Good article that shouldn't have offended the International Strapless State (ISiS) too much. Then again, I was once a member and would have taken offense to it back when I was operating under their indoctrination too. Now I am much happier that I have moved on since I do tend to question the group think that even I am suceptible too.
Quotes from the original article:
start with straps, get and get confortable with them before you take them off.
My foundational piece of advice to first time directional riders is the same. But my reasoning is that the strapped jibe
is more difficult and needs to be mastered first before you try strapless. If you don't learn the strapped jibe first, then you have another problem to tackle when you try to go back to strapped from strapless. Being able to jibe strapless, but falling off trying to jibe strapped, will really discourage you from experiencing strapped fully. If you first learn the strapless jibe, forever a strapless rider will you be.
If you learn the strapped jibe first, you can more easily come to your own conclusion as to what is better for you since you will be able to jibe both ways.
Over the time, I’ve seen so many guys struggling to stay into the waves and looking funny in their maneuvers all for the sake of riding strapless. I don’t say you have to be Keahi De Aboitiz to enjoy strapless kitesurfing, but fighting the wave every step on the way isn’t the idea either.
I can relate to this as I had to learn the hard way. I did river swell which very much conducive to learning strapless, and I was also in a bad ocean break location for strapless with junk waves most of the time. But that was not what made me realize that my idolization of strapless was not making me happy. It was the absolute irrefutable fact that the "rollercoaster" ride in any wave condition was more intense with straps, than I could have ever made it without straps - at any skill level. And not only that, but kitesurfing is limited and restricted to surfing simulation when the rider is strapless. With straps, the boundaries are erased and the limitations of prone surfing no longer apply. So it is not that strapless kooks are being kooks. Strapless riders are just dealing with limitations/handicaps that are extremely difficult to deal with, if the goal is to look good to the untrained beachgoer's eye. But even if they look like kooks, they are still having fun dealing with the limitations that they are determined to one day overcome.
.....I personally felt a lot cooler the day I took the straps off my board....
.....That’s the time I’ve finally learned not to follow trends too much....
Everybody follows trends, and everybody lies about it. This is a cross culturally observable reality in the human species. The more one resists this fact of human nature, the more of a snob one becomes. The best way to combat it is to embrace it. Go with the flow, go with the group think. Just make absolutely sure you give yourself a way out when the time comes to embrace your future self realization. In strapless vs strapped kiting, that "way out" is to have a really good strapped jibe down before you start your strapless experience. Then you can go back and fourth with comparing the two, and truly decide as an individual, what is the most fulfilling for you.
Strapless should not be a religion
It is perfectly acceptable for strapless to be a religion. In fact, strong beliefs are foundational to any sort of limitation on thinking. The only problem is when the strapless crowd moves beyond religion into an "all encompassing ideology" that is rigidly enforced. When ideas are forced upon, rather than allowed to be examined and accepted/rejected, progress is retarded to the point of "going backwards". The best way for the strapless crowd to break free of this trap is to not be focused on what is best for all, but rather what can be shown to work better, or in different situations. Given the subjective nature of kitesurfing, along with the impossibility of removing radical ideologies from all individuals, going with the flow AND pushing back will greatly expand kitesurfing's horizons.