foot strap purpose

5 years 1 month ago #33019 by mickeyA
foot strap purpose was created by mickeyA
What exactly is the foot strap used for? Do you actually pull one foot back against strap while driving the other foot and leg forward? In rough beach surf (spec ski), I take my straps off because 1) when I first jump on ski and wave is coming at me fast, I need to paddle asap, not worry about getting my foot under the straps, and 2) sometimes I throw my foot or leg off to the side for balance in irregular surf, and 3) if I wipe out in surf, I hate getting stuck in the straps. BUT, on flat water or downwind (ocean ski), none of those concerns are valid. Should I start tightening my straps all the way to where I always feel the straps solidly on the tops of my feet so I can pull with one foot while pushing on the other? If not, what are the straps for? I can maybe see using them as a last resort to stay in the boat, but I think the aforementioned negatives outweigh that. thanks.

KR McGregor Rhythm, V10Sport, Swordfish S, Fenn Tarpon S, Fenn XT, Twogood Chalupski, Findeisen Stinger spec. Had: V12, Stellar SE, Huki S1-X, Burton wedge2, Fenn Tarpon

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  • MCImes
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5 years 1 month ago #33020 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic foot strap purpose
I am also curious about the answer to this. In my experience, they create more problems than they solve.

During beach starts, I also do not usually use them due to the extra time to slip my feet in them, the possibility of entrapment and dragging after capsize (did that a couple times, not fun), and the inability to quickly throw your leg over the side for extra stability.

One experience in favor of using them; once I was going through the break zone with my feet in them. I made it out past the primary break zone a little ways (maybe 30-40m) and the first wave of a big set swelled up in front of me out of nowhere. By the time i realized I was screwed, I was staring at a just-about-to-break on me 1m wave face. I was perfectly perpendicular to the wave so it didnt throw me off balance, but it hit me so hard (even ducking into it) that my footstraps were the only thing that kept me in the bucket. I stayed on my ski and hammered hard to make out before the next wave in the set broke successfully. Without the foot straps I would have lost the boat and had to swim in to catch it with a big set pounding me the whole way.

Overall though, foot straps have caused 4 problems for every 1 they saved, in my experience

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5 years 1 month ago #33025 by leolinha
Replied by leolinha on topic foot strap purpose
I used to hold on to the straps with my feet after being hit by waves in the impact zone, what happened every now and them... Until the day when the straps were ripped off. Then I used to paddle my V8 without straps and I really never missed them, except by the occasional wave hit as MCImes described. Then, last year I attended a clinic by Jasper Mocke and he noticed the missing straps, strongly advising me to fix new ones. In his opinion, the straps are important because they are yet another element of connection between paddler and boat. With the straps, he says, the paddler has a better feel for all those subtle movements that the boat does in the waves. Well anyway, I bought a new ski this year (V10 Sport) and I learned to appreciate the straps. Aside from Jasper Mocke's comments, I think that the straps are mostly important when getting into the sea through the surf zone. You don't get thrown back by hitting waves, but not only that: with the straps, you are also able to keep both feet pressing hard on the pedals in the moment of impact, thus avoiding that the rudder turns all the way to one side in case the wave set you momentarily in a backward motion.

Current: Epic V8 PRO, Think Evo 3
Past: Epic V8, Epic V10 Sport

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5 years 1 month ago #33026 by DrA5
Replied by DrA5 on topic foot strap purpose
I find them more of a hindrance. When trying to get in between breaking waves, more often than not, I have to fumble to get my feet in and under the strap, usually having the strap just stepped on as I paddle out. I never have felt the need to "pull" on the strap to help with leg drive.....that is more of a K1 thing. Other than a place to attach my leg leash when transporting/storing my surfski, I see no need for the footstrap. I can't even carry mine by it. I think if you have the strap tight enough to use it as noted by previous comments, you will have to be spot on skilled in getting into them quickly and reliably each time.

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5 years 1 month ago #33030 by Nige
Replied by Nige on topic foot strap purpose
As Jasper Mocke says, a footstrap keeps you connected to your ski. In big ocean conditions with lots of white horses it is very easy to get washed out of your ski if you don't have footstraps. Relying solely on a leash to keep you attached to your ski in the event of a capsize is risky, I have seen far too many leashes break. I often use a leash, but only as a back-up.

The trick with footstraps is to have them tight enough to hold your feet snugly, but not so tight that you can't slide your feet in and out easily. Make sure that your pedals are not set too vertical, they should be in line with the foot plate, as this can cause foot entrapment. With practice you should be able to slide your feet in and out easily.

In any sizeable break zone your leash is (or should be) disconnected, so the footstraps are used to stay with the ski if the wave that tumbles you is not too big. The trick is to get a feel for how big and powerful the wave is, and either keep both feet in the straps or let the ski go if the wave is too big. Never keep one foot in the straps, that is very likely to result in an injury. You should be practised in keeping your feet in the straps by bending your ankles or slipping your feet out by straightening your ankles.

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5 years 1 month ago #33031 by Henning DK
Replied by Henning DK on topic foot strap purpose
As others, I think foot straps are good to avoid a foot slipping from the foot plate in a wave and ensuring good feeling with the ski, but in many skis the straps are too soft and difficult to get your feet into, and when they get worn out they are not very reliable, either.

That's why I am very happy with the stiff carbon "strap" in my Nelo 550.


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5 years 1 month ago #33033 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic foot strap purpose
For me they are the only handles I have on my boats. They come in handy to hold on to when entering or exiting from a dock. Also can be helpful when remounting.

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