I wonder: Why is it possible (and fun) to ride a hydrofoil board strapless, but the raceboard not (at least I have not seen it jet)? I have never been riding a hydrofoil, so this is most probably a stupid question...
A very good question in fact
I had absolutely no idea myself either, till I started hydrofoil kitesurfing, and soon found out, when I removed the straps
You can not weigh the windward rail down with your feet, like you can on a surfboard, to start.
So you need to hold the board up on its side with one hand, and start before it goes "flat" again.
I remember having taken the straps off my raceboard, to see how strapless would work, at a very early point in my learning process (as this was my dream - to ride on a magic carpet strapless).
Just to find out that either there was a trick I did not know, or it was impossible
When the board is flat on the water, you have no chance of starting.
To raise a raceboard on its side, requires much more effort and longer monkeyarms maybe, and it will not sink in the water either, so much more difficult to start on a raceboard strapless.
With straps, you can push on the strap, and it makes sense to have the foot closer to the edge, as you can still control the board.
Strapless you want to stay almost dead center of the board, so the extra width is worth nothing when up foiling.
Long story short: You CAN ride strapless on raceboards, but why ?
A bit smaller board (not necessarily small, just not huge like some raceboards are), and it is much easier IMO, and you will still be able to start earlier than on a small waveboard or TT.
PS: To avoid confusion, ALL boards I talk about here, are foilboards - as I see some confusion might occur otherwise, based on the previous poster.