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Pros and Cons of learning strapless

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Flag53
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Pros and Cons of learning strapless

Postby Flag53 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:40 am

Hi all, I'm pretty new to Kitefoiling but have kited for a while.
I've ridden a Kite surfboard without straps for years and so decided to learn to KF strapless.

One of the reasons is that I have a dodgy knee and so didn't want to wipe out with one foot in the strap and possibly Tweek the knee.

So far so good with the learning curve and I'm up and running with short runs on the foil, but what would the experienced guys say as far as straps and learning .
Should I just carry on what I'm doing or am I making a big mistake.
Who else has learned strapless ?

Cheers Guys

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Re: Pros and Cons of learning strapless

Postby Bradford » Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:54 am

I took the straps off around session 15 and they've been off for the last 60 sessions. So far I've been stoked on the progression.

I had the same concerns about injuring a knee or ankle. Without the straps, I felt like I could be more aggressive learning jibes. As for learning in-air foot switching, it might have been easier to learn with straps, but I was crashing hard in the beginning. It was really nice being able to leave the board without the worry of being stuck in a strap. I'm working on tacks now, and having a tough time. Because of this, I have just recently thought of putting them back on...I have no idea if they'll help.

Ultimately I'd like to be riding swell and carving bottom turns, so I'm probably going to keep the straps off as I'm trying to figure out how fast and how tight I can take my turns. Good luck!

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Re: Pros and Cons of learning strapless

Postby Kamikuza » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:03 am

Just the front strap should be fine. It's the ankles that take the punishment...

But strapless is not impossible, just a little tough to start...although it'll force good technique on you!

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Re: Pros and Cons of learning strapless

Postby TheJoe » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:30 am

Keep on with your bad self. I'm learning to foil on skim board that I fixed up for foiling on a DIY foil I made. I'm learning strapless and don't find it too hard to learn.

You all ready have the skills for strapless riding so just don't worry about them and keep it up. I think most people get stuck on straps as a crutch to make certain things easier.

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Re: Pros and Cons of learning strapless

Postby irwe » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:32 am

One front foot strap (or foot hook) will make it much easier to get up even if you have alot of surfboard experience. Place the strap in the most forward position when learning how to ride and keep the foil in the water. You can move the strap back after this stage. Make sure the strap is very loose. You only really need the assistance from it when water starting. Learn how to "Superman" fall. Videos on youtube.

Good luck!

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Re: Pros and Cons of learning strapless

Postby salvino » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:37 pm

I did the whole learning process strapless to keep the risk/benefit "safer" at the expense of learning curve. I did struggle with water start but mainly it was timing issue with heavy foil sinking quickly and cold temperatures and fogging of my glasses. I would misplace my front foot so many times. Even in inch would hugely effect dynamics.

Once learned water start, it was no issue. Then the freedom of strapless was a huge benefit.

Especially bearing off wind and riding board flat, the benefit of NOT being attached to the board was greatly appreciated.

If I did it over, I would use one front hook. But only until water start has been learned. Definitely off for learning going down wind and turns. Maybe back on for tacks, but then who needs it really by that point.

I just put my safety first over time frame to learn

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Re: Pros and Cons of learning strapless

Postby stevez » Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:10 pm

Strapless from the start for me too. I liked the idea of riding strapless, so figured it made sense to do so from the start, being the safest option as well.

I don't think it has affected the learning curve much - the things I have struggled with have generally not had anything to do with not having straps. But the falls have been much less painful.

I'd only think of putting on the straps for 2 things, boosting and racing. I was rubbish at boosting on the twintip, and I'm sure I'd be rubbish at racing too, so I'm probably not going to get into either any time soon. But I absolutely love the freedom and simplicity of strapless foiling.

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Re: Pros and Cons of learning strapless

Postby Peter_Frank » Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:25 pm

Cons is a much longer initial learning curve and more crashes when choppy and down on the water :cry:

Pros is you dont risk geting "strap" injuries :naughty:

When learning with straps it is only needed maybe 10 times or so, thus if you aim for strapless in the long run, then you should be able to take them off and learn the waterstart where everything has to "click" so you need some experience on the hydrofoil timing in advance.

If you aim for jumping or racing, definitely start learning with straps right away (I prefer two straps for safety/injury reasons - put them well forward when learning)

You can learn strapless too, it will extend your initial learning curve a lot - but if you have just reasonably talent, it will come anyways and you are home free :thumb:

Apart from the difficulties getting up on the board (which for some is okay after a while, for others impossible without straps), I see no cons whatsoever - only advantages :D

8) Peter

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Re: Pros and Cons of learning strapless

Postby Flag53 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:43 pm

Thanks for all the replies guys.

I think that I'm gonna persevere down the strapless root as I don't intend to do any HF jumping or Racing just yet.

Also agree that the wipeouts appear less severe as when I do come off " which i do frequently " I seem to be floating away looking back at the foil flying through the air.

Thanks Again D

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Re: Pros and Cons of learning strapless

Postby Peter_Frank » Sun Sep 18, 2016 2:08 pm

Flag53 wrote:Thanks for all the replies guys.

I think that I'm gonna persevere down the strapless root as I don't intend to do any HF jumping or Racing just yet.

Also agree that the wipeouts appear less severe as when I do come off " which i do frequently " I seem to be floating away looking back at the foil flying through the air.

Thanks Again D
Definitely continue strapless - as you ARE already up and running :thumb:

A friend of mine, a really good experienced strapless waverider, learned with straps the first couple of days - then he took the straps off, only to find it was NOT good at this early stage, so he put them on again instantly :(
He learned so fast you wont believe it, and after maybe 8 times he could remove the straps :D

So even the experienced and those "how hard can it be ?" riders, change their minds :rollgrin:

But you have overcome the difficult start, so of course you should continue strapless now, cool :naughty:

8) PF


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