bragnouff wrote: ↑
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 (with straps)
. Doesn't mean it's necessarily less rewarding, but it's just down to personal preferences.
bragnouff makes a great point here, though it does deserve some clarification.
The short of it is that when you approach strapless and strapped with the same level of aggression, strapped will allow you to put more effort into it, should you choose. This also means that the rider of a strapped board pushing it for the most exciting "roller-coaster" ride possible, will have much greater forces acting on them than a strapless kitesurfer ever could have. This is the basis on which kitesurfers who are competent at both
strapped and strapless, actually make the choice as to what is better for them. And the choice is between:
A. Strapless with a focus on limiting the force from the kite even when off the wave, limited ultimate force applied to the board (less sturdy board construction required) making precision movements with lots of steps and moving around on the board, predetermined aerial maneuvers with no option to change mid air, reading the break and choosing a "path out" through the break carefully
B. Strapped with a focus on limiting the force from the kite even when off the wave, limited ultimate force applied to the board (less sturdy board construction required, though more sturdy helps with lifespan of board) no need to make precision movements but rather apply forces in a precision manner through the straps, predetermined aerial maneuvers with an option to change mid air out of necessity such as a gust, with no need to read the break on the way out as straps allow easier jumping at heights required to clear large incoming waves
C. Strapped with a focus on generating higher forces (better roller-coaster ride) including straight line acceleration, lift, speed entering the turn, speed exiting the turn (all of which necessitate a stronger board construction), aerial maneuvers and changing those maneuvers mid air by choice or when the opportunity presents itself,
Another way to think of it is that if you have strength/endurance limitations, or joint issues, you may want to take the straps off and try to simulate prone surfing's approach by going strapless. This will reduce the stress on your body. That is not to say that you can't get a good workout strapless, nor that strapless is injury free - but strapless is less taxing on your body overall. The obvious reason for this is that with strapless, you are constantly limiting the power of the kite, not just when you want to ride the wave, but even when you want to accelerate. Given that acceleration from the kite is the basis for force applied to your body, limiting that by being strapless is a good way to limit how much you get beat up. Though this is somewhat negated by loosing your board in the break and getting pounded in that break while trying to get back to your board.