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Thanks for all your advice. I bought a 2012 Slingshot Strapless Dialer super discounted.
It should be a lot easier lot learn on this. I can still use it later to paddle and kite in low wind.
I am a bit worried to learn directly on a strapless board but I guess it is something I need to learn anyway as well.
Sonny, I'll come by as soon as I can start on this strapless board.
A quick update after my last post and 4-5 sessions on this new board.
First of all going strapless is a lot easier than I thought.
I struggled during the first half hour to get up but now I find it easier than with straps! That was a big surprise to me. When I am planning though, it is still a bit sketchy as I am just using wax and it is easy to slip on the board when 3rd is choppy.
I also successfully did my first jibe on my first try on this board! Remember that last year I was not able to make even 1 jibe on 12+ sessions. So the size of the board (and probably strapless) do matter a lot. It was a lucky Jibe though as now I am probably around 20-30% success rate.
On the bad side now,
I find it difficult to manage my board (strapless) when I am overpowered.
I already fill that I reached a "plateau" in my jibe learning curve.
Something that was a complete surprise is that I need a helmet with this board. When I fall and try to get the board back to me (or return it), very often the board take the wind and "fly" violently. It nearly caught my head multiple times. Something that I have never seen with a twintip obviously. Is that a problem for others as well?
Anyway, it feels really good to discover the strapless surfing.
My recent experience learning to jibe strapless has also been starting to come to fruition. No new board, just practice and trying different techniques. So far the strategy that seems best to work for me is to turn as I send the kite the other way and transition to riding toe-side. I usually lose speed here and have to build it back with a power stroke before pointing more downwind and chasing the kite, here's where I jibe.
Nailed two on Saturday out at 3rd and couldn't help hooting and hollering.
Haven't had too many flying board issues but I still wear a helmet cause I'm a safety nazi.
I just learned to jibe over the past three weeks and now feel fairly confident in the ocean. I have a 5'9' that i ride-I was very close to selling b/c i didnt think it was good for me(too small-i weigh 185) but am VERY happy that i kept it.
Here is what it took:
**locking my twin tip in the closet**
asked someone who I know can jibe well what to do
3 sessions on my 7'3" (wide) surfboard to build confidence
took my straps off my 5'9"
headed to 3rd to practice, practice, practice
The rewards are more amazing than i thought. I'm even thinking about selling my 2013 board and boots now...
Your first board, 17" wide, is too narrow for learning.....no room for your slow unsure movements as you learn the moves/timing.
RE: overpowered w/out straps - rig a smaller kite.....straps only hide the fact that you are carrying to much juice....to much power is only good for jumping, and even then, it's hard to set an edge to create optimal pop....
To help w/traction, use booties....there a few companies that are making thin ones in case you are worried about getting cold.....wax+booties works great.
To improve your jibing skills practice riding toe side with speed and power
Lock the twintip in the closet and it may never come out
It is obvious that we can no more explain a passion to a person who has never experienced it than we can explain light to the blind. T.S.Eliot
Always turning on my dominant foot was a recent revelation - it doubled my success rate where I'm now making most of my jibes. So I go heal-side to toe-side on my dominant foot, and then switch my feet; and going the other way, I switch my feet and then go toe-side to heal-side on my dominant foot. My rationale is that I'm way more comfortable turning on my dominant foot and with it less apt to botch things in any number of manner (losing board balance, losing power, etc.) and it's much easier to move my feet from a position where I have better control of power (toe-side or heal-side on my dominant side). I figure with more time on the board and more familiarity, my weak side will get better... but in the meantime I get to stop taking a dunk everytime I want to change directions.
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