Forums > Stand Up Paddle Foiling

footstraps..... again

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Created by mattllew Tuesday, 12 Feb 2019
mattllew
23 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 6:27PM
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just thought I'd share some experiences in case anyone's in a similar situation and still on the fence.

I Just quickly installed a front strap on my old board (6'5 x26.5") because I wanted to see if footstrap plugs is something i want on my new one (before I go and put all the deck pads on). Quick disclaimer, I'm still learning on foil. I can turn (ish), cut back (ish) and pump to the next wave but always muck up the turn and miss it. I am however, more than used to footstraps after best part of 25 yrs on windsurf/kitesurf boards. Therefore I thought it was going to be a no brainer for me but not necessarily the case. Here were my feelings after one session.

- Obvious really but I realised that most of the time, unlike a kite/windsurf board the foil is pushing the board up into the bottom of your foot anyway so there's no real benefit when you're just going straight. also straps are partly for hitting chop arent they... doesnt happen on a foil.

- There is some benfit on turns... but I think only if you're really cranking it. Not sure that style is for me and I think swooping rather than cranking is where im headed.

- I noticed after a few waves i was already developing a bad habbit of lifting with my front foot (in the strap) and leaning back to bring the nose up when it was slowly drifting downwards while on a wave.... as opposed to pushing down with my back foot. Difficult to explain in words (and it may just be my bad habbit) but this just felt weird and not as nice as the little burst you get from weighting your back foot.

- pumping there was no magic turbo boost (that Id hoped for). I dont think lifting the front foot is necessary... the foil comes up on its own. Its all about unweighting and any sudden jerky upwards pulls from the footstrap isnt going to help. Maybe on a tiny 4ft board it would help get you out of a hole. It definitely wasnt any worse than without straps... but i was expecting magic

- on takeoff perhaps it helped get you up on foil a tiny bit quicker... but nothing that you cant make up for with good technique and a well timed pump. Also, whilst it didnt happen to me in an hour, eventually you'll muck up a takeoff due to faffing getting your foot in the strap.

- When waves get a bit steeper and wall up down the line i did feel a tiny bit more vulnerable than without straps. Thats probably because i only had one strap though.

Admittedly I should have stuck with it a bit longer but the decision for me is no straps for now and I wont bother gouging out holes in a freshly laminated board. Decision maker for me was the bad habbit point above. I lost a bit of the feel/flow of riding the foil by trying to cheat lifting the front foot all the time. Maybe strap could have gone back an inch but I know its exactly where my foot would be without straps.

It's a controversial subject but I know 'without straps' is generally the aussie approach so im hoping for a bit of support here You'll notice I havent got the balls to post the same on an american site. I prefer how it looks in vids (James casey, Keahi etc) and I've also got a tonne to learn on my prone foil board so as a side point i dont want to add complication in changing between the two.

colas
2964 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 7:54PM
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In my experience, straps are mostly useful for:

- "When waves get a bit steeper and wall up down the line" having both feet in the straps feels much more secure to me, to be ejected far from the foil in case of wipeout instead of jacknifing on it. But I use both straps.

- "There is some benefit on turns" it is easier to control the turn, adjust the board height, and change the curve radius

- "on takeoff perhaps it helped get you up on foil" it helps in the rocking movement on non-breaking waves, without having to move your feet around and compromise balance.

But I agree with all your points, basically. For some people it will means that straps are beneficial, and not others.

mattllew
23 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 8:56PM
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thanks Colas! have you used just one strap ever? Am I missing something from the full strap experience by just having one?

hilly
WA, 4466 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 8:57PM
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Had a horrendous knee injury from straps. Will never consider them an option. Strapless foiling and kite foiling is a lot of fun. Jumps are the only thing you cannot do.

DWF
67 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 9:43PM
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Select to expand quote
mattllew said..
I lost a bit of the feel/flow of riding the foil.....


This comment sums it up perfectly. The feel and flow of riding the wing "is the joy" of foiling for me. Having my feet fixed in one place takes the joy away.

Yesterday afternoon my buddy offered up his new foil for me to try. We swapped boards on the water. Unfortunately his board had straps. No joy. Didn't like his foil either.

mattllew
23 posts
Tuesday , 12 Feb 2019 10:29PM
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Select to expand quote
DWF said..

mattllew said..
I lost a bit of the feel/flow of riding the foil.....


This comment sums it up perfectly. The feel and flow of riding the wing "is the joy" of foiling for me. Having my feet fixed in one place takes the joy away.

Yesterday afternoon my buddy offered up his new foil for me to try. We swapped boards on the water. Unfortunately his board had straps. No joy. Didn't like his foil either.


glad its not just me then.... thought perhaps i was talking romantic bullsh$t I definitely lost a bit of the feel of the foil... difficult to describe.

colas
2964 posts
Wednesday , 13 Feb 2019 3:00PM
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mattllew said..
thanks Colas! have you used just one strap ever? Am I missing something from the full strap experience by just having one?


Had some rides with the rear foot out of the front strap, and it works quite well. I see many people using only one strap.

I do not see a lot of difference with both straps at slow speed. The benefit of having both feet in the straps is for me to carve turns at high speed, where you can control more precisely the board height, especially if the wave changes shape mid-turn, and when a wave hollows out under you, you can force your way through it.

On the danger, I do not know. My instinct tells me that one foot in the strap could be dangerous, but it seems only the case when using a sail. The only danger in strapped SUP foiling seeming to be on the rear foot (when you fall in a layback position), not having the rear footstrap may be actually safer...

The Gong shaper made his 11 year old son learn foiling with only a front strap. I guess he will not have done it if he thought there was any danger in it.

On the feeling, I agree. As a long time windsurfer, I know you feel more free without straps, but more in control with them. Both feelings are great.

I forgot one point:

- straps greatly accelerate the learning curve, I guess it cuts down the time on the water to reach a technical level by half. This means that you seem to need only 20 strapped sessions to make as much progress as in 40 non-strapped sessions. I thus love straps because I do not foil a lot, but people who foil a lot may not need straps, as they will have more practice time.

tightlines
WA, 3136 posts
Thursday , 14 Feb 2019 1:45AM
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I never did like straps for kiting and I don't for SUP foiling either.
Only tried with the front strap a few times but it's not for me.



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"footstraps..... again" started by mattllew