Most people spend a good portion of their lives searching for that "ultimate" feeling, hobby, or sport. For me, strapless kiteboarding has allowed me to express that ultimate form of freedom. Jeremy at Jupiter Kiteboarding has asked me to share my strapless riding experiences. Here are some of my thoughts and recommendations based on my experiences and board theory.
The first and most important thing I need to mention is that there is not one board that fits all riding. Make sure you pick a board for the local conditions. If you live in a place that blows over 16 knots or so consistently, you can ride a more traditional surfboard. For places like Jupiter, I recommend something a bit more lightwind-friendly. Jupiter has a lot of smaller wave days where a 6'1" just isn't going to be fun.
A board that gets loose and gets going quickly in light air can turn a mediocre session into a lot of fun. Strapless boards are always a balance between control and maneuverability. Add a wider tail, and you get planning earlier, but max out your bottom turns. Add concavity and you can turn on a dime, but start to reach a max speed earlier. Quads are a great thing, but be cautious of losing feel if you're a back foot heavy rider like myself. For kiting, I prefer boards with a little wider nose. A long board seems to catch wind and chop more. Also, when doing airs, a wider nose helps me keep the board to my feet, without losing the volume needed.
The first time you go out, you're going to be frustrated, confused, and probably get a few cuts on your feet, but ultimately, you will have an amazing new experience. Try and wait for a day that you feel comfortable riding, something like 13-18 knots with small to no waves. Welcome to the best thing in the world!
You're inherently going to want to be able to "do it all" right away, but let's take it one step at a time.Here is a list of things to do in the order I feel makes the most sense. Most of these aren't thorough or complete, but here is a start...
If you have more questions, check out www.losethestraps.com.There are several individuals that can offer another perspective that might help explain it. Otherwise feel free to send me an email.
***** THIS MIGHT NOT BE BEST FOR EVERYONE, but it is what I recommend.