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Is strapless overrated?

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Matteo V
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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby Matteo V » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:13 am

knotwindy wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:32 am
However, relative to the original topic of strapless being overrated, years ago there was an old joke:
What’s the difference between a strapless kiter and god?

God doesn’t think he’s a strapless kiter.
Good joke, but no reason to put anyone down for an informed decision. My participation here in this thread is more for the observable reality that most strapless riders are NOT NECESSARILY making an informed decision. And I can't claim that I was immune to that hype in the beginning. I was caught up in it "hook-line-and-sinker". If it was not by some odd chance that I made a decision to approach it from both angles (but I was still wrapped up in the hype of strapless), I would be arguing on the other side with those that do not understand the potential of strapped.



knotwindy wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:32 am
.....On long boards(like 9 ft) I have to move my feet to get the board to trim out. My guess is that on a 3 ft board I couldn’t move my feet or things would get out of trim. In between on a short board, with or without straps, I move my feet a small amount.....
No question that straps on a longboard are a no go unless those straps are used temporarily during the ride. If you are talking windsurfers, remember that there are 3 connection points to the board, not two (two feet and the mast base connection).

As you go down in size, at least for me on a funboard (prone surfing) at 220-230bs (100kg), I CANNOT stop moving my feet until I am sub 6'-0" (narrow tail gun at 6'-4" or so, depending on tail width) where things definitely get labeled as a shortboard. However, I do move my feet as I first pop up and engage the first turn prone surfing. That is where prone surfing ends and kitesurfing begins. There is no "pop up" in kitesurfing. Thus on a smaller board while kitesurfing, there is no need to move your feet out to a rail or up toward the nose on a sub 6'-0" surfboard. The back foot does come up if you loose speed prone surfing too, but that is not necessary if you have straps kitesurfing, as losing speed does not happen for long enough to warrant a foot placement change. That is where the kite comes in. And it is very difficult to argue against using the kite if you lose speed, given that the wave is likely not powerful enough to have allowed you to continue using it's power to surf.

But here is the apparent hole in the logical progression of all of this - I can't ride a board less than 5'-6" prone surfing. Not to say that I absolutely can't, but I just cannot hope (and have never been able to) get up on a board less than about 5'-6" at my weight. So I can't compare foot movement prone surfing to kitesurfing at those lengths. But if I go for simulating prone surfing with a kite, I can examine the likelihood that smaller boards do behave in a manner consistent with less and less foot movement on smaller and smaller boards. And everything seems to line up. Sub 6'-0" surfboard strapless, and I can either move my feet or not. The same size strapped, and I no longer have to move my feet and I have the ability to use the straps to put forces on the board that I could never put on that same board strapless.



knotwindy wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:32 am
Yes, with straps I can just shift my weight forward in the straps but for any length of time it is more comfortable to move the back foot forward and be more balanced and relaxed.
You use different muscles when pulling up on a board via the strap, as opposed to only being able to put downward pressure on your feet. If you are a prone surfer, you will notice a little bit of this when you go from "un-waxed EVA foot pads" to "the wrong temp wax" to "the right temp wax" to "super sticky wax". Your technique changes based on the stickiness of your connection to the board. And it takes time and practice to get the limits of what you can do based on how much you stick to the deck. At the end of this progression - deck hooks, then straps, allows even more options.



knotwindy wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:32 am
There is also more than one way to ride straps, not all the same. You can ride them tight and slam around like a hooligan or leave them loose and only use them as a slight aid in the chop and when boosting. Not that different than strapless most of the time.
By twisting your feet in loose straps, you gain the ability to "lock in" as good as having tight straps, though you can get bumped out of them easier if you loose that twisting moment. And moment you create by twisting does change body mechanics, but I have found that it is possible to compensate for that. With my progression from lots of different kinds of waxes, back to tight straps, to homemade loose straps, I can now get a more locked in feel from the loose straps, with more control, than I could with tight straps. That evolution did occur for the most part after I moved on from kitesurfboards and prone surfboards that could be prone surfed, to the LF Kitefish. So criticism of my last statement on loose straps is warranted.

And it is obvious that there are different degrees of understanding to even those who have embraced straps.

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby Peter_Frank » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:38 am

Maaan this is getting crazy now, almost like PMU threads :naughty:


I'll bite:

On typical waveboards, being classic surfshape or short square boards or the most common now, something in between, 100 % ride out of the rear strap when going upwind for longer distances outside the break, say after a really long DTL in sideon or sideshore, when riding back up.
Of course there are a few, which I have never seen on the water, and I have seen many, that might ride in both straps all the time - but so few (and they are apparently "elongating" this thread) that it still in round numbers can be called 0 %

I dont look at what I do myself, but in this regard how others ride, WHEN using straps, and strapless.

When powered you can ride in the rear strap upwind, even on cost of a bit of upwind, as you most likely got more than sufficient upwind ability and dont care.
Usually though, most both with or without straps want to be powered in the sweetspot, meaning being able to go okay upwind, but not so powered that you are hindered by or have to follow the kite when riding waves down the line.
That is the powerlevel seeked by most wavekiters.

(when going out through the break it is nice to use both straps, that goes for itself, but not the topic)

If you have the rear strap mounted "too" far forward, you can use both straps upwind, true.
BUT, my point is, compared to how you (most, but still close to 100 % in round numbers) ride waves DTL strapless with rear foot VERY aft for a powerful cutback, your strap is too far forward and a compromise if you dont lose a bit of upwind ability when in both straps.
When so, I understand fully why so many dislike this strapped way of riding, as it IS a compromise then, just like mutant boards that got extinct again after a short period, being way too bad at "everything" instead of shining at most things.

Some should teach others how to set straps perfectly, but as many ride strapless it is not needed, and those riding strapped are usually so defensive I can read, that it wont make any difference :wink:
It is not only about personal preferences.

No, you dont ride in displacement mode when going upwind "good", agree - you must NOT ride too fast either that is a fact, for max upwind VMG, but you should be planing all the time indeed, that goes strapless or strapped, most often no difference in speed when you are just above a reasonable level.

By far most ride, when strapped, with this strap trim so you ride waves like strapless, and goes upwind out of the rear strap, like strapless - but got some benefits in terms of aerials/jumps and handling tougher conditions and speed here, better.
The cost is you dont feel as free, and the reason why we most often choose strapless.

Just bash me now :naughty:

Strapless is great, strapped also :thumb:

8) Peter

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby tautologies » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:10 am

Peter_Frank wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:38 am
Strapless is great, strapped also :thumb:
Literally, the only ones that will argue with this are people who only do one of them. It might just be the dumbest argument in the world. However we are on page 15 and I still do not understand how this becomes a topic of more than 3 answers....all of which should be WTF kind of a dumb ass question is if strapless is overrated or not... it's awesome..and so it strapped.
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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby dazarter » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:02 am

i think the question here is wheather stapless is only a trend or not? I do mainly t.t. but also ride strapless - real basic stuff on a surfboard...it does give you cool free feeling - is great on you knees... for me at the momment its a great way have a break from the t.t. and try new things....overrated i think not - its actually way harder to do extreme tricks - a trend- i think not - it seems to have its own follwing ...maybe the original poster should try it :lol:

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby purdyd » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:12 pm

Peter_Frank wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:38 am

On typical waveboards, being classic surfshape or short square boards or the most common now, something in between, 100 % ride out of the rear strap when going upwind for longer distances outside the break, say after a really long DTL in sideon or sideshore, when riding back up.
Of course there are a few, which I have never seen on the water, and I have seen many, that might ride in both straps all the time - but so few (and they are apparently "elongating" this thread) that it still in round numbers can be called 0 %

I dont look at what I do myself, but in this regard how others ride, WHEN using straps, and strapless
My observations are exactly opposite. I have never seen anyone ride a long distance upwind with their back foot out of the rear foot strap.

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby Matteo V » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:49 pm

Peter_Frank wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:38 am
I dont look at what I do myself, but in this regard how others ride, WHEN using straps, and strapless.

When powered you can ride in the rear strap upwind, even on cost of a bit of upwind, as you most likely got more than sufficient upwind ability and dont care.
What do you think is the mechanism by which getting upwind is "better" with the back foot out of the strap and in front of it? The below graphic is my take from my experiences of first:
UpWindFootPlacement.jpg
1. riding in the back strap upwind as a beginner - upwind sucked and I was much better off at this stage with a TT
2. riding out of the back strap once I gained experience - upwind was much better than when in the strap
3. riding at my current level (for at least 4 years) where I experimented with both in and out of the strap on a familiar boards/finsets - no difference in upwind performance underpowered or overpowered on a few different kites, boards and fin sets

Please note: Given an unfamiliar fin set, even on a familiar board, I can't always stop spinout on an upwind tack through chop or gusty conditions unless I am not in the back strap. Smooth conditions are no problem in the back strap and no upwind performance is lost when riding even on an unfamiliar fin set.



Peter_Frank wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:38 am
If you have the rear strap mounted "too" far forward, you can use both straps upwind, true.
BUT, my point is, compared to how you (most, but still close to 100 % in round numbers) ride waves DTL strapless with rear foot VERY aft for a powerful cutback, your strap is too far forward and a compromise if you dont lose a bit of upwind ability when in both straps.
When so, I understand fully why so many dislike this strapped way of riding, as it IS a compromise then, just like mutant boards that got extinct again after a short period, being way too bad at "everything" instead of shining at most things.

Some should teach others how to set straps perfectly, but as many ride strapless it is not needed, and those riding strapped are usually so defensive I can read, that it wont make any difference :wink:
It is not only about personal preferences.
I do not believe it is a defensive position to explain that being in straps allows the rider to have a greater effect on the board than that rider could ever have without those straps. And that is the key to strapped that I missed for a long time while believing that strapless was what gave you more options. The reason for debating this is that strapless riders have demonstrably wrong ideas about strapped. Many things have come out in this thread that have proven that, along with showing the emotional attachment to the hype of strapless that MOST riders have. Though, some choose strapless and are almost fully aware of the advantages of straps. And that is ok...so long as you know that you are making a choice to handicap yourself.....like I did for a long time. And operating within a self imposed handicap is a skill, choice, and perfectly fine with me. The only thing debated is when those operating under that handicap truly believe that it is not a handicap. Furthermore, I have no problem idolizing that handicap so long as it is acknowledged as a handicap.

Your statement that you need to have the straps in "ideal" locations is the main issue that holds back a strapped rider. Strap placement does have an effect, but it almost (that's a big almost) becomes insignificant to the rider actually using the straps to apply the wide range of forces allowed by straps, instead of just downward pressure in strapless. And here is the rub - If you put your straps in the exact right location, you are more likely to just put downward pressure on your feet, thus negating the advantage of the straps since you never learn to operate them in all of the ways they can be used.



Peter_Frank wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:38 am
No, you dont ride in displacement mode when going upwind "good", agree - you must NOT ride too fast either that is a fact, for max upwind VMG, but you should be planing all the time indeed, that goes strapless or strapped, most often no difference in speed when you are just above a reasonable level.

Just bash me now :naughty:
I hope you do not think I am bashing you. You bring up some great points and highlight some of the issues and mentalities of the overwhelming majority of participants in the sport. That is good. And as far as VMG with respect to a tri-fin (thruster) surfboard, could you elaborate on that too? And if possible, do you have any insight on that with respect to a quad finned board? In my experience they are very different when speaking of upwind progress and how to ride them to attain the maximum upwind progress.

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby Peert » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:05 pm

What is the rate of strapless?

Shouldn't we answer that question before the question of the TS?

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby Peter_Frank » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:16 pm

Peert wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:05 pm
What is the rate of strapless?

Shouldn't we answer that question before the question of the TS?

Yes, could be interesting to get numbers from around the world.

It could be easy to find out - I havent been curious before, as out there it doesnt mean anything if strapless or strapped riders.

When at a typical wavespot like CapeTown, one could just walk along the beach on a crowded waveday, and count - wouldnt take long to count say 50 or more to get an idea.
The conditions here are very often like I think the majority (prefer to) ride, and often 6-8 m2 kites, also what most prefer.

So could give you an indication very fast about the typical percentage :D

I dont know if its 25/75 or 50/50 or even 75/25 % strapped/strapless, but my guess is most are strapless.

Around here when making a count right now on the groups, it is around 60/40 % strapped/strapless.

8) Peter

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby mikelet » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:37 pm

Endless blahh,blahh of straps here and there,no straps ,more upwind ,less upwind...3 fins , foots forward, backwards,4 fins......sick !!
IMO you must watch a board as a whole thing !!..a combination of outline , rockerline, bottom contour , rails , volume, fin placement,number of fins, fin toe in ...etc..that just feels the way you feel it .
My point is that generalizing it's not possible ,no board performs equal to the point same brand and model boards sometimes feel diferent ...it happened to me with my WH gambler and JL kwad that i replaced for similar ones but newer versions...believe it or not change channels depth or concaves by 1mm or move soft/hard rails forward /rearward and it's not the same board anymore......To know how to choose and trim your board for your personal style with straps position, kind of straps,stance and fins choice (number of, foil, rake,flex,size,cant.../not just fancy colours and techy carbon stripes) it's key and a difficult thing to máster that only comes with trial and error experience. No board/rider combo it's similar...period

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby jumptheshark » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:36 pm

But if you choose to handicap yourself by riding without straps, your likely delusional, probably emotional and quite likely a snob.


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