Are Lightweight Footstraps Strong Enough for Wave and Freestyle Windsurfing?
Oct 21, 2016
Miriam Rasmussen 'pinches' the easy-to-fit lightweight straps for her narrower feet to gain extra control and direct contact sensation.
Lightweight windsurfing footstraps have been on the scene for slalom and speed use for some time. But they'e had their downfalls in the past with questionable durability for more 'active' sailing involving jumping, riding and less static styles of sailing.
The idea is that EVA foam eliminates the ‘sponge effect’ of regular neoprene straps and can result in weight savings of up to 100 grams each - that's nearly half a kilo over a 4-strap setup.
So how are minimalistic designs now genuine options for more dynamic sailing use such as in the waves or even for freestyle tricks?
Traditionally the foam and webbing have separated too easily in this type of strap in the past, especially for heavier riders or harder use.
'Love the footstraps! The main thing is the board weighs the same before and after the sessions. I was wearing neoprene socks but with bare feet it will be even better - and no abrasion to the top of the feet!' writes customer Mr. T from Poland.
But a new reinforcement made by Unifiber has made this a possibility due to extra 3-play foam and added webbing inside.
So what are the extra benefits - apart from weight savings?
- Easier fitting and adjustment. Faster on/off and switching - great for those who like ‘pinch’ or widen their straps from regular width or to fit back into board bags for transit without straps
- Added rigidity and structure for ultimate power delivery and ‘direct’ feeling and control – without being too hard on the feet thanks to multi density EVA foam
- Anti-twist fitting that really works
On the Edge
The standard narrow option in these straps is great for most boards, but Unifiber also have a wider, ‘contour’ version that has the same reinforcements too that is ideal for medium and higher-width hulls.
This extra surface area area is great for getting ankles further outboard onto the rails for added speed – for those that dare on all-out slalom boards or to gain extra outboard drive from freerace models for example.
But the contour shape can also be favored by some freestylers that like to get more of their foot and even lower ankle in contact with the strap for added grip in radical moves.
READ MORE WINDSURFING KNOWLEDGE ARTICLES AND GEAR SELECTION TIPS, GUIDES AND ADVICE
Posted by Brian McDowell, Marketing.
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