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surfboard vs directional kite board

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mike dubs
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Re: surfboard vs directional kite board

Postby mike dubs » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:36 am

1, turn kite
2, turn head look where you want to go
3, carve using head, shoulders, hips, knees
4, when uv turned about 150 degrees, do slight upstroke to 10 ish
5, swap feet whilst weight is carried by kite upstroke.
6, if ur really powered then 4, becomes less important.
7, lose the straps, totally unnecessary and an inhibitor.

Mike

Matteo V
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Re: surfboard vs directional kite board

Postby Matteo V » Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:52 pm

mike dubs wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:36 am
1, turn kite
2, turn head look where you want to go
3, carve using head, shoulders, hips, knees
4, when uv turned about 150 degrees, do slight upstroke to 10 ish
5, swap feet whilst weight is carried by kite upstroke.
6, if ur really powered then 4, becomes less important.
7, lose the straps, totally unnecessary and an inhibitor.

Mike
Make sure you look before you jibe! I forgot that too. And that is the most important part. Even when turning on a wave where you would gain "right of way", make sure you look as you cannot assume "right of way" if doing so will cause a collision. Make sure you make this "look first" policy a part of your jibing practice.


As far as #7, strapless is the limitation and an inhibitor, though it may be necessary for those trying to lessen the impacts on their board or body. But many find it fun to limit themselves in different ways to make things more of a challenge. My position is that you should try both so YOU can decide instead of letting someone push what they do as "cool". And the best way to do both is to learn strapped first so that you can loose the straps, then go back without facing another learning curve just to keep you upright and out of the water when turning around. Again, this is given that the strapped jibe is harder to learn - so much so that if you learn strapless first, you will need to re-learn when you go for a strapped jibe.


Short and to the point:

Strapless lets (forces) you move your feet around on the board to have full control of the entire planing surface. This means you have (1) un-weight your foot, (2) move your foot, (3) then re-weight your foot to apply the force. Though, the necessity of moving your feet is reduced by having a small board, as is prevalent in almost all kite specific boards not geared to light wind. THIS IS FUN!!! And it forces you to focus on just what you would do while prone surfing - at least the part after the work of paddling out, timing a wave, paddling fast enough, and catching the wave/standing up.

Strapped lets you shift your weight by prying up (heel, toe, twisting, lifting), or applying sideways force INSTANTLY - without any steps! Think of straps as the stickiest wax you can get. And on a small board (less than 6'), like almost all medium to high wind kitesurf boards, you can apply forces with straps that exceed the possibility of foot movement and downward pressure that you could ever apply strapless. This is how the system is maximized with straps in a way that is greater than the sum of it's parts. More speed, harder carves and turns with high exit speed, and more G's, is what straps will do for you on a kitesurfboard.

Spend some time doing both, then decide which you like better.

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Eduardo
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Re: surfboard vs directional kite board

Postby Eduardo » Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:34 am

sorry I don't by the 'learn with straps argument.' Any strapless rider can easily use straps and we do when the wind gets too strong or if it's big and there's no channel going out or ... strapless will teach you better habits such as getting your back foot way back to carve your bottom turn properly vs. most people learn to jibe with their back foot in front of the back strap which is just awful positioning to carve. straps might also make you hold on to your bad TT habits too long in the waves. I still love a big air TT day so this is not just about fashion.

back to the advice requested, having the kite in the right position is critical for learning the foot switch.

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Re: surfboard vs directional kite board

Postby Matteo V » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:22 pm

Eduardo wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:34 am
sorry I don't by the 'learn with straps argument.....
I did both. I learned the straps first, then instantly went to strapless without having to figure out how to move my feet around the straps - because they were not there. EASY!

Had I learned strapless first, I would have to had to figure out how to place my feet in less than ideal positions as some of those positions are completely taken up by the footstrap screws, or partially (can use but must come in from the side, not straight down) taken up by the strap itself. This is harder - thus learning strapless first, then moving onto strapped is like learning all over again. DIFFICULT!

The reason I am so vocal on this issue is that I WOULD LIKELY BE ARGUING ON THE "STRAPLESS ONLY" SIDE MYSELF IF I HAD NOT APPROACHED IT THE WAY I DID! - And I did that pretty much by accident. I had the "strapless only" mentality in my head from before I even had my own directional board. I bought the hype, and would still be spitting that hype out on this very forum had I not approached strapless vs strapped in the way I did. I learned both. I had no problem going from one to the other (due to the order I chose by accident). I had fun doing both. I have experienced how both are separate approaches with different takes on wave to flat water riding. And I was able to choose the one that was MORE FUN FOR ME because I was able to experience it without a barrier to progression in the one I had thought was inferior in the beginning.


Eduardo wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:34 am
Any strapless rider can easily use straps and we do when the wind gets too strong or if it's big and there's no channel going out or
A strapless rider with less than a year of hardcore strapless riding or 2 years of occasional riding will find the straps to be a sudden hindrance to the jibe - ESPECIALLY WHEN A QUICK JIBE IS NEEDED AS IN THE WAVES OR IN TURBULENT INLAND WINDS! And that is the experience I cam from. Turbulent winds that were nearly impossible to jibe in for a beginner, and later, waves that required quickness to the jibe.

Your point is valid, and can be demonstrated for advanced to pro riders putting on the straps for the first time - though it may be extremely difficult to find an advanced to pro level rider that has never used straps on a directional before.

But give straps to a first or second year average rider who has not used them before, and watch them blow the jibe at a 70%-80% rate - even in flat water. Why? Because they trip over the straps! A rider's options for foot placement and movement (have to slide foot in from the side to the strapped position) change drastically with straps. No more picking up your feet and slamming them down where you need them to go, or where you want them to go, or just where they happen to land. You have a completely new set rules for the jibe with straps.


Eduardo wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:34 am
....strapless will teach you better habits such as getting your back foot way back to carve your bottom turn properly vs. most people learn to jibe with their back foot in front of the back strap which is just awful positioning to carve.
I do not "carve" with my foot out of the strap. Your foot only comes out of the strap if you want to jibe - as in "switch feet". Nor have I ever seen a strapless rider on the wave carve heel-side on the bottom turn, then switch feet to smack the lip, then switch feet to carve the next bottom turn. A strapped wave ride happens with the feet in the straps, carving from toeside to heelside - in the straps. Also, I jibe without moving my back foot up in front of the back strap all the time when chicken jibing, or after a hard carve where I change my mind on carving back. Only a premeditated jibe sees the back foot move in front of the back strap. Your statement makes me think you have not used straps "properly" before.

The thing that gives you the ability to go faster, carve harder (quad or tri), and pressure the board in more ways are the straps. And you have to be in the straps to use them. If you take your feet out of the straps, you are now facing the limitations of being strapless.

And by "properly", I think you are referring to "simulating what you would do when prone surfing". I once thought this way too. I wanted to do only what I could do prone surfing while kitesurfing. Then I realized that the kite-rider-board system in kitesurfing allowed me to do a little more if I let it. I could come in with more speed, and into a wave that I could have never caught prone surfing, because I was late, the wave was too small, or because I was on the wrong portion of the wave. Then I realized that strapless was limiting my top speed, and the quickness of my slashing/carving/turning. That is when I realized that strapped kitsurfing can do waaaaayyyyyy more than prone surfing could ever hope to do on the wave. At that point I became, at least I would think so by your standards, "improper". And being improper is what I have come to realize I enjoy the most. The key word there is "I". I enjoy being improper with my style in the waves now. You may want to behave more "properly", and enjoy that.


Eduardo wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:34 am
straps might also make you hold on to your bad TT habits too long in the waves. I still love a big air TT day so this is not just about fashion.
This is where we are definitely different in our approach to kiting, though it was not always that way. I started out on TT's just like most kiters. I wanted to stick with them even when I came to directional boards. And I did both for a while. But once I learned to maximize the potential of the kitek-rider-board system on a directional, I lost my enthusiasm for TT's. Now I only ride directionals. Again, that was never my intent - I just came to that conclusion after time.

Your argument is most solid when the rider wants to ride TT's a portion of the time, and simulate prone surfing with a kite and strapless surfboard the other portion of the time. And it is ok to have a high-octane ride on a TT, then go for a "cool down" on a strapless surfboard. I think that is a great way to approach it. I just don't need that cool down, or I can have it by not being so aggressive on my strapped surfboard. Again, we were the same in this respect to riding a TT and a surfboard some time ago in my kiteboarding experience. But I kind of grew out of that. For me, strapped surfboards just became the "do all" board without limitations.


Eduardo wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:34 am
back to the advice requested, having the kite in the right position is critical for learning the foot switch.
In gusty/dirty/turbulent winds, the "right position" of the kite may not have the lift you need to pull off a beginner standard jibe. Other positions can be made to work if some uplift from the kite is available. In these conditions, you can develop a "slop jibe" at the same time as you are developing a clean one. That was pretty much my story for my jibe skill development.

On an advanced note, your "point of sail" (direction upwind or downwind on your new tack) can be utilized to power up the kite too - without worrying too much about it's proper position. Even a change in direction (upwind to power, downwind to power or depower) while utilizing the kite power (you have to carve while switching your feet - somewhat difficult for even intermediate riders) can produce a needed force from the kite, even without it in the "proper position (range)".

jonysan
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Re: surfboard vs directional kite board

Postby jonysan » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:23 pm

Some very well argued and agreed points, regarding the pro and cons of Strapped and Strapless riding.
Good to hear from people who know what they are doing, and a recognition of the "hype" that seems to surround strapless.
It's not all hype, but it not always the perfect solution in difficult conditions.


e.g. Yesterday at the beach , cross on wind gusting between 25 to 35 knots, fully to overpowered on 7m kite, waves head high and breaking everywhere, only brought my strapless board ! which was ok, but limited myself to not going too far "out the back" in case I came off and lost the board.

would have been better on strapped board, could have powered out through waves easier, without "killing" the jumps, and also had more confidence that I could keep contact with the board,


Strapless is fun, Strapped in "battle at sea" conditions.

Matteo V
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Re: surfboard vs directional kite board

Postby Matteo V » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:25 am

jonysan wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:23 pm
and a recognition of the "hype" that seems to surround strapless.
The way I define "hype" from a negative perspective, is something that you think is better for you, but is actually less fun for you.

Some will actually enjoy the limitations of strapless as a challenge or a way to keep from hurting/over exerting themselves. That is fine!

My focus is on those who are set to fall into the trap that almost snagged me - learning only strapless and never getting the opportunity to compare the two on an equal footing.

There is more debate to be had as I do not fall into the category of "strapped only for big conditions". I like straps over strapless almost all the time. Only on flatwater will you see me messing around outside of the straps anymore. But that is just me and the path I have taken. Again, to each his own, just don't lie to yourself or perpetuate the "hype" when that "hype" will limit your experience. And try not to fall into the other trap that strapless is ALL hype. Strapless is a perfectly good way to enjoy your kitesurfing experience.


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