I’m really digging riding my kiteboards strapless. Of my 5 kiteboards 3 are dedicated strapless, 1 is used both ways and 1 is a dedicated strapped in board. I like the straps to jump and I like jumping a lot, but for days that are lighter wind or for any wave riding I’d prefer to be riding strapless.
Without the straps you aren’t locked into a specific position on your board. The ability to move your feet all over the board feels great and allows you to tweak the way it rides very subtly.
To stay on the board without straps you have to balance the force of the kite through your body against the board which pushes into the water. If you are out of balance you’ll be pulled off the board right away. This results in a wonderful feeling of connection between your body, the gear and the water. At it’s best it’s like dancing with your kite, the wind and the waves.
I’ve posted this video before, but I can’t help myself I never get tired of watching it. This level of kitesurfing is attainable by anyone who wants to learn. You don’t have to be a superstar athlete and the video captures the flow of strapless riding really well. It’s so much fun that it’s really hard to come back to the beach until you are so tired that you are literally falling off your board. 🙂
Here are a couple websites dedicated to strapless kiteboarding: