat the land yachts? Using it on water is also a possibility.

The Stand Inside Wing Skate Sail was only the second major Swedish skate sail speed development during the last century, 1900 to 2000

The first development was the "drakseglet", above, 

 with the sailor standing on its leeward side, circa 1910, which superseded the "Parallel trapeze sail", right. 
Parallel trapeze sail

 My Ice Wing Sail, the second development,  right, is some 25% faster than the "drakseglet", far left.
  The great performance is mainly due to the sailor creating no air resistance as he is inside the wing.

Ice Wing Stand inside Skate sail

Second hand ice sailing gear for sale: The first successful wing sail, wing sails, skates, traction kites, hand sail.

This is wing sailing in its most refined form!

It consists only of the bare minimum for sailing - a sail. No: hull, mast, steering or sheeting arrangements....
It is as fast as an ice boat. One can suggest that the ice boats are heavily over-engineered for achieving the same speed performance.
“Simplicity is a great virtue but it requires hard work to achieve it and education to appreciate it.
And to make matters worse: complexity sells better.” ― Edsger W. Dijkstra

Ice Wing's speed performance, even in strong winds, is the same as for big ice boats, like e.g. the E-Skeeter, it sails 4 times faster than the wind.
  One can say the ice boats are "a bit over-engineered" to achieve the same performance as they apart from the sail has a plank, to give them width and stability, a hull to give them length plus more extras as cockpit, steering and sheeting arrangements.
  They have a much higher driving force but it is eaten away by the aerodynamic drag mainly of hull, plank and sailor, less if he is under a canopy. Also reducing speed is the larger friction of the runners due to the much larger weight of the craft.

Contrary to the land sail speed record holder Greenbird (2009) and, other ice/land/snow sailing concepts, America's Cup 2013 boats etc, this design:
  • Has no aerodynamic drag from hulls/planks/stays/sailor/cockpit/wheels/runners etc. The only aerodynamic drag is from the wing which is unavoidable.

  •  The Greenbird wing alone has the ability to sail some 60 times faster than the wind. That means it has e.g. 10 pounds of drag when creating 600 pounds of force. But when all the other drags are added it can sail only some four times faster than the wind. That is the same figure as for the Stand-Inside wing sail at high speeds. For Greenbird the other drags amount to some 140 pounds! With a [stand inside] wing only you get rid of most of these - except wheel, runner, ski or surfboard drag.
  • Also when it comes to the drag of the sailing surface it is minimum when sailed on ice. Wheels, hydrofoils, boards, hulls etc. create much larger drag.
  •  A wing skate sailor normally supports his weight on one skate only. To sail a desired course and steer the sailor trims the wing backwards/forward until in equilibrium. This eliminates the drag of an unbalanced craft. The Greenbird yacht e.g. most probably creates drag because the sail force tries to make the yacht 'bear away' or 'head up wind' which has to be resisted with steering which causes drag.

"You travel in a state between flying and falling. Sailing on one skate, leaning into a wind which every little change is transmitted directly to your body. The only sound is the faint whistle of the wind outside your wing." That is skate sailing according to one of the addicts.

More about Wing skate sailing
Extremely tall sailing skates, 1 feet, 30 cm.
 The height can be changed by replacing the red tubes with others of different length. Light wind and good ice: With high skates you can carry a tall sail with large area = a fast sail. Strong wind: Low skates and a lower small sail.
  It is by far not the tallest skates. A friend of mine made skates 3 ft, 1 m, tall. He sat on the ice strapping them on. A couple of friends then raised him to the upright position. He skated a bit then asked to be lowered down on the ice again....
  I wasn't present so I have no photo.

After the wing skate sail? Twice as fast?

Publikationen Isseglingsnytt! 
Vingskridskosegel för hastighetssegling klart: 160 km/t? (Mars 2001)

            • Speedseglets bakgrund. (Feb -99)
            • Vinge modifieras med rev i akterkant. Skall få fyra olika segelytor från 4 till 8,5 kvadratmeter. (Mars 2001)
            • Sökes: Medhjälpare för rekordslagning med skridskosegel. (Feb. -99)
            • Utgår, vingen försvunnen. Låna ett vingskridskosegel!

Stand inside wings on water
Stand inside wing sails can most probably also sail fast on water, e.g. on a surf board, - but there are some safety issues for the sailor to solve. If he crashes, and especially if he gets unconscious, there is a drowning risk.
Some creative thinking needed here! A breathing apparatus securely fastened to the sailors mouth and nose? Plus a rescue crew. Sail areas of record wind surfers are around 55 sq ft, 5 sq m, same as a standard wing skate sail.

A large Only-Wing sailing craft
One can envision a large wing, say 30 ft, 10 m, tall. Base 10 ft, 3 m. Ballasted at some half height. Wheels or runners, at front and back. Some wheeled side supports for parking and take off. Can take some time to learn to control.
Compared to something like the record land yacht Greenbird you will save maybe 50 % on hull, plank, cockpit, wheel fairings, very strong stiff construction in hull and lower wing to support wing's side force.

Rear view of Wing-Only large sailing craft. Leans into the  wind to balance wing force

New At-A-Glance Tactical Wind Shift Compass. Superior to Electronic Compasses in 12 respects
With Remote Control! At last an At-A-Glance Compass for all, dinghies, like Lasers ....

Ansar 2. Starboard tack. 
This model is designed for reading from the windward side of the boat, in at least the sector 20 to 55 degrees from the boat's center-line. Usually 10 to 65 degrees. Lines going through white clam cleats are setting the Round Markers.

The position of the central pointer gives you the wind shift information At-A-Glance!

Maximum Lift, Zero Lift, Maximum Header. You can easily judge the relative size of the Lift or Header as, unlike the Electronic Compasses, you know where the Maximums are.


Pack lighter. Beat the heat with science.

Sailing in a wing is a minimalist approach to high performance sailing. I have some information on minimalist travel packing, e.g. toilet and medicine case 1 oz, 30 g, and how to handle hot weather.

"Man shrinks luggage to shirt pocket size, 1 oz, 30 g. "The almost complete work of Packing Light/Ultra Compact, Beat the Heat". Also  Safety Tips, and more.   Presentation: Short version     Long version

Second hand ice sailing gear for sale: The first successful wing sail, wing sails, skates, traction kites, hand sail.

Things from my desk. Sailing boats I have raced and sailed. My cars. My humble abode. Water colored drawings.

My YouTube channel 200000 visits, 100+ videos:

100 MPH?, 160 km/h? My design High Speed Wing Skate Sail. Sailor in wing The only one in the world, as far as I know.
This is a small area wing sail and should therefore be able to reach higher speeds before you are over powered.
  With this wing over powering should come around 100 mph, 160 km/h. 
Wing still in modification and testing phase - and right high speed conditions are very rare - about once a year. 
My Four Record Speed sailing projects
My skate sailing page  

75 MPH, 120 km/h. My design Course Racing Wing Skate Sail 
I think I was first to show that skate sailing in wings is much faster that its predecessor with the sailor standing to leeward of a fabric sail. Top speed is some 75 MPH, 120 km/h. That is 30% faster than its predecessor. 
Photo: The wing hangs on the shoulders and I wear ice skates. 
It sails 4 times faster than the wind.
Some 100 have been built world wide. I have designed, built and raced some twenty of these wings.
My Wing skate sailing page 

Small boat sailing to Iceland on the cold northern Atlantic Ocean
Sailed with a friend, Lennart Berglund, in his 28 ft boat. A very rewarding three months trip: From Stockholm, down east coast Sweden, Kiel Canal in Germany, west of England, Scotland, Faeroe Islands, Iceland, (from there by airplane to Greenland, Kulusuk), Shetland Islands, Norway, Goeta Canal from west to east through Sweden, Stockholm.
   At night 39 F, 4 C, approaching Iceland. 
On the west coast of England we got a Gale Warning. As the nearest port we had a chart for was Liverpool we headed there. (As charts were expensive then, USD20, we only had a few). We got in before the storm hit.... 

Boats that I have sailed and raced
 A C-class sailing canoe (local Swedish design). An Elvström Trapetz two man dinghy. A Star Boat. Two Tornado Catamarans, once an Olympic class. Two Laser dinghies.When I sold my first Tactical Compass, Ansar 1, to sailors I was engaged as a tactician on a 6 m R-yacht and a very successful Scampi Half Ton Class, Lady Luck.
Photo. Camping trip in a Laser Dinghy This was on large Lake Saimaa in Finland for half a month with a friend in his dinghy.
Freelance photography and writing. E.g. my E-Book: 100 steps to Ultra Light  Luggage and Less Heat Stress
Photo: No-Bag-Travel. All in the pockets for weeks! 
After decades of traveling light on the world's hot roads in sixty countries, several circumnavigations, minimizing, testing and eliminating gear - finding ways to manage without, I have writen the above E-Book.

My Tactical Compasses for Sail Racing.
Wind shifts At-A-Glance
Animation: The position of the central pointer gives you the wind shift information At-A-Glance! Wind is here from the right. 
 "It helped me to gain at least three or four places in each major regatta", writes Ed Baird, about the Ansar 1 compass.
Other famous buyers are Iain Murray, Australia, Peter Norlin, Sweden.

The view from my humble abode in central Stockholm, Sweden. Beyond the water, a bay, lies the Karlberg Palace. The bay is connected to the seven oceans. There is a public small wooden jetty just outside my abode so you can arrive by boat for a visit. 
  The construction of the palace started 1634. (I just saw that the construction of Taj Mahal (which I have visited some three times) started 1632.)

Me in my first car, a MGA 1959.

Me in my first car, a MGA 1959. Bought second hand around 1962, when I was 20 years old. Nice British job. Top speed 93 mph, 150 km/ h. 72 hp. It came with a Hard Top - came handy in the cold and snowy winter conditions in Stockholm, Sweden.
I was lucky - it was bought with an inheritance from an aunt. Thank you very much Auntie! She sadly passed away at a relatively young age. Video of nicely restored MGA. Full car spec here.

My second car, so far the last, was the very powerful British Jaguar Mk II, 3.4 litre, 1962. 120 mph, 200 km/h, with a 210 hp engine. "The 3.8 litre Mk II had outstanding performance and was for a long time the fastest production saloon car in the world." 
  At the back of the front seats were little fold down tables - appreciated by my friends when they had a drink. A girlfriend wasn't apparently at all impressed by the car - she thought it was a ca 1950 Volvo Taxi, 90 hp. Video of driving  Jaguar Mk II at full speed.  My Jaguar car full spec here

Jaguar Mk II, 3.4 litre, 1962. Mine was black and did not have wire wheels.

My water  colored drawing of my Star Class sailboat.   
Illustrating an  article, in the Swedish boating magazine Båtnytt (for which I wrote many articles illustrated with my photos). I owned a Star Class sailboat with this color scheme. Lovely boat. Apart from competition sailing I used it also for vacation cruising, 

My water  colored drawing, River Nile Felucca. 
Illustrating an  article, in the Swedish boating magazine Båtnytt (for which I wrote many articles illustrated with my photos), together with the Star Class sail boat about my sail on the River Nile, Egypt. Both are light wind boats with plenty of sail area.

 My water colored drawing, Bamboo tourist accomodation hut. 
Viewed from my hut, on Lamai Beach, island Koh Samui, Thailand, which I have visited many times. Cirka 1990. Later huts were changed for more solid ones. 

My water colored drawing, Young coconut tree. 
Maybe drawn in Indonesia. 
  I sent copies of the drawing to several friends - with the warning: Don't make the same mistake as some of Gauguin's friends - throw it away - or your decendants may miss a fortune. :) 
(My note: Latest version of this table is here on IW page, 13 Nov, 2018) 

To my Home page.

Email, Postal address & Telephone number.  

Copyright © 2009-2019 Anders Ansar. All rights reserved. You are welcome to use pictures and words, non commercially, as long as you include a link to my pages.

Modified  Feb. 2019.