jumptheshark wrote: ↑
Sat Mar 02, 2019 1:22 pm
What thread are you reading ?
The title: is strapless overrated? The link in the OP is a snark piece about strapless, and in the pages that follow the long winded stuff denigrates it as fashion and religion while expounding on the superiority of straps for performance!
I don't know what you're reading, but I don't find the article linked to in the OP a "snark piece" at all. Yes, it has a deliberately provocative title (that's "journalism"), but the points made in the body of the blog are right on the money IMO.
My observation is that most riders can reach a good level of strapless competence if they dedicate the time & effort to it. They are not likely to reach the level of Airton. What Airton does is not really "strapless surfing" anyway, it's more like strapless freestyle (although, obviously he is an extremely skilled surfer also). I have not seem anyone IRL remotely close to being able to do that stuff.
Even if they had the raw talent, most kiters don't get to spend their whole life, like Airton, refining their kiting skills. Most recreational kiters need to find a balance between pushing their skills to the next level ... & just enjoying their current session.
I think the most compelling point of Axel's argument is No.4: Strapless is not right in lots of conditions
. When you see clips of the best riders in the world going down the line at One Eye - yeah it looks amazing because the conditions are so perfect. The videos never show anything more than a brief clip of the rider on the wave carving turn after turn. There is, of course, all the in-between stuff - getting back upwind for instance. Although my local spot is a decent "wave spot" & I have ridden all over the Great Lakes & all down the east coast & many spots in the Caribbean & some in Europe, I have yet to experience anything like the perfect side-shore conditions at One Eye, or other exceptional surf spots.
In my view strapless is more difficult initially, but entirely do-able with practice. It offers advantages to strapped & some disadvantages. I think in really good wave riding conditions strapless offers more advantages, in a lot of other conditions, which a lot of us ride in most of the time, it's more questionable,