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GEM
11th January 2007, 08:51 AM
Interesting question I've had for a long time, but never really asked it before:

Who changes footstrap settings on, say, a Kombat, to switch back and forth between wave settings and freeride settings? And how often do you do that?


Board manufacturers talk about this as a selling point, including *B, but in point of fact I have NEVER seen anyone do it. The reality is, that with screw inserts as they are, people don't do that. Most people put the straps on the board and ride it. If they wave sail, they use inboard settings; if they freeride, outboard settings. Very, very few sailors even experiment deliberately with footstrap settings (front screw, back screw locations); the get the board, put the straps on where they feel comfortable, and go.

On extremely rare occasions, top level sailors will set the straps, go sail, come back in and change them, go sail, come back in and change them again, go sail, and come back to put them where they work. In fairness, the very best sailors do it while also moving the base, changing fins, etc.

IN FACT, the folks I've seen who sail in multiple conditions have a dedicated board for each condition and style.

What is everyone else's experience?

steveC
11th January 2007, 09:55 AM
Hi Geoff,

I'm with you on foot strap position. One really needs to adjust to a board. Truly, I think that the designer decides the optimum foot strap positions, and any significant changes from that are a deviation from the sweet spot. Although the contraints of physical size can mix things up a bit, I still think that too many options are simply over rated. Take a great slalom rocker and locate a number of footstrap positions too far inboard is a recipe for a loser. While some may differ about this, I know I how feel. Give me the optimum, and I'll adjust.

Russell
11th January 2007, 02:35 PM
Hi Geoff.

I used to move my straps forward and back depending on conditions and what I was doing but found that you soon strip the thread on the plugs and have to use a wider screw so have stopped. However when I get a new board I have to sail it a few times to find out the exact place I like the straps. This mainly applies to wave and freestyle boards.

I do sail with off set straps though liking a wider stance for the ridding side so when I change tacks I have to change strap position.

I wish that manufactures would come up with a better system for moving the straps that is easier and you do not strip inserts. Maybe mini fin boxes but this adds weight.

Steve, I agree with you foot strap position is dependent on rocker and the designer will put them in the optimum position giving you a small adjustment for sailor size and style.

Guest
11th January 2007, 03:33 PM
The solution existed in the 90s, and I never understood why it hasn't been copied since, a real breakthrough. On boards such as the Gecko family of convertibles, the straps could be swapped in less than one minute, and I'm talking of the four, with a brilliant, simple, sturdy system.
Is it patented ? If not (and it's not the first time), I beg SB put it on their boards.
Cheers
Arno13

Ian Fox
12th January 2007, 08:16 AM
Hey Geoff,

It's a good topic but it seems the original question

Who changes footstrap settings on, say, a Kombat, to switch back and forth between wave settings and freeride settings? And how often do you do that?

has been mixed with the very related but seperate issue of

"should boards be built/configured to allow it" ???


My comment is
(to Q1 - who does it ?) ; Not many.
(to Q2 - should boards allow it ?) ; definitely, where the board's intended use/ride style allows for valid alternate stances.
(Kombat/ST and Carve all being good examples of not only where it can work, but should be provided to make a crossover board more versatile - or "customiseable"- even if each owner sets to their personal preference and never moves from that. You won't see too many inboard/outboard options on dedicated designs like the small and mid iSonics .. ;)

Cheers ~ Ian

steveC
12th January 2007, 08:57 AM
Hi Ian,

One thing that's noteworthy in Geoff's original post is his comment that folks that sail in multiple conditions have dedicated boards for each condition or style. I know l do, so once the straps are attached, that's it. Frankly, my boards either don't have choices, or very minor ones, but that's never been a problem.

With that said, I have to admit that I'm not that far outside the standard margin with respect to my height or weight. I know a really big guy that has often had production boards modified to include completely new footstrap locations to suit his stature and weight. But when he does so, he requires two position attachments per side to fix and stablize the straps. Believe me, I'm a strong advocate of two position per side attachments. From my point of view, I would lose the myriad of different options and implement two position attachments instead in the optimum locations. Yet, maybe my paradigm here doesn't truly reflect the mainstream. Based on the industry focus, what is right isn't always the same. I must be too much of a purest.

GEM
12th January 2007, 12:07 PM
Good eye on the conversation, Ian

My comment is
(to Q1 - who does it ?) ; Not many.
(to Q2 - should boards allow it ?) ; definitely, where the board's intended use/ride style allows for valid alternate stances.
(Kombat/ST and Carve all being good examples of not only where it can work, but should be provided to make a crossover board more versatile - or "customiseable"- even if each owner sets to their personal preference and never moves from that.

So the problem with this is that no manufacturers, even *B, have screw inserts that won't wear out (as was pointed out above).

I concur that not all boards need easily, quickly, indefinitely (i.e., durable) changeable screw inserts, but it certainly would be nice if all mid-range / crossover boards had them.

Instead, my boards have multiplied like rabbits, and now I have one board for each sail...

Ian Fox
12th January 2007, 12:20 PM
Hi Steve,

Yeah, for sure there is a lot of good points and perspective, and in most cases the (extra) dedicated board or consistant conditions (or rider choosing to only sail in consistant conditions..) are all factors why optional stance could be seen as a waste of time or epoxy. Most guys will certainly agree that changing stance daily (or regularly) is not practical, and mostly not happening, as well.

Actually, what is interesting is when testing then often you get to test (by necessity ) things you "know" ( based on solid previous experiences ) won't be so good (like someone else's strap placement on that board ) - and sometimes a strange thing happens where some other (apparent minor) factor has changed (like a fin model) and bingo, all of a sudden you hit on some newer hot setup, one you would never have had ~ except for trying something that you "knew" from careful prior testing and measurements etc would never be as good as your own..

But think of a nice sailing place, with steady conditions and lots of good sailing time..
You know , a place where you'd never need alternate stance.
Hmmmmm. Most guys : Maui.
So think of one board that could (truly) be quite a universal ride over there..
Hmmmmm. Acid ? iSonic ? Ahhh ! Kombat !
OK, so in winter you have a great ride with the wave setup (inboard, great B&J crossover and cool waveriding fun. Come summer, the swells gone South and drag racing harsh chop at Kanaha is the game, so break out the screwdriver and turn that crossover into a demi slalom B&J blaster - and let the one board fun continue.

Does it work ? Yeah, well, within reason it does - on a good board, especially one developed and tested to consider optimal stance/deckshape/positioning in both stances (which can be a challenge)

Not for everyone, sure. And in Maui everyone has 4 or 5 boards, not 1.
But think even seasonal possibilities in other locations..
Maybe practical even where it might not be..

But let's still see what other rider's are doing ???

Who changes footstrap settings on, say, a Kombat, to switch back and forth between wave settings and freeride settings? And how often do you do that ?

Cheers ~ Ian

foolonhill
12th January 2007, 04:06 PM
I do!
On most of my boards I do adapt the straps positions to the conditions. It is certainly partly due to the fact that I live in Paris and go sailing "where the wind blows". So I have no "local spot" and the conditions can be very different: chop, wave, tide, constant wind or gusts....and I have to adapt to avoid windsuffering instead of windsurfing (this one is from Barry Spanier!).
I vary the strap setting to make my board better pass the lulls (forward setting), or fly on the fin with a back and narrow stance when the wind is strong and the water flat enough, and regain control in hi wind and choppy conditions by widening the stance.
Wave sailing sideshore, I also often like to have my front strap further forward on the surfing side and one hole back on the jumping side.
I know I loose some minutes to do this and find the ideal setting (they call me the mad trimmer!), but one thing is certain: when a friend tries my board, he always feels good on it (providing we have the same size). And the contrary is rarely true!
I also change the straps (and the fin) when my wife wants her board back!
So yes, please Starboard try to improve the inserts so old maniacs like me (24 years of windsurfing) can do and undo their straps without wearing the thread.
On my first generation S-type 115 (what a board!!!), we have to undo the back straps for fitting the fin. And I have now to go for bigger screws cause the threads are worn.
Best regards and thank you for the Carve, S-type, Hypersonic and Evo (the others I don't know!). And keep on kicking windsurfers asses for they still "do it standing up"!
Cheers Foolonhill

Phill104
12th January 2007, 04:24 PM
I never change my footstrap settings. I have a Kombat which I use with inboard settings which suit the conditions for when I use that board. In flat conditions I just change to a different board. If the water is flat I would rather use a more speed orientated board than the Kombat.

Guest
12th January 2007, 05:10 PM
Well, just for the records, I believe that most sailor don't change the straps position ever. I include myself in that group once I find the best option. However recently I did it to be able to get some sailing on my iS105 and 4.5 sail in 25+ knots (I'm 67Kg) in heavy chop.
Changing the straps to all the way forward allowed me much more control over the board. Even if it was clearly the case of a much smaller board which I do not have, still it allowed me to have good fun.
So definetely changing the straps position is something to consider at times.

Per
13th January 2007, 12:26 AM
Well, to me the "which strap setting should I use today" question is as common as which sail to use for the given conditions.
I sail an Aero 127 (crossover board) and S-type 115 (do anything excellent board) and switch the straps almost every time I go out depending on whether I'm in loose jump an slashing mode og fast freeride mode. The possibility to do so is as importans to me as the possibility to have several sails or fin options.
Only thing that pisses me off is that it's actually quite a hazzle to change the straps as finding the screw and loosening it is quite difficult. Starboard had made a litte starp over the screw to make this easier but it worked against the process and so I cut it off with a knife.
It's not rocket science to make easy switchable straps.
I know the system Fanatic had in the '90ties. It was fast, but not solid and it wore out too quick.B)

James
13th January 2007, 01:26 AM
I agree 100% with Russell, Arno13, and Foolonhill.

We DO adjust footstrap positions, and we would do it a lot more if it weren't such a PAIN in the butt. I wish they would bring back machine screws for footstraps so the inserts wouldn't wear out. Also, hand-turned screws and infallible anti-twist devices would be good. Shame on those who un-invented these conveniences.

Some reasons I often need to change footstrap positions-
1. Need early planing and upwind pointing ability with big sail and big fin = move straps outboard
2. Letting your girlfriend use your board = move straps inboard and forward
3. Switching from freeride to racing = move straps outboard.
4. Using a small fin because of high winds = move straps inboard and maybe wider
5. Have to use a weedfin = move footstraps inboard because board won't rail
6. Want to jump or do freestyle or wave riding = move straps inboard
7. Switching from high-foot wave / freestyle sail to low-foot freeride or race sail = move footstraps outboard.

Real world sailors often have only one board for a huge range of conditions, and real world conditions change all the time. That's why gear that can be tuned quickly and easily is a must.

Starboard sells a lot of boards that boast range and crossover abilities- Carve, S-type, Kombat, the bigger Isonics, GO, START, etc. But much of the crossover appeal is lost when it takes 30 minutes fumbling and cursing on the beach to change the fin and move 4 footstraps.

Per
13th January 2007, 02:05 AM
Hi James..
Spot on... Imagine you needed 15 minutes with a tool every time you wanted to switch gear on your bicycle ....B)
Cross over boards should be a lot easier to CROSS OVER:p

Philip
13th January 2007, 06:59 AM
Have experimented with strap positions on HS 111 across a range of conditions. Concluded that strap setting is part of the tune mix especially on a board that carries such a range of sail and fin. Would set them daily to conditions if were that feasible. Have settled on a position that trades off speed versus gybing for an average of (variable) conditions - but then I am not a plug and play type.

GEM
13th January 2007, 07:09 AM
I thought so.

Some hard-core people do it and live with the inserts degrading and even needing replacement; most people mount 'em and leave 'em, and on a given day live with a sub-optimal setup.

I confess that I don't move my straps, but not because it doesn't occur to me or because I don't have the time or don't know what I'd like, but ONLY because it's such a pain in the arse. The whole idea of one-only boards is a joke, because to be a true one-only board you HAVE TO change the straps. Just like you move the mast base, boom height, harness lines, and outhaul.

Last fall I took out my smallest board (OK, it's a Naish), and I don't know what possessed me because I moved my straps forward (they were all the way back). This has always been a phenomenal jumper, with most people wondering how to get so high and I mainly use it for jumping, but on this day I came up to the first lip and popped it up...my instantaneous reaction was, 'Oh my G*d, I didn't know this board could jump like this!!' Lesson - you gotta experiment with the footstraps.

OK, *B, you know most of us are mightily impressed by your World Championship performance, but what we really care about is our own performance. Clearly, the industry needs some progress in foot strap ease of use, and the company that figures it out will have a competitive advantage. Hint - crossover boards would be the place to start.

steveC
13th January 2007, 08:41 AM
Well Ian, I knew that many would support the concept of changing footstraps, as I have been in similar threads like this before. It's kind of like politics, where folks' opinions align with their idea of what's right or appropriate. A lot of different factors affect feelings and opinions, and I guess that's to be expected. Also, I'm sure that unforeseen changes can sometimes offer interesting outcomes, as you so aptly noted. Even though I hold to my earlier positions as identified above, it's good to hear others voice their thoughts and concerns. The one thing that appears more universal is that many folks wish that the footstrap change process was either quicker and/or more durable overall.

Surprisingly, not as much support for two position attachment per footstrap side. A very important issue in my mind, but I appear to be taking an unusual stance here. Today, a friend got out of the water, and I noted that footstraps on his S-Type 115 where skewed in tweaked ways that would have drove me nuts. I made no mention of the issue, but it's interesting that many folks are so accepting in nature. You know, a bit more mellow overall.

In any case, a good discussion point. I'm glad that Geoff started things off.

GEM
13th January 2007, 11:23 AM
I'm not sure I understand steveC correctly, but as I re-read his posts I think that by "two attachments per side" he means two screws on each end of the footstrap. In other words, he doesn't like single-screw footstraps (correct me if I'm wrong).

I concur.

In fact, on my Berky (now semi-retired), I bought plugs, drilled out the deck, and glassed in extra screw plugs so as to have two screws on each end of the footstrap. That is what it takes to be really secure. KevinP might need the lightness of single screws, but I will pay a small penalty in exchange for reliability.

I agree with steveC.

But give me easy adjustability first!!!!

Guest
13th January 2007, 05:01 PM
Fanatic and Bic both had "easier" footstrap anchors. Bic's corroded, they were miniture mast tracks. Fanatics were better, turnkey pins, but eventualy they broke, and were a bit rough to step on or jam into. It would have been nice to see improvements on these ideas, but we, as a sport, need a critical mass of $$ like we once had....

:~) have a good sail, and get some friends to join the addiction.

John I

mike
13th January 2007, 10:39 PM
This is a great dicussion thread. I'm the happy owner of a Kombat. In summer I've set the straps outboard, in winter, inboard. In the last year, this has meet the majority of conditions for each season. There may be a bit of swtiching back & forth in "season transitions".

Is what limits my switching more often is concern of screw failure. I brought this up in the forum previously & was suggested use soap on the screws when switching. Nonetheless, I still try to limit the changes.

steveC
14th January 2007, 12:14 AM
Hi Geoff.

Yes, you correctly interpreted my point about footstrap attachment. I'm quite adamant about having the straps fixed in place so that any twisting can't take place. All my boards are configured this way. Also, I would like to emphasize that this attachment strategy really doesn't increase the board weight as long as the number of footstrap locations are kept to a reasonable minimum. By the way, this doesn't preclude having inboard and outboard options in the mix, as one of my boards is configured this way (between the two choices, I preferred the outboard one).

However, in fairness to other thought about this, in a similar thread a year or two back there was actually a person or two that actually liked the way single sided attachment allowed for the strap to twist position. It was stressed that the twisted positioning permitted better foot control over the board. Overall, I believe that this kind of preference is in the minority, especially in light of the many anti-twist components that have been developed and employed over the years.

GEM
14th January 2007, 10:08 AM
Hi Steve

I agree with you completely on this.


To the others who keep trying...

I agree with all the concerns.

Just because other manufacturers tried and failed doesn't mean it was a bad idea. They just didn't come up with sufficient technology.

I think it's a formidable task, because a solution probably does involve metal-on-metal threads, designed not to loosen, not to corrode, lightweight, and as steveC points out - double screws.

Guest
14th January 2007, 08:12 PM
Hi, I remember I had an 2003 Fanatic E-ray 150 which has a Foot Strap Quick Adjust Option, It was some additional holes right near to the standard ones, so you have 2 options, use it with the standard screw or with the plastic pins supplied.
If Fanatic can make a board with metal holes and pins, we will have the perfect sulution for a quick footstraps adjusment.

I hope I can see a solution for this in the future,

Regards,

Rudolf

Jean-Marc
15th January 2007, 12:51 AM
RE : footstraps change's poll.

1) No footstraps change : HS105 (all back & outboard*) and Acid 62 (front strap: front & inboard; back strap : back & inboard).
2) Footstraps change : Carve 111 and Kombat 86 : all front & inboard for waveriding; all back & outboard for B&J and blasting. I do change the footstraps during the day if it gets windy with waves or if the wind dies and water gets flatter and if I can't use either HS105 or Acid 62 (it's faster to switch board than to swap footstraps of course).

On the subject of using a screwdriver to change footstraps, a Philips/posidrive screw head is clearly inferior to both a Torx or an Allen screw head when force is needed to really tighten the footstraps on the deck. Simply said : I never ever stripped a Torx or Allen screw head. These kind of screw heads could be much more usefull on crossover boards such as S-Type, Carve or Kombat for those who truly enjoy crossing over discipline depending on the conditions, but as well as with beginner and intermediate boards such as Start, Rio, Starsurfer & co where changing footstraps can become a necessity to accomodate various members (kids, wife, husband, friends) of various skills at the beach.

Fanatic did have a quick lock foostraps system in the 90s : just turn a foldable butterfly bolt head by 1/2 turn to tighten the footstraps. The T shaped bolt's end enters into a groove inside the footstraps insert to tighten. The biggest problem was that dirt, salt crystals and sand that could sneak into the insert's groove, thus making the bolts tightened once and for all. Forcing on the bolt's head usually destroyed either the foldable butterfly, stripped the grooves or broke the T shaped bolt's ends. Quick lock indeed but sometimes for an eternity...

Double screws, i.e., 12 or 16 ? No thanks, 6 or 8 are enough to unscrew and rescrew each time for my taste.

Cheers !

JM

*HS105 : with race straps, I need to unscrew 4 screws to adjust between barefoot or booties (only in winter) snuginess.

Arno13
15th January 2007, 03:22 AM
Jean-Marc

On the subject of using a screwdriver to change footstraps, a Philips/posidrive screw head is clearly inferior to both a Torx or an Allen screw head when force is needed to really tighten the footstraps on the deck. Simply said : I never ever stripped a Torx or Allen screw head.

Quite true now that you mention it.

Jean-Marc
The biggest problem was that dirt, salt crystals and sand that could sneak into the insert's groove, thus making the bolts tightened once and for all. Forcing on the bolt's head usually destroyed either the foldable butterfly, stripped the grooves or broke the T shaped bolt's ends. Quick lock indeed but sometimes for an eternity...

The previously mentionned Geko was my first short board and being 23 at the time, I wasn't careful at all with my equipment (now experience & family-budget considerations have made me change !) and it never happened with me (the depressions getting dirty with a blocking result). But it's true that the small plastic device ("foldable butterfly") felt a little too light construction-wise.
Yet we had the instant tool-free capacity to adjust our gear to the conditions of the day. I wonder if it's no longer made because of the technology of the boards (thermoformed vs full sandwich) ?
Cheers

Per
15th January 2007, 06:34 PM
Yup... Torx head, easy access ( I think it's already solved on the straps on some of the later Aeros) and personally I've never ever needed double screws on any of my Starboards as long as I was wble to tighten the existin screws properly.

B)