Foot straps - how tight is optimal?

1 month 5 days ago #38496 by Radioactiveman
Today my foot straps are quite loose, because I want to get in and out easily and do not want to get caught once I capsize with my surfski.
One the other hand they are so loose I do not gain anything from them while paddling (I only do flatwater).
I can imagine if I am catching waves I need to tighten them to keep my feet in position, but what is the benefit of tighter straps on flatwater?
Thanks for your feedback 

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 4 days ago #38503 by mrcharly
Footstraps aid stability more than power (on the non-drive side, rotate hip forward rather than pulling on strap).

They help a *lot* with stability, and if you are using straps rather than a bar, you need them fairly tight.

If you are using them to help with drive, I think loose is more helpful (it encourages the forward hip rotation).

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 4 days ago #38505 by MCImes
I also leave mine fairly loose. I dont pull against it with my off-side foot, and that would be about the only reason to have it tighter.

As you say its easier to throw a leg over and get your feet back in when its loose.

The only time I ever really needed the strap was in one of the biggest, nastiest days ive ever paddled. I was doing about 14mph down the face of a 10' swell stacking up even higher in a rip a 1/3 mile off shore, 30 gusting to 40mph winds. I was shooting down the huge swell so fast i was bouncing over the 1-2' wind waves like a bucking bronco. The ride was so bumpy my butt was actually breaking contact with the bucket and I actually thought I might be thrown out of the boat or open water pitchpole. I finished the run fine, but in that extreme case it may have helped to be held tighter to the ski.

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 4 days ago #38507 by waverider
I dont pull on footstraps whether it be open water or flatwater. Even my K1 I dont pull on them. To me they are simply there to stop your feet from wandering about the foot rest. Both Ivan Lawler(Flatwater background) and Oscar Chalupski (downwind background) teach that you should learn to paddle without them. Otherwise they become a crutch.

Bend the knee by rotating hip forward nit by pulling on strap with foot. TBA a ski on flatwater is super stable, compared to a k1, so you shouldn't need them for bracing the feet at all.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 3 days ago #38509 by kwolfe
My foot straps are loose and I paddle flat water most of the time.  The only time they really came in hand was last year when I was paddling out in tall step waves.  In this case, like MCImes, my butt was popping out of the seat as were my feet a little.

Otherwise, I gain stability from having good contact with the footplate, butt and paddle.  

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 3 days ago #38510 by ccchappell
Guess I'm in the minority, but I like my foot straps snug.  Maybe a "crutch" but has helped with my stability at the end of the stroke, especially in the K1...as well as ski in rough conditions.  Not too tight, just snug enough so minimal movement.  Also helps me keep my rotation timing in sync when at higher cadence.  My stroke will never be used as a model of what to do :)   But just another view point

Chris

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 3 days ago #38511 by zachhandler
I’m with ccchapell  on this. I like a bit of snugness. I just like that firmer connection to the boat. I understand the reasons why it might be better to learn the stroke without using a strap, and I should paddle more with a loose strap to see what I learn from it. I once paddled with the nelo pull bar and though that was really nice. There must be a reason the Pros use them in K1s. 

I find a firm connection feels helpful if the boat feels tippy to me in the conditions.  Downwind I feel like it gives me a little extra body control over the ski. I have also noticed that in boats with wide sloppy buckets it helps prevent sliding to one side and getting stuck there. If I am in a boat where one setting on the footboard is too close and the next one a bit too far, the strap helps me maintain foot pressure in the far setting. 

I have never had an entrapment issue but I understand that fear. 

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 weeks 1 day ago #38550 by Radioactiveman
Thanks guys for the feedback.
very valuable, but difficult to conclude since some prefer the straps tight some go for a loose one.
I made mine a bit tighter because I feel better connected to the boat. Once we get higher temperatures I will practice capsizing and how to get out of the foot straps.
All the best

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Latest Forum Topics

Aided remount? (10 Posts)

1 day 13 hours ago
rhainan's Avatar

Epic Pro Grip (2 Posts)

1 day 23 hours ago
Protected by R Antispam