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Is strapless overrated?

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby Eduardo » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:15 pm

I only ride strapless to be cool and attract these kite babes viewtopic.php?t=2323765&p=1046452. I hide the straps and a screwdriver in my bathing suit pockets and put them on when I get far enough out past the break that no one can see me (if I can even get out without the straps!). It works great and I think a good compromise that we can all agree on :jump:
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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby knotwindy » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:44 pm

jumptheshark wrote:
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.
And happy :naughty:

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby TommyDuotone » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:12 am

jumptheshark wrote:
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.

I agree. Beginners should start with straps until they get the basics down. However, there is a balance and flow you lose as soon as your foot goes into a strap and you start using leverage. Still remember some of the top riders (Robby Naish, Reo Stevens, ect) killing it with straps. But you can't deny the progression since most/all are now strapless. And, straps do have there place in extreme conditions. Again, just my 2c.
Last edited by TommyDuotone on Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby bragnouff » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:51 am

There's an inherent magic in balancing all the forces and elements involved in kitesurfing, and riding strapless successfully, you have to be fine tuned and subtle, controlling that delicate equilibrium, and in itself, it can lead to a sense of flow and resulting happiness.
On the other hand, some prefer the attitude to muscle it through. Doesn't mean it's necessarily less rewarding, but it's just down to personal preferences.
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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby PullStrings » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:00 am

Matteo V wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:13 am
If you are talking windsurfers, remember that there are 3 connection points to the board, not two (two feet and the mast base connection).
The beauty of 2 straps kitesurfing :

The front foot becomes the so call " fixed mast base connection " to the board
Only the back foot needs to be moved position while on each tack to trim the board or to jump

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby Flyboy » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:07 am

jumptheshark wrote:
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.
Geez! Buck up JTS! :allbegood:

The blog that started all this doesn't actually say anything like that. In fact, to quote the author:

"It took me 2 or 3 years before I even consider to take the off the straps from times to times, but eventually never put them back in again."

The points he makes are entirely valid IMO, but it doesn't mean he doesn't think it's worth riding strapless.

Clearly, judging from the comments, everybody has his own preference & own style of riding. For the record, I use two front straps & no rear strap - I really don't like to have my rear foot anchored & only put a back strap on when I want to jump (which is rarely). But my board is somewhat unusual, being very small (4'10" x 18"), low volume & flat rockered.

What I notice, is that when I ride strapless I need to have much more weight on the front foot in order to control the board going over chop & waves. With the straps I can keep my weight further back to maximize speed - it's essentially similar to a windsurfing stance. I don't know how this works with a single strap - don't you want to keep your foot closer to the rail when going upwind? This video I made a couple of years ago shows what my feet are doing (I don't have a foot fetish - it was the first time I used the SB mount & had no idea what the camera was actually capturing). I'm not conscious of it when I'm riding, but I'm obviously using the straps to apply leverage to the board. Doing the same without straps requires more finesse.

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby longwhitecloud » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:56 am

windsurfkite, towkite or surfkite the choice is yours.

if its clean and the right angles/ strength u dont really need em to make a difference in wave riding

out of control.. chop, offshore wind acceleration, huge .. straps/ twintip

it needs to go to 20 at least, ill think up something super polarizing.. hmmm

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby mr_daruman » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:34 am

Why handicap yourself with straps, and not just ride with boots ;)))

Really though, a max powered kite in tough conditions at first a lot more challenging riding strapless. Jumping strapless is a lot tougher, grabs, etc.... I like to cruise around and ride confortably but I also like pushing myself and learn new tricks and ways to ride. The new challenge makes it all fun :thumb:

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby jumptheshark » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:37 am

Sure why not back up to the original piece in the link on page 1. What were his four point? Ah yes.

Beginners should start in straps. Idk, maybe for big wave places, but from what I've seen, beginners don't even start in waves. I certainly didn't. Had been in boots for almost 6 years when I started kiting on a surfboard. Had both windsurfing and surfing in my history and just went with a used surfboard. Size is what made it easy. Straps would have just complicated things. Started on it in the flats to get out in lower winds and learn something new. That board wouldn't have suited straps. Way too wide. Maybe three strap set up, but that limits comfortable toe side. Being free to move around on that big board taught me loads about trim and stance let alone easy tack transitions. Taking it to the waves was a natural and gradual progression that came about organically and practically orgasmically! There are a few around here who after many years on tt picked up kite brand surfboards with straps, most of them far too small...most never really got into it and on the truly fantastic wave days revert back to their tt. Waves, like anything, are to be learned gradually, straps don't change that. If you actually want to ride a surfboard, get a big one first, and learn to kite on it, then with your new skills gradually take it to the waves. Jump into waves with both feet.... Strapped on a tiny board and you likely won't surf it, but rather kite it on edge like you're used to on a tt. Which takes us to the author's second point.

You don't look good riding strapless. Then how did it become the fashion? To carry on from last paragraph, it's typically the kiters who would not, nay, could not consider buying a "directional" without straps and can't be bothered starting with a bigger surfboard, who have no idea they still ride poo stance. They do no different on their directionals and many never tune into the adjustment it takes to ride more upright than on edge. They never looked cool on them, bent waisted and over kited, trim strap all the way in, still on their 12m, trying to edge instead of surf. Invariably, the top 10 riders out on a good wave day do look cool. Really really cool. They are the ones literally everyone is impressed by, balanced and upright.

Ah, the religion paragraph. Well kiting is my church! Or the closest thing to it in my life. It's my passion and obsession. I chase it year round, and it has fullfilled me for over 15 years without waning. I plan to foil until The end. I kite in wake boots, snowboard boots, and strapless. My own holy trinity. I love them all equally given good conditions. Communing with nature can be near spiritual. Communing with the elements by balancing wind wave and board can be near existential. The more in tune I am, the less I muscle my gear and riding in waves on a board without straps is a natural progression of that synergy. You don't have to take my word for it. ask any of the best wave riders on the planet. Or better yet, try it for yourself. Performance on a wave board is not conveyed through a diagram, it's not about newtons of force over center of effort. It's the moments of effortlessness that exemplify performance for me. Going down the line, lines near slack, kite timed to carve timed to wave. It has nothing to do with speed upwind in chop! As to fashion? Kite pants were a fashion, with gear, kiting has had many trends. The near universal switch to below bar trim a few years back, the must have adjustable bar ends, or clunky swivel. With gear it's about selling. The manufacturers don't want you to be able to simply pull a true surfboard from the crowded used rack and go hit the waves with your kite. They want you to NEED a deck pad and inserts to fullfill the quintessential kiter angst that require they have all the options! That's the slave consumer behaviour entrenched in today's kiteboarding. But, but, but I gotta have adjustable bar ends....don't I ??

And conditions..... Some days your better off foiling, some days scream for the tt. Others have waves. What you choose is up to you. Entirely up to you. If you want to ride waves in straps, have at er, but maybe lets just f*** off with the telling us the best riders on the planet are handicapping themselves. They, actually know what they're doing.

Note: A couple of the top guys ride strapped surfboards at our open lake, bump and jump conditions local. This is in no way meant to be critical of them. They were always our best windsurfers, ride with skill and style, they know what they like and I applaud them for killing it. I rarely see them at the beach on wave days, though they both travel more than I. Once again, I am not anti strap, or any style of kiteboarding. Response here is rebuttal for the sake of entertainment and simply my personal opinion.
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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby purdyd » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:45 pm

you don't look good riding strapless. Then how did it become the fashion?
Kitepants I’ll say no more

I think the way Peru kite wrote #2 is wrong. It should have said you don’t look cool with straps

I think the premise that using straps might improve your wave riding is a solid one. There are things I can do strapped that would take immense skill to achieve strapless. Like jumping over a close out section of wave.

But after reading some responses here I am not so sure. That pool of riders with at least a decade of strap experience (aka windsurfers) is tapped out. Now you have a group with a decade of surfboard and skateboard experience, strapless.

Also, the very fact you kiteboard is proof you don’t shy away from a challenge and like to learn things. Strapless is all that and foiling might take over from there.

I disagree that manufacturers are driving the strapped trend. Just the opposite they seem to be intent on building really light strapless boards.

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