Author Topic: Taking off the foot straps  (Read 1160 times)

Evan Lloyd

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Taking off the foot straps
« on: November 14, 2018, 08:50:03 AM »
Living in AZ, I have a lot of time in between sessions to contemplate my rides and think about ways I can improve. My past 2-3 sessions were frustrating. I was missing a lot of waves and falling a lot while paddling into waves. I determined that the foot straps were the main cause of the falls. With my feet in the straps, my board is very unstable and really wants to yaw to the right (Iím goofy).  I was using a draw stroke to correct, but the draw doesnít have the same power as a normal stroke.  Additionally, I was breaching regularly on steeper takeoffs because I couldnít shift my front foot forward enough to keep the board down. The front strap is as far forward as possible, but sometimes I need it a little more towards the nose.

Just moments before my last trip to San-O I pulled my Kalama out of the car, removed the straps, and installed a stomp pad under the front foot. I threw the straps in my bag just in case I needed them and then made the long drive to CA.  I could not of predicted what happened next. 

My first session was like an awakening. I was paddling with power, making late take-offs and making micro adjustments as I flew. The experience was so freeing as I could fly based on feel and was no longer locked into a pre-set foot position.

I surfed five sessions during the weekend. Each session I got more and more confident. Although the waves were pretty below average, I was having some of the best rides of my short foiling career. I was turning with power and surfing based on feel and instinct. I was reminded of Clayís video on turning an SUP. In his video he talks about shifting the feet as needed to turn with precision. Sometimes you need more input and sometimes you need less. Some times you need your feet over here and other times you need them over there. ( but donít stray too far from center) For the first time I felt in control, which seems counterintuitive since the straps are there to give you more control.

Your experience may vary based on your equipment and where you surf. I know in bigger waves the straps can be very useful in staying connected at high speeds. Iím not giving up on straps, as Iíve been suing them since day one. However, for now Iím going to continue to foil based on feel. I think that by taking a step backwards my surfing has improved greatly. It was really that profound.

I hope you all are having as much fun as I am. I know most people I see out on the water are really enjong themselves. Foiling has really allowed me to fall back in love with the ocean and Iím greatful to be able to do it as often as I do.

See you out there.
Evan

Beasho

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Re: Taking off the foot straps
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2018, 09:03:56 AM »
Noooooooooo!

Actually this is an interesting perspective.  I am a HUGE proponent of STRAPS but as Bernie Briskin once said "You're never to old to learn something new."

My experience included 125 sessions before I started using straps.  I was mostly comfortable taking off in EVERYTHING.  Waves from 2 to up to 12+ feet.  A full Northern California winter cornucopia.

I learned/transitioned to use straps while on the East coast for the summer.  Most of the sessions were small, 3 to 4 feet, and the period was often a rough 7 to 8 seconds.  I was out WHEN NO ONE ELSE WAS WILLING TO PADDLE OUT.  Getting your feet in the right spot, especially the front foot takes a while. 

Dwight (DW)

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Re: Taking off the foot straps
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2018, 01:01:57 PM »
Evan,

Youíre spot on.

Granted straps are empowering and make you feel like Superman, but they donít necessarily make surfing easier or better. Unless you plan some flips.

Just as Kitesurfers once thought we had to ride surfboards with footstraps.....to later figure out strapless gave a truer, purist, surfing feel, even if it took more skill in certain conditions. This is the same transition foilers go through, even in kite foiling. Newbies learn kite foiling in straps, then almost all go strapless later.

You are there now, donít go back. Unless you plan flips.

PonoBill

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Re: Taking off the foot straps
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2018, 03:40:34 PM »
This is timely, I switched to hooks today, going from a front strap and no rear. I switched to NSI polycarbonate hooks with neoprene covers. Randy Royce gave some advice on angling them (twist a little to avoid your ankle bone). The front hook opening faces back, the rear faces forwards. I set them at the extreme of my stance. Went out into some fairly festive waves in Kahalui Harbor and fell instantly in love.

I can move my feet around freely as I paddle for the wave, but once I'm in I slide my front foot forward and my back foot back and I'm locked in to my happy place. It made an instant improvement in my turning and board control. I get the argument in favor of straps, I get the argument in favor of none. I think hooks are in between and give most of the best of both worlds. I might dispense with them someday, or I might go to full straps and rip like Austin and Dave (fat chance, and yeah, Dave, Austin gets first billing) but in the meantime, I'm McLovin these hooks.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 04:18:09 PM by PonoBill »
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Beasho

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Re: Taking off the foot straps
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2018, 10:03:27 PM »
. . . Just as Kitesurfers once thought we had to ride surfboards with footstraps.....to later figure out strapless gave a truer, purist, surfing feel, even if it took more skill in certain conditions. This is the same transition foilers go through, even in kite foiling. Newbies learn kite foiling in straps, then almost all go strapless later.

DW - Can you please share how many sessions you have surfing in straps on a foil board?

I am willing to bet the people with STRAPS have 100's of more session than those without.  There is simply NO argument being made by anyone with experience to switching back to STRAPS.

As I said - I am interested in this perspective but after 125 sessions without straps and now 220 sessions, the last near 100 WITH STRAPS I would NOT go back. 

Jeff Clark has 400+ sessions and is the one who originally asked "Why are you using straps."  Maybe he is still a beginner.  Sam P'ae swears by Straps - 500 sessions.  Robert Stelick 300 - 400+ sessions - Using straps.  Dave Kalama, Austin Kalama 1,000's of sessions . . .

I am not sure where you are getting your data to suggest that advanced Foilers are switching?  (If Piros is the only one then as in Sales "An example of One Doesn't Exist."
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 10:07:22 PM by Beasho »

PonoBill

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Re: Taking off the foot straps
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2018, 10:13:14 PM »
I don't think I've ever seen a prone foiler with straps.
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peterp

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Re: Taking off the foot straps
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2018, 10:55:24 PM »
I can't take another straps vs no straps debate - in kitesurfing there was a time where anyone using straps on a surfboard was frowned upon and even denied entry into wave comps. It was ridiculous - both ways of riding have their pro's and con's and none is more "righter" than the other, it's just what suits you and what you want to do.

PS - Still riding strapless on foil and strapped on kite surfboard....

surfcowboy

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Re: Taking off the foot straps
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2018, 12:07:20 AM »
Beasho, from his Instagram and the amount of different foils heís owned and foil boards heís built, Iím gonna say DW is up there with the other guys you mentioned.

Heís been on it since it was a thing and across windsurfers, kites and SUP. Iím pretty sure thereís more than one way to surf. Itís cool if there are a couple of ways to foil, right? Art canít really be tracked across data points right? ;)

Beasho

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Re: Taking off the foot straps
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2018, 12:19:28 AM »
I don't think I've ever seen a prone foiler with straps.

Forward to 1:57 -->

« Last Edit: November 15, 2018, 12:22:26 AM by Beasho »

Beasho

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Re: Taking off the foot straps
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2018, 12:25:39 AM »
I don't mean to be 'unsavory' but watch this video and count how many people are competing without straps.

YES!  Prone guys get away with it.  But apparently Kai has figured out how to combine straps and prone foiling.

I will ask again - How many sessions?

« Last Edit: November 15, 2018, 12:27:26 AM by Beasho »

blueplanetsurf

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Re: Taking off the foot straps
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2018, 12:36:37 AM »
Been there, done that.  I found it much easier to learn without foot straps.  I tried the NSI sky hooks that Bill is using but found them painful on my ankles, maybe I did not have them angled properly.   For me, the EVA foot hooks shown in the video were the best way to gain more control while still being able to move the feet around as needed and not feeling trapped.  Once I got used to placing my feet against the foot hooks before takeoff, the transition to straps was easier.  I prefer foiling with straps now and I don't do flips (yet).  I have not logged how many sessions I have under my belt, sorry Beasho, but I have been going out whenever I can for almost two years now so around 300 sessions is a good estimate, I think.  I know some people say to just get used to straps from the beginning but I recommend learning without straps first and using tactile foot placement aids like arch bar and tail kick to help with correct foot placement to start with, then you can transition to comfortable foot hooks, then a front foot strap, then front and back straps.  Evan, it sounds like your front foot strap inserts are not positioned forward enough, having the straps in exactly the right place is really important.

« Last Edit: November 15, 2018, 12:43:51 AM by blueplanetsurf »
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Re: Taking off the foot straps
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2018, 12:58:00 AM »
an argument for straps
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Dwight (DW)

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Re: Taking off the foot straps
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2018, 01:26:38 PM »
Well I did say straps are empowering and make you feel like Superman...

I just think there was a bit too much preaching giving the impression youíre all wrong if you donít start using straps ASAP.

Iíll be going into year 4 foiling, all types of craft, surf, wind, and kite. I owned 12 different foils and have flown many more. From itty bitty race wings to jumbo mambo. I can fly anything, anywhere, in any conditions.  I think Iím qualified to have a counter point.


PonoBill

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Re: Taking off the foot straps
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2018, 02:31:04 PM »
After struggling some this morning in tough conditions at Ka'a point (rising tide, confused and inconsistent sets, lots of chop) I think I'm going to try a strap front, hook back. I like being able to slide my foot back onto the hook and have an instant release, but I seem to find the footstrap easier and it's better for positioning my front foot. Back foot the hook is better.
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Evan Lloyd

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Re: Taking off the foot straps
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2018, 04:45:14 PM »
an argument for straps

Iím glad you posted this photo because it is a good argument for both sides. In the photo the straps show how the rider can maintain control when an over-foil occurred. It also illustrates that had the rider had his feet in different positions, perhaps the board would not have over-foiled in the first place. I have used straps since day one and I understand the benefits. Doing a few sessions without straps really opened my eyes to what was possible when one has the ability to shift the feet midflight.

I have a friend that telemark skis. I have another friend that uses hard boots. I donít think I could tell either one they were doing it wrong. Regardless of how many sessions they had.

Iím still deep in the learning curve so what do I know? 

Foil on