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Is strapless overrated?

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tmcfarla
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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby tmcfarla » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:31 pm

John Doe wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:26 am

With straps I can:
1. jump 12 foot of whitewater easily
2. i can tack upwind through the inside, because I can jump whitewater
3. i can jump 20-25' plus off waves
4. i can hit the lip as hard as i can & the board never comes off my feet

The strapless movement has eliminated one of the most fun aspects of our sport, jumping, for 95% of directional riders.

The flip side to that is this:

WithOUT straps-
-I can place my feet where they need to be to allow me to surf a wave far beyond my abilities
-catch a wave heel side and jump around to finish it off toe side
-Have fun in light wind and flat water practicing tacks
-Go upwind way better by moving my feet far forward

Even though I’m lousy at surfing, I can properly surf waves I could never paddle into, and I wouldn’t be able to do that with foot straps. Foot straps have detracted from one of the most fun elements of our sport- surfing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying YOU can’t properly surf with footstraps on- I’m just saying that I can’t. I wish I could, because I miss jumping, but every time I try to go into waves with footstraps it feels wrong-all-wrong and my feet are always in the wrong place, and always at the wrong angle, and no matter what I try to do these damn straps are in my way.

You can’t make the statement that one is a handicap and the other isn’t. Both handicap different aspects of riding and you need to choose which is more important to you. I’ve made the decision to give up jumping in favor of feeling relaxed and comfortable on a wave. You making the opposite decision is fine. One isn’t better than the other anymore than a directional is better that a TT or foilboard.
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Matteo V
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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby Matteo V » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:32 pm

alunj wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:43 am
it’s a shame that some of the nicest looking wave boards now don’t even have the option of straps . I’m lucky my board is from a local shaper who will either fit the inserts or not depending on your wish.
Any board shaper with knowledge of kitesurfing will add reinforcement to the deck, or more likely entire board when adding strapinserts. Go to your local surfshop and buy a shortboard made for prone surfing, put inserts on it, and it will snap like a toothpick in the first few sessions unless you are really trying to be as gentle as a strapless rider.

As far as the looks of a board - to me that is completely secondary to it's performance. I just put stickers on my ugly boards.

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jumptheshark
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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby jumptheshark » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:46 pm

You professing to others about straps on surfboards is misrepresenting things.

You don't ride a surfboard. It was designed for use behind a boat and has been adapted to kite and foil. No one surfs that board.

Shape, weight, construction, fins. All not quite a surfboard despite the broad nature of that label.

Your doing something quite different than even the guys in this thread who ride a surfboard with straps on it.

Please stop misrepresenting your perspective.

His last line says it all.


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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby Matteo V » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:52 pm

tmcfarla wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:31 pm
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying YOU can’t properly surf with footstraps on- I’m just saying that I can’t.
Your observation is both wrong and right.

Strapped (again on a board under 6'-0" or 6'-4" on a gun) does not seek to "properly" surf - though you could. By the context of your statement, you definitely are saying that prone surfing and it's limitations constitute the "proper" way to surf. Thus your are limiting yourself before you even start to talk about the straps. A pretty good description of this is that you have a self imposed handicap. The reason it is a handicap is that it is easily demonstrable that you can do more with straps. And that more is the stuff outside of prone surfing that you could never hope to pull off while prone surfing.

A simpler way to describe it is:

if strapless kitesurfing lets you do everything you can do prone surfing, but also limits you to only that, then strapless kitesurfing is not allowing you to do more than prone surfing.

If strapped kitesurfing lets you do things you could never do prone surfing, then strapless is a limitation on kitesurfing.


Don't think I am berating you on actively seeking to simulate prone surfing. That is fun. But it is without question, limiting yourself, and limiting yourself is a handicap.

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby TommyDuotone » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:55 pm

For me, straps get in the way. Only upside I can see is boosting. However, more satisfied with a 5-10 ft strapless air than big dangly boost on a directional(which is also over rated). Been there done that with the strapped directional sitting on the beach, yet rarely used. Even when it's big, strapless works better for me and safer. Conditions, comfort, and fun factor should really dictate what you choose to ride. Most around here ride without straps in the surf. The ones that do, use a TT. Hardly see the strapped directionals anymore. Just my 2c.
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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby Matteo V » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:26 pm

jumptheshark wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:46 pm
You professing to others about straps on surfboards is misrepresenting things.

You don't ride a surfboard. It was designed for use behind a boat and has been adapted to kite and foil. No one surfs that board.

Shape, weight, construction, fins. All not quite a surfboard despite the broad nature of that label.

Your doing something quite different than even the guys in this thread who ride a surfboard with straps on it.

Please stop misrepresenting your perspective.

Thanks for letting me clarify, jumpy!

I used old (circa 2001) Naish surfboards at first. I hated them and I hated the straps (couldn't get in them). Then I moved on to North surfboards, of which my favorite surfboard of all time was the 2012 north whip. While I was riding these kitesurfboards and some of my prone surfboards strapless, I cam across the Kitefish. I immediately modified it to quad, and thought it would be a great board. IT WAS TOTAL JUNK!!! It was too heavy for strapless airs, and it was not wide enough for me to be a good light wind board, nor did it have any surfboard "pop" for jumping and was too heavy for jumping anyway.

So I stuck with what you call "real surfboards"...........until I went completely back to strapped and destroyed pretty much all of them. I like to ride in shallow, do rotations on the wave face, from behind the wave onto the face, and occasionally jump (no 20m jumps for me anymore after heel injuries). But hard strapped turns with high torque on the straps in chop is the real deck destroyer (second worst after bad landings). And that is how you destroy production boards - by pushing them. This left me with no other board but the LF Kitefish to use for about 2 months of vacation on the coast. I tried to get at least one of my "real surfboards" watertight, but it quickly cracked across the board.

So while searching for a durable "real surfboard", I was making due with the KiteFish with quad fins. Even though jibing the short low rockered board was harder than longer "real surfboards", I figured out the technique. And I quickly realized that I could not destroy this board. It also was much more stable at high speeds than any of my other corky boards except maybe the gun. But the thing that got me to stop looking for a "real surfboard" was the fact that I could not damage my aftermarket fins, nor crack the poured G-flex fin plugs (for the bolt through fins), no matter how many times I hit the concrete-surfpound sand when I ran in shallow like a TT. In the river, I could hit logs with the fins or the board and not have to stop to get another board.

So for this indestructibility I was willing to sacrifice performance. But after those 2 months on the coast, I had figured out how to get almost as high performance out of the kite fish. And the proof is in people asking me about the board, how I do what I do with it, and wanting to try it. Now that I own 6 of them, I lend them out and watch the mayhem. Every one that comes from a real surfboard and tries one of my KF's asks me "how can I move such a heavy board around so fast?" The answer is that I had a background on snappy boards like the North whip and "pop-out" to custom surfboards. I was also forced to deal with the limitations and handicap that this board presents in certain conditions. But I never allowed those handicaps to hold me back, and I had to make the only board I could never break, work as well as "real" kitesurfboards.

Over all, once you are forced to deal with, and overcome the shortcomings of the LF Kitefish, you will find a true kitesurfboard. Durability is second to none as it is indestructible. It is wide enough to work in all but the lightest winds, where you just can put a hydrofoil on it. And it will go fast through nasty chop with no issues due to thin rail shape, v-bottom at the tail, and high weight.

Just a note, I do weight 100kg and I do not recommend the LF Kitefish for anyone under 90kg, as it will turn into a high weight light wind board for lighter riders. But if you weight as much or more than me, it is an all wind board that is very capable.



Thanks for the opportunity to explain further. Your comment is appreciated.

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby jumptheshark » Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:10 pm

Matteo, You can't really speak about overcoming a boards shortcomings for specific reasons in one post and then deny that others can do the same in another.

Ride whatever you like, but don't generalize about it to others. Speak about what you like and qualify it with what you ride and let others judge for themselves if your views carry weight.

In watching this thread, the strapped riders deride the strapless for religious levels of dogma, but end up doing all the preaching. It's already been evident for years that the numbers have clearly spoken on this issue. It's not the mags, or the manufacturers. They reflect the trend on the water, not the other way round. The industry as a whole is very reactionary.

Happens in every branch of the sport. It's not really all that difficult to make predictions. If your actually an avid kiter, these "trends" roll out in slow motion. Boots slowly but surely took over in the top levels of TT riding. Now were seeing it all play out on foils with slower not faster wings winning out and the numbers of strapless foilers growing.

These things just are. Doesn't mean someone won't win KOTA in straps, or boost to the moon strapped on a foil board. It does mean that the more people join any given discipline, the more a general consensus will prevail on what most of them enjoy.

If you don't see yourself reflected in those trends, try not to be so insecure about it. Do what you do with confidence, enjoy it to the fullest, and leave the preaching out of it.
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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby Megabear » Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:31 pm

Matteo V wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:53 pm
Megabear wrote:
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.
No one is questioning that the pro's are doing almost exclusively strapless in competitions. The question is "why?" But the answer is not "Because the pro's are all doing it". The answer is because strapless is in "fashion" and "hyped" up to where most riders, from newbie directional riders to seasoned long term strapless riders, truly believe that strapless is not a handicap. The reality behind all the hype is that strapless is more difficult because it operates inside of the limitation of not being connected to the board any more than "super sticky" wax can.

The point many of us who have seen past the fashion and hype surrounding strapless, is that we do not want that limitation. Or rather, that limitation is fine for you, if you truly understand you are operating inside of a limitation. But those of us who did strapless and strapped in an honest comparison realized that strapless is a limitation. Some of us like that limitation, some of us prefer to not limit the system.

This debate is truly for those who think there are no limits placed on a strapless rider, and that the limits are placed on the strapped rider.

As for those citing "what the pros's are doing"......yeah, it is completely logical that they will fall in line with the "fashion/hype" of the times.
disagree complete - the answer to is strapless riding superior or not?, can be easily be derived from witnessing the fact that the best performance is done by Pro´s. The fact that the best performers are going strapless tells you that strapless is not a limitation. If it was - pro´ simply would not be riding strapless. In fact pro riders such as Ian alldregde, to patrick rebstock and a long list of others have also explained why in various articles - that this allows them the freedom of movement and other stuff.

So yes, when superior riders have established that strapless riding is the best, it is pretty much settled. As i said pretty much all straped riding was demolished by the performance by Ian Alldredge in 2010 in the CORE video. Subsequent videos by him, patrick and later Reo stevens, airton, keahi has only confirmed this. Not a single video or rider, riding strapped is anywhere near top 30 off pro riders vid or skills. This tells you a lot. :idea: :thumb:

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby Matteo V » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:12 pm

jumptheshark wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:10 pm
Matteo, You can't really speak about overcoming a boards shortcomings for specific reasons in one post and then deny that others can do the same in another....
Well, guess I lost you on this one. I am sorry for not spelling it out.

The gist of my story was that I hated the LF KiteFish at first and thought it was inferior. But in the end, I came to push it beyond what anything but a custom reinforced strapped kitesurfing board could do (and withstand) for a 100kg rider - all because I thought outside of the box of strapless kitesurfing. If I still was stuck on the strapless band wagon, I would still have that board sitting at the bottom of the pile.

I have admitted that I bought the hype that filters into every corner of the strapless world from beginner to pro. But anyone can learn if I question the narrative presented that manifests itself as "hype".


jumptheshark wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:10 pm
In watching this thread, the strapped riders deride the strapless for religious levels of dogma, but end up doing all the preaching.......
Presentation of evidence is the opposite of "dogma".


jumptheshark wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:10 pm
These things just are.......
That is textbook "dogma".


jumptheshark wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:10 pm
If you don't see yourself reflected in those trends, try not to be so insecure about it......
I was a part of the trend, not just reflected in it. I was caught up in the hype. Insecurity or lack of knowledge is what makes you follow unquestioningly. Maybe I had a bit of both before I gained the experience and knowledge to make my own decision.

Then I started to question the narrative, and challenge it in a public forum, and on the beach. I feel very secure in my convictions, but that is because those convictions rely on evidence, not idolization of those paid to sell the newest and latest trend.

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Re: Is strapless overrated?

Postby jumptheshark » Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:41 pm

Matteo V wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:12 pm
jumptheshark wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:10 pm
In watching this thread, the strapped riders deride the strapless for religious levels of dogma, but end up doing all the preaching.......
Presentation of evidence is the opposite of "dogma".
Your opinion of what is and isn't performance is not evidence. It's opinion. You state it as fact, when its far from it........ Dogma.

Matteo V wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:12 pm
jumptheshark wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:10 pm
These things just are.......
That is textbook "dogma".

You dispute the numbers? I assure you they stand up. The vast majority of high end freestyle is done in boots, just as the vast majority of top wave riding strapless. The numbers are what they are....fact not dogma.


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