Strapped v's Unstrapped - Style & Skill

Gybes, aerials and waveriding, put it in here!
gillstah
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Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:19 pm

waverider wrote: just to remind you I mostly don't have anyone around to help or learn-from.
Yep I understand it's tricky picking it up - I honestly thought a knee board would be a real challenge compared to a wide/high vol surfboard.

waverider wrote: doesn't know about directions.
that's what I thought. all i could imagine was it skitting about downwind...

paul.
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waverider
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Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:29 pm

Perfect day today but I took my 60/40 out with the 10.5 today, it's called SPECIAL EDITION. Most of the bozo's who knock these kites have never flown the 10.5, Fack'n awesome. I just needed a perfect day and couldn't cope with the idea of all that falling-off and swimming. About a one-foot clean swell out-back with some nice clean 4-footers lining up where the break starts. Riding-in on a starboard tack that old left hip joint that needs attention wasn't happy with the back-foot pressure needed to keep the nose of the 60/40 clear.



Riding waves, even small ones fills me with soooo-much adrenaline I can't get to sleep when I get in the sack.

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Richard Roggan. Distinguished kitesurfing Gentleman.
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gavtheoldskater
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Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:29 am

I have watched surfers bobing up and down in the waves or lack of them for hours
there's an 'instinct' ad from the 80's that sums it up rather well .... 'waiting for waves is ok, most people spend their lives waiting for nothing.'
fen
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Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:23 pm

I am very interested in this topic, as a very novice wave rider, but have recently been spending a bit more time on my surfboards.

One is salomon noseless 5'3", which I ride strapless for messing around in lighter winds, and brunotti bumblebee mutant 152, which I bought for a trip to mauritius as full size surfboards were restricted on the plane, and also for high winds.

what I am really struggling is being able to surf strapless with the kite parked, which I guess is a lack of surfing ability and conditions we get here (cross-on to onshore most of the time).

I was out yesterday, powered up on a 6m kite with my strapped board, and having an absolute blast sending the kite thorugh the turns, as it is so fast and aggressive to redirect. Would not have been too much for me strapless yesterday as it was gusting to 45 knots (not to say it is not possible, as there another guy out me yesterday, strapless and killing it)

This is not the same fun with a bigger kite in light winds (with me strapless surfboard), which is why I am so keen to get this park and surf style going, but with cross on/onshore conditions, I just dont seem to be able to keep enough tension in the kite without moving it. In Mauritus the winds were cross off, and it was so much easier to make turns with the kite parked, although still being powered up in this case.

So for me, it is not a case of strapped or unstrapped, as each has it's place, but I definately think a better understanding of surfing would seriously help, especially when trying to kite with wave power rather than kite power.
greenroom
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Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:27 pm

Surfing with the kite parked when it is onshore is really quite tricky, even for someone with a fair degree of surfing experience as you continually have to watch for the lines going slack and the kite ending up in the drink. There is no easy solution to it, plus different kites behave differently. As you say, cross-offshore is easy. the kite just sits there and you can spank it over and over again. Surfing experience definately helps though!

http://hangtimefive7.blogspot.com/
fen
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Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:24 am

Was out last night in light winds with my big kite and strapless board. Definately found it much easier to keep tension in the kite with the kite parked by unhooking. Allowed me to really open up and make much snappier turns, so not running downwind so much and slackening the lines. Also probably helps that the tension is even on all 4 lines.

Only problem was, had to keep reajusting kite position after each turn as it was heading towards the drink.
Dennis
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Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:59 am

Hi I've really enjoyed reading this thread however I'd like to know what you guys think about someone starting off strapless riding against strapped. I'm been kiting for about a year now and the only reason I got into kiting was to ride waves as I come from a surfing background. I've been surfing here in Cornwall for 30+ years. I've just bought myself a second hand directional and can wait to try it...however should I go strapless or strapped.

Den
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waverider
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Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:07 am

What made me want to ride strapless was watching the pure-art-form that surfers bring to the sport, a kitesurfing buddy of many years experience had been on a 2 weeks pure surfing holiday that made such a fabulous difference to his kitesurfing-style.

He came to visit me here in West-Wales for some wave-action but hadn't bought a board with him that suited wave-riding so I loaned him a 7' 6" Naish Kite-surf-board from 1998, Naish just took a custom pattern and added three stringers together with fixings for straps but the deck without straps was perfect for surfing and kitesurfing strapless.

I watched for two hours, it was so fabulous to watch I didn't even bother with a session that day, just didn't want to miss anything about that strapless-style and I've been committed to riding strapless ever-since though I haven't achieved much more than a few minutes before falling-off again.

I hope this helps in answering your question.

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greenroom
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Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:13 am

Straps - nowt but a trip hazard! Seriously, just start riding strapless on days there are no waves or it is really small, just to get the hang of it then progress into bigger surf once you have it cracked. Being a surfer you'll find it comes pretty naturally. I've been kiting 3 years (riding my surfboard strapless for 2) and have only a handful of times thought I could be done with straps, and only when the swell has been huge and the wind nuking.
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waverider
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Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:17 pm

Hi-ya George,

I'm thinking I'm going to use that 7' 6" Naish Sky Pirate this year, the size is a bit inconvenient to carry and for shoving into what-ever you use to ride to the beach but it's a very stable platform for learning. What do you think ? You ever seen a Sky Pirate George ?

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greenroom
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Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:52 pm

Hi Richard,

The first I've seen a sky pirate was when I looked it up in Google images ten seconds ago (oh, and when the wee fella threw a plastic pirate at me!). At 7'6" it'll certainly have the float to get you cruising along strapless no worries. Only issue I see (aside from the logistics of getting it to the beach) is that waterstarting will be a little more difficult as it won't tip over on a heelside rail as well as a lower volume board. Apart from that I'd go for it! Just don't let it clatter you about the head :-D You not fancy the new 6'2" Takoon Burning??
Tony
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Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:02 pm

I went out on sunday, first time for f'in ages, decided to go out on a TT, get my water les back, lasted 1/2 hour, grabbeda 5'6" wide fish, no straps and had a great session, just cruising around and gybing, probably missed around 3 or 4 all afternoon!

I have both, I like my unstrapped wide fish (5'6" Lost cause!) it's a great board for learning stuff on and even with my 15 stone on it, it still provides a really stable ride, it also works sooooo well in mushy surf and the quads make for some nice turns when you crank it round. I tried straps on it once, but these type of boards are too wide IMHO, you need to be able to move your feet around to get the best out of them due to the width.
I did have a 6'2" thruster, I had very loose straps on that, great for silly days (although it's suprising how much power you can hold on an unstrapped board if it picks up) wasn't as easy to gybe as the fish, the footstraps get in the way. This board was a cyclone quad fin, it had great drive when you carved it round, really nice board, but I wanted to try something different, thats gonna be one of the JL boards.
call me a board tart for having both, but until recently those two boards was all I had, only just got me a TT again! That is the way forward, leave your TT at home every time you go to the beach, it's the only way, you get on so much quicker, big leap though, took me ages to do it

T
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waverider
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Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:17 am

Thanks George, I had forgotten about the extra difficulties of getting on the Sky-Pirate and in hindsight my pal who used it has to be 6' 3" and 17 stone against my skinny-assed 11 stone. I suppose that, together with the size of it will quickly change my mind about it's use but you don't need much traction power with that board. I have a 6' poly-pop-out fish that I'm using for strapless and I have the 5' 8" Takoon Burning that I use if the wind is much above 12 knots. The Takoon board is a lot of fun but not-nearly as much fun as the few times I managed to stay on the Fish and yes, I did manage to ride a couple of waves after turning it manually which is a bit of a let-down for me after so many years kitesurfing.

Tony, Be a board-tart, why-not ? I rarely take a TT to the beach now, riding a TT in waves seems all-wrong after the experience of a surf-board, the only exception is onshore wind, I can't see the point struggling with big fins if I can't get-away from the shore-break so I use a 60/40 TT.

Dreaming every day now and just talking kiteboarding helps motivate my rapid-recovery. :-D
Blast
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Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:27 pm

Tony wrote:
That is the way forward, leave your TT at home every time you go to the beach, it's the only way, you get on so much quicker, big leap though, took me ages to do it

T
This is exactly what worked for me. Now I love using both, but the best days will always be on the surfboard in good size swell with cross shore winds (pref on a point break.
I mainly use a 5'8 Fish (BREEZE) for our usual mushy conditions but also a Calibro9 Killer for the "sweet days" and as Richard says, if it's onshore or very small swell I'll prob get the TT out.

Hope to catch up with you soon Richard
Marc
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Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:48 pm

Definitely start strapless. if you want to learn to wave ride you have to gybe - riding toeside one tack just becomes a pain after a while. Once you've got the strapless gybes down then it's up to you if you want to move to a strapped board. I've spent the last year riding surfboards strapless, nothing else, and am just moving back to a strapped surfboard to allow me to push it a bit harder in bigger surf. Will still keep riding strapless at times as well though. Somethng around 6ft by 18" - 19" is a good place to start.

Dennis, i was in exactly the same situation as you - surfing background, but fed up with blown out stormy surf all the time, with a kite i can ride high performance board in dribbly mini-mal conditions!

Dan
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