Should you sail a Wing Foil with or without straps? Many practitioners have questions about the use of straps. That’s why we’re taking the time to explain to you in detail, under which conditions footstraps can be adopted.
Wing Foil with or without straps?
What is a footstrap?
The Foot-Straps have been designed to provide maximum support and comfort when standing on your board, whatever the sport. These are foot strap inserts placed at the front and back of the board. Their position will depend on your way of sailing (goofy or regular) and your preference in terms of comfort on small boards or sailing on both sides depending on the board model.
First of all, it will depend on your level in Wingsurfing, your preferences and your practice. Testing the different possibilities and choosing according to your own feelings is the best way to know if you prefer to sail a Wing Foil with or without straps. Nevertheless, our experience and our practice of board sports allow us to give you the best advice in this article.
WINGFOIL WITH STRAPS
This option will satisfy those who want to have fun, do jumps, back flips etc. You will have more control and your abilities will be maximum and sensational, both in the jumps and in the stronger wind and pumping. This is also interesting for making aggressive curves when surfing in Wing Foil.
Keep in mind that sailing this way will be fine on a straight line, on the beam and upwind.However, you may be at a disadvantage in the curves or depending on the point of sail. Here we can see that Titouan is pulling on the footstraps to give the board some angle to get closer to the wing on an intense ride using the 4’6 Fast Flyer board (40L volume).
Most of the time, when you want to go freeride, you turn to a smaller board, usually all equipped with inserts. This provides a feeling of stability in flight. It also allows you to jump with the small boards.
It’s important to know the ideal position of your feet, in order to adjust your foot-straps and have the most optimal position. This position changes depending on the front wings and your weight and level.
However, we do not believe it is necessary to start with straps, which increase the risk of sprains in case of falls (and there can be many at the beginning!). Especially since, when you are a beginner, the priority is not usually on jumps and freeriding. To begin with, not having straps allows you to reposition your feet in case of a positioning error. Still, even the pros not always use straps, especially when it come to surfing.
Among our SROKA Wingsurfing boards, the Fast Flyer 4’6, as well as the Sky Rider 5’2 and 5’5 are equipped with front and rear inserts. Allowing you to send jumps, jibes and surfs without any concession.
Sailing in strapless when you are new to Wing foil is the most recommended option. And we could even say that it is useless to use footstraps during the initiation period (it will be more annoying than beneficial). A beginner will find it difficult to position his feet accurately. Therefore, not using foostraps will make it easier for you to navigate.
Contrary to popular belief, the Wing Foil in strapless will make you feel a little more secure. This reduces the risk of twisting the ankles (VS when the foot is stuck in the strap.) Moreover, it allows you to adapt your foot position according to the pace. In a soft wave, you can move back a little more on the board. Whereas on a bigger wave, you will tend to move your supports forward a little to counter the overpower generated by the force of the wave. Plus, wingfoil is completely different from windsurfing and kite boarding : the wing is way lighter and do not need footstraps to be controlled.
Generally, when you are a beginner, you have a big board that is stable. You can position your feet as you like and still have enough stability with the board to stay upright.
You won’t have to struggle with straps that are not always placed at the final and ideal foot position for you. The deck is clear, which increases the ease of movement and transitions, depending on speed and power.
Riding in strapless means absolute freedom of movement, and you’ll know exactly which foot position is right for you when you want to sail with footstraps. This allows you to fully feel the foil and the board and become one with the elements. You won’t be embarrassed to get back on the board, you don’t hang your leash in it. This way, you will progress much faster.
Honestly, strapless is for us the most pleasant option,the easiest to make transitions, and the one that brings the most freedom and comfort whatever the pace and conditions.
We choose not to put straps on our Wing Foil boards, which are intended for beginners or big people, so as not to slow you down in your progress. This is the case with our Sky Rider 5’8 and 6’3 fibreglass models.
WINGFOIL WITH ONE STRAP
At the crossroads, sailing with A single front strap is a good compromise if you don’t want to jump, but still want to pump or increase control in rough conditions. This option allows you to make faster progress than with two inserts, as you will not be hindered by the one placed at the back. Indeed, it can be uncomfortable, and many people do not use the rear strap.
The advantage is also that it helps you to position your front foot and gives you a cue for your placement. The front foot acts as a lever, the rear foot is free, and allows you to rebalance if your front foot support is not good. In addition, it avoids forcing too much in the curves and allows for better control. You will be able to adjust your placement according to the situation (surfing, downwind…). Again, be careful that your foot does not get stuck if you fall!
The SROKA Air inflatable boards are equipped with inserts at the front (for a V-shaped installation). There is no point in placing one at the back: an inflatable board is not made for jumping.
In any case, there is no right or wrong choice, you just have to make according to your preferences and :
- Your level: beginner, initiate, experienced.
- Your type of riding and whether you want to do jumps, manoeuvres, pumping efficiently (even if technically you are not the best).
- Your board model, knowing that it is useless to put two inserts on a board with volume, the same for inflatable boards.
It can also be interesting to alternate, sometimes strapped and sometimes strapless, to keep a versatility between the different types of practices, vary the sensations and continue to progress technically.
FIND ALL OUR TIPS FOR :
- How a Surf Foil works: our illustrated explanations
- How to choose your Wing Foil Pack
- SROKA in The Foiling Magazine
- How to Wing Foil?
- All about the quality and durability of our products
- The 10 mistakes when starting out in Wing Foil
- How to do a Wing Foil jibe?