Ouch, no more TT. That is going to be tough to resist on the few days we get good winds here, but OK, I am committed to the process. Just don't tell me I have to stop drinking too.
I will have the board ready early tomorrow morning hoping to eek a session out of the possible 10kt winds forcast here. If that doesn't happen, I will be riding the board towed, working out my right foot forward issues and practicing switch foot with some slack in the rope.
If your goal is to ride strapless.....Leave the TT and straps at home as they will only be crutches to reaching your goal. Give it 5-10 sessions and get back to us.
For what it's worth....I have a TT and a strapped directional sitting at home. In the last 2 years, I've ridden the TT about a dozen times(lake and bay), and the directional with straps 0 times. I used to have it on standby on the beach, but it just never got used. Now it just sits in my garage.
i asked same question 2 years ago. all these guys said strapless. thank you. thank you. I took em off, never looked back, go out in 30 knots of onshore junk surf now no problem. TT in garage forever. btw. I'm 53 soon. so if I can do it anyone can.
I finally got winds Saturday and got to ride the Domingo strapless with a kite. I have been preparing by riding it towed. It was great fun. It took me a while to figure out how to get on the board in deep water, but I finally figured out to just lay back with my feet up on the board and dive the kite. Practicing right foot forward behind the boat really saved this session. I was not able to successfully switch feet while riding. I was also surprised that I could not get upwind riding toe side. Since I fell every time I tried to switch, it wasn't a problem. I would just relaunch the other way. The feel of the board was a blast and as the wind picked up I found it to be fun to ride in the chop. Thanks again for all the good advise from this post. It has really paid off.
look at videos. big tips that helped me were: learn in flat water move back foot to beside front foot, then move front foot back. 1-2 step. practice on land with eyes closed. when jibing from strong side ( I'm goofy foot so going right is my strong side) turn board first then switch once turned. when going on weak side ( for me going left) switch feet before turning board. once you get that nailed learn everything from weak direction.
Great to hear you were able to launch in TN and get a session. Do you have any friends out on KY Lake with an inboard wakeboat with ballast and a tower? I practice quite a bit behind my boat and it definitely helps. Wakesurfing is the best crossover sport I can think of for strapless kitesurfing. The deepwater start is pretty similar between them and then learning to use the board in the wave rather than the pull of the rope or the kite will be similar. You just won't be able to practice drifting your kite while surfing!
There are several "kitesurf" boards on the market that are just wakesurf boards with strap inserts mounted in the deck.
Just to follow up, Tuesday was my 4th solid wind session riding strapless. It was definitely a "lightbuld" session completing over half of my attempted jibes. I started out riding more right foot forward just to get better, and now I don't really feel like I have a dominant forward foot. For me, success came after making the turn toeside first (both directions), then doing dance with the board about 45 degrees downwind and the kite at 10ish. It felt great, and was the direct result of all the advice here and on other posts. Thanks
I do have to admit to cheating on the surboard with my twintip still. I am also just learning how to jump, so the surfboard (strapless) wasn't letting me do that. I have even started to use my wakeboard occasionally (no upwind, but super fun). It seems like apples and oranges though. The surfboard makes me fly the kite better, but the twintip riding doesn't seem to be affecting the surfboard riding (other than time spent). I have decided to ride both as much as possible. No reason I can't have my cake and eat it too.
Had to bring this post back to report on progress. I rode my surfboard strapless as much as possible all this summer. At this point, I ride it fine both directions and I am somewhere between 40 to 60% on my jibes. I rode some very light surf in Pensacola, but as of today I know that didn't count.
Today was my first day in real surf at St. Augustine, and I got my ass handed to me. I felt like I knew what to do, but just couldn't put it all together. Part of the problem may have been that wind was light and I was flying an old Xbow 16m. Many of my falls could have been avoided had I been able to get the kite around quicker to get moving before I got mashed by the next wave.
This was really the first time I really thought I might have wanted straps on the board just to keep a better hold on it mainly on my outbound runs.
As painful as it was, I did make it out a few times and did get that great ride back into shore which let me know why people actually want to kite in the surf That was a blast.
Guess it is just like every other phase of kiteboarding and kitesurfing. Without taking your lumps, you will not get the reward.