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Is strapless overrated?

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PullStrings
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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby PullStrings » Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:27 pm

Is strapped underrated ? :lol:
Try either way....get good at it...then decide which one is for you...if no preference...you are allowed to do both !!

Myself... liking the extra leverage i can apply to the boards in turns...liking the fixed position of the front strap...giving freedom to take back foot out of other strap
Plus..liking to ride my 3 surfboards powered up with biggest kite....similar in a way to foilboarders racing...gotta have the juice and plant that rail

Just because you got 2 straps does not mean you have to jumps at all...but if the mood is right and you want to trow a big one...go ahead
It is a myth that jibing is difficult with 2 straps positioned correctly and that have correct width & looseness

Straps are much more appreciated if you have windsurfed for over 20 that's for sure !!
Now if you are jealous of strapless people who seem to be having so much more fun then you....the you better ditch your straps...otherwise keep em on !!

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby mikelet » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:10 am

Do both , there's place for both styles on the right conditions, don't follow the trends ,think by yourself and experiment....
Strapless gives you a tad more freedom sensation and Strapped you are linked to your gear and have access to all the speed and power your kite can deliver....same surfing and turns but in a higher gear.....
Those saying boards doesn't feel good on straps, probably have not choosen the right board length for him or spent time trying stance options and fin configurations...tuning up your board is a must to find your perfect trim with straps...
Ride strapped , make kitesurfing great again !! :D
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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby kjorn » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:32 am

<warning - petty rant ahead>
For the last few years as strapless has become 'popular' (yeah yeah I know, but since the mags have shown it on every other page) we've had a huge influx of noobs standing in the water trying to find their boards. Or body dragging in to waist depth then waiting for their board to wash in.

But no. 1 frustration - get your strapless board out into the waves! So many of them cruise around in the flat water spots - argh!!! Why? Why? Get out into the waves! As soon as it gets overhead they all chicken out and stay on the inside.

Rant over.
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Matteo V
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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby Matteo V » Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:14 am

Slappysan wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:57 pm
Honestly the though of riding a SB strapped feels about as wrong as riding a TT strapless.
I would have very much agreed with you even before I started strapless kitesurfing, and still would have for a portion of the time while I was comparing strapless to strapped. And yes, "it is all in what you have the most fun doing" - personal choice and so forth. This part goes without saying, though many have felt the necessity to say it.

What is debatable, is where performance of the "kite/rider/board" system is maximized. Connection to the board (strapped) is irrefutably linked to going faster, jumping higher, turning harder, and even pressuring the board with higher forces and in more directions faster than you could ever do when not connected to the board. Shifting your weight, then moving your feet around strapless is a distant second in performance. Straps win out for pressuring the rail, nose, tail, and individual foot twisting moments - instantaneously - without ever moving your feet. Only when I came to realize this, did I make the connection with strapless being a way to "simulate" the limitations of prone surfing a shortboard.



Slappysan wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:57 pm
On top of that most of the really good strapless SB don't have inserts anyway, so often choosing to ride straps means choosing to ride a heavy log of a board as well.
Looking at the extremes of kitesurfboards:

Heavy strapless board (4'-9" to 6'-0") -
1.Great for freeriding as the weight smooths the chop.
2.The weight also provides additional inertia to keep the board on the water and moving in it's original direction if the rider gets a sudden lift (temporary loss of contact) from the kite.
BUT!!! strapless airs are difficult and rotations are extremeely difficult because of the weight of the board.
SOLUTION - Put straps on a heavy chop eating board so you can jump and easily do rotations with it.


Lightweight strapless surfboards/kitesurfboards (4'-9" to 6'-0") -
1. Great for highly depowerable kites such as wave kites that allow the rider to limit the pull from the kite
2. Great for jumping and rotations as the wind pressure is enough to keep the board press up against your feet
BUT!!! they bounce out in chop and the board's lack of inertia means most instances of loss of contact with the board due to a lift from the kite in chop, will result in being pulled away from the board.
SOLUTION - Put straps on lightweight strapless surfboards/kitesurfboards so they can handle chop.


Thus the way to fix the flaws in either example is to PUT THE STRAPS ON THE BOARD. That is a pretty convincing argument that straps on a surfboard yield higher ultimate performance. But again as many will say, it is the choice of the rider for how they want to handicap themselves in the pursuit of simulation of prone surfing or looking cool to other kitesurfers.

And just to head some forum participants off at the pass, the above holds true only on shortboards. SUP's, longboards, and funboards over 6'-0" (6'-4" for narrow guns) for you average rider wight of 180lbs, require much more than just foot movement.
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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby Flyboy » Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:43 am

mikelet wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:10 am
Strapless gives you a tad more freedom sensation and Strapped you are linked to your gear and have access to all the speed and power your kite can deliver....same surfing and turns but in a higher gear.....
Matteo V wrote: What is debatable, is where performance of the "kite/rider/board" system is maximized. Connection to the board (strapped) is irrefutably linked to going faster, jumping higher, turning harder, and even pressuring the board with higher forces and in more directions faster than you could ever do when not connected to the board. Shifting your weight, then moving your feet around strapless is a distant second in performance. Straps win out for pressuring the rail, nose, tail, and individual foot twisting moments - instantaneously - without ever moving your feet. Only when I came to realize this, did I make the connection with strapless being a way to "simulate" the limitations of prone surfing a shortboard.
This is what my experience says. But more specifically: when you're actually on the wave, straps are not all that relevant because of the smoothness of the water on the wave face. It's all the rest of the time you're riding where straps help: going through chop, getting over white water, gybing over rough water, driving upwind - straps allow you to ride more aggressively. Unfortunately, unless you ride in a wave paradise - like One Eye, or a few other select spots - most of the time in a "wave session" is not actually spent on the wave face.

It is clear, though, that the most skilled riders, like Airton, can do things strapless that make straps a bit beside-the-point. However, realistically, most riders are never going to achieve that level of kill.
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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby longwhitecloud » Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:55 am

"like the ones trying to say strapless with a fixed bar was the only way forgetting that the spot they rode had exceptionally stable winds and a wave that was ideal for "

so true.. wakestyling in consistant 18 knots, talking it upon the sc00p about kookstraps, failing to deliver what was preached in less than perfect conditions.

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby tautologies » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:52 am

I've ridden strapless in a shit ton of conditions..up to triple overhead. My take is I bring straps when I want to jump, and when the waves gets above 2x overhead....or any time at OB. Because that beach just has too many waves in different directions and currents. Conditions should really dictate.

This attitude was solidified for me when Jalou won the surf championship way back...most of the competitors knew they would get a better score for the same performance if they rode strapless...they just could not. She crushed them.

Mixing it up is super fun tho.

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby Jan:) » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:07 am

Matteo V wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:14 am
Lightweight strapless surfboards/kitesurfboards (4'-9" to 6'-0") - ...
2. Great for jumping and rotations as the wind pressure is enough to keep the board press up against your feet
BUT!!! they bounce out in chop and the board's lack of inertia means most instances of loss of contact with the board due to a lift from the kite in chop, will result in being pulled away from the board.
This is an very old debate you state as a fact here.
I have been using the exactly the same shape (Firewire Vader 5'1) in various weights, due to improving construction. (3.8kg, 3.4kg, 3.1kg 2.6kg).
The lighter the board, the less it will bounce around in chop.

If you lose contact to your board in chop, you need to work on your technique or mount straps - whatever makes you more happy.
I can ride a lightweight board without straps in chop without any issues.

Matteo V wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:14 am
What is debatable, is where performance of the "kite/rider/board" system is maximized. Connection to the board (strapped) is irrefutably linked to going faster, jumping higher, turning harder, and even pressuring the board with higher forces and in more directions faster than you could ever do when not connected to the board. Shifting your weight, then moving your feet around strapless is a distant second in performance. Straps win out for pressuring the rail, nose, tail, and individual foot twisting moments - instantaneously - without ever moving your feet. Only when I came to realize this, did I make the connection with strapless being a way to "simulate" the limitations of prone surfing a shortboard.
This argument is completely flawed.
To say "performance ... is maximized", you need to set a scale/goal.

If your goal is to go fast, that is scale is speed, you want to take a hydrofoil.
If your goal is to jump high, so scale is height, you want to take twintip with a high performance kite.
If your goal is pressuring the board with high forces, so scale is "force appplied".....well not really sure what is the best choice then.

If these are your goals and you are riding a strapped surfboard with a wavekite, then you are pretty much using the worst possible equipment.


My goal is to maximize my fun on the water.
Performance of the "kite/rider/board" system is maximized, when I get off the water most stoked.
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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby Megabear » Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:32 pm

it is a simple fact, that the most high performance surfing is done strapless by pro riders. As some one else mentioned, amundson & reo, etc were all outsurfed in 2010 by Ian Alldredge - and other pro´s followed this trend. The pro riders are leading the way for rest of us.

It may be that the some intermediate surfer, doesn´t rip on his strapless surfboard - but at the pro level it is evident that highest performance is done strapless.
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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby Matteo V » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:30 pm

Jan:) wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:07 am
The lighter the board, the less it will bounce around in chop.
My interpretation of the situation, and experience from using lightweight "egshell" boards that I trashed in one season, is the opposite in chop. One of the heaviest boards on the market, that I use almost exclusively now, is the best chop eater I have ever ridden. Windsurfing with "glass" boards vs lightweight epoxy boards yeilds the same conclusion. Given that prone surfing happens without sideways pull and at speeds much lower, I believe my experience there is not relevant. Physics also is against the interpretation that lighter weight is better in rougher conditions.

When you run a heavier object through waves, there is more energy in that heavier object to continue its path in a straight line than in a lighter one. Put plainly, the lighter one gets bounced around more and slows down quicker.

Jan:) wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:07 am
If you lose contact to your board in chop, you need to work on your technique or mount straps.....
I can ride a lightweight board without straps in chop without any issues.
What is going on with your experience here is that you are depowering the kite more, going slower through choppy hectic conditions, and using a "wave kite" to minimize the pull you get from the kite on and off the wave in order to simulate the limitations of prone surfing. That is ok, plenty of fun, a noble pursuit, and likely just what you want to do. But it is not the maximum performance you can get out of the kite/rider/board system.




Jan:) wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:07 am
This (Matteo V's) argument is completely flawed.
To say "performance ... is maximized", you need to set a scale/goal.

If your goal is to go fast, that is scale is speed, you want to take a hydrofoil.
I am unsure of what the world speed record with a kite is for a hydrofoil. I also do not consider a hydrofoil wave surfing capable except in special conditions. Swell, is fun with my hydrofoil, and breaking waves are fun too so long as the waves are breaking in deep enough water. But this is getting off topic as kite hydrofoils do not surf, nor do they closely simulate prone surfing. They are demonstrably a incomparable device to a planing hull that is a prone surfboard or a kitesurfboard. Given that the strapless crowd is focused on prone surfing simulation purity, there is simply no comparison. This line of thought would make a great new topic, and I would be willing to debate this under a new thread.

But thank you for calling me out on this and giving me the opportunity to clarify my statements.

By speed, I mean ultimate speed into a choppy/unorganized section, inside, outside or on the wave face. There is no debate that you can go faster (kph, mph, m/s, or any other measure of ultimate speed) with straps when the waters surface is randomly chopped up.

By speed I also mean acceleration. Straps allow acceleration (total force in newtons, pounds, etc...) beyond the body weight of the rider. Strapless does not, hence the existence of wave kites to combat this unavoidable problem in strapless kitesurfing (super sticky wax is often used to help, but strangely not considered a connection to the board). Given that the kite's pull ALWAYS has a vertical component to it since it is ALWAYS above the horizon, the maximum force exerted by the kite will pull the rider off the board if great care is not taken by the rider to limit the kite's pull. That limitation is not present when strapped as a upward force in excess of the riders weight does not pull the kiter off of a strapped board.


Jan:) wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:07 am
If your goal is to jump high, so scale is height, you want to take twintip with a high performance kite.
By jumping, I mean the ability to jump instantaneously, without a pre-planned setup and hangtime limitation. Jumping strapless is fun, as it is a challenge. You can also grab the board to stay up for a bit longer. But a strapped board can be "chop hopped" with no intention to use the kite for lift, then mid hop you can decide to include the kite's lift to keep you up. That is not possible without a planning and setup process when strapless.

Also, when going out through the break in sideshore conditions, you can jump the incoming wave in front of you, and choose to come down on the face of the next wave behind if it looks good from the air - but only if you are strapped, or if you pull off an amazing board grab strapless. But even if you do pull off that amazing board grab strapless, you would need to do that for every incoming wave that is obscuring the wave behind it. And that is where you are stuck setting up something strapless every single time, to express the end result on a very rare occasion. So again, straps allow "on the fly - mid air" decisions.

Straps allow more options mid jump, or even to initiate a jump with zero planning. Even a sudden gust and subsequent unintentional lift can be turned into a fun landing. In that same situation strapless......well you are swimming back to your board. And that is where wave kites try to help a bit for the strapless rider.


Jan:) wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:07 am
If these are your goals and you are riding a strapped surfboard with a wavekite, then you are pretty much using the worst possible equipment.
Wave kites make great beginner kites and allow strapless kiters to simulate prone surfing within the limitations of prone surfing. Good wave kites exhibit very little lift, drift with very little pull, and and good steering reaction with almost slack lines. There is nothing wrong with that approach. It is simply the feeling that kitesurfer wishes to pursue. I think it is great if you like that and I like to even watch that almost as much as I like to watch a good prone surfer ripping up a wave that he waited for in the lineup for 30 minutes. But it is a limitation nonetheless. And the goal of wave kite design which IS "very little lift, drift with very little pull, and and good steering reaction with almost slack lines", gives absolute confirmation of this. It is limiting the lift, pull, and allowing steering without line tension. A wave kite is an engine with a governor. And that governor is needed to simulate prone surfing while kitesurfing.




Jan:) wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:07 am
My goal is to maximize my fun on the water.
Performance of the "kite/rider/board" system is maximized, when I get off the water most stoked.
You are correct in this statement and this is irrefutable. I have no problem with that. I appreciate your post pointing out the lack of clarity in my post, along with the chance to correct it. My goal is to clearly lay out the "reality" vs the "hype" surrounding strapless. I do not want to ruin anyone's fun. If anything, it seems that debate tends to make current/longtime strapless riders more set in their mentality regarding the superiority/need of strapless kitesurfing. Given the investment of time in those beliefs, doubling down is understandable. I used to even fanatically believed the way they do. But by good luck, and good management, I was able to break free of my own hyped up strapless mentality. And hopefully, I can present the reality to those who approached kitesurfing with the same incomplete picture that I approached it with. My goal is to just present a way (learn strapped jibe first) to not get trapped in a limitation, if that limitation is not truly more fun for them.


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