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BRIAN FINCH’S TIPS AND TRICKS ON HOW TO PRONE FOIL WITH THE FFB AIR STRAPS

METHODS

There’s two main methods as well as a third option for strapped takeoffs. Back Foot First and Front Foot First, both methods are the same, aside from the order of your feet into the straps. Back Foot First (BFF) is best used when riding a balanced foil or back-footed foil setup. Inserting your back foot allows the rider to control the elevation of the foil while making the initial drop. Front Foot First (FFF) I recommend if you ride a very front footed foil setup, meaning lots of early and aggressive lift. Getting your foot into the front strap as early as possible will be crucial to combating the lift of your ‘front footed’ foil. The third method is a hybrid, let’s call it FFF-BFI (Front Foot First, Back Foot Intermittently). Never mind, scratch that. Let’s just call it the Hybrid. The Hybrid is a FFF takeoff, but the back foot is placed in front of the strap on the deck of the board during takeoff and pumping, then inserted into the strap for turns and airs. I only know a few people that do this, but they do it very well.

WAVE SELECTION AND WAVE CATCHING

It’s best to start with softer, longer waves that allow you time to get your feet situated. Trying to chip in on a shorebreak with a very short runway before needing to pump out will be a very steep learning curve. You need time.
Paddling into the wave early and getting your board down the face of the wave is crucial. Initially, you will likely be a little slow entering your straps and this delay can leave you up hung up in the lip, making the drop more critical. Once you’ve caught the wave, make haste! Get those feet positioned quickly.

EXPECTATIONS

Be mentally prepared to miss good waves with plenty of crash and burn moments. However in time, taking off in straps will become second nature and your feet will know exactly where to go.

TIPS AND TRICKS

Tripoding:
Place one foot in the strap and drag the opposite leg on the water for stability until your foot is finding the strap. I’ll use this technique to slow down on bigger, steeper drops or when I miss the initial foot placement and need to adjust.Loose:
Start with nice wide open loose straps. This almost negates the benefits of riding straps, but it will speed up the learning curve of entering your straps. Once you have your takeoff technique down, tighten up your straps for the full benefits. I ride my straps with enough room that I can shuffle my feet around for micro adjustments while riding, but loose enough for a seamless ejection. I also like to be able to lift my heel off the board when strapped for a full range-of-motion while pumping.Reps:
While sitting and waiting for waves, run through a bunch of repetitions of popping up and into your straps.

Look:
Looking down is often overlooked when learning the strap game. Glance down at your straps upon takeoff, this enhances the awareness of where your feet need to go and help build the muscle memory for speedy strapped takeoffs.

Setup:
To choose your strap position, take note of your feet in relation to the board while riding. Also note whether your foot stance is perpendicular to the rails or turned out, and setup your straps accordingly.

Ejecting from straps:
Point your toes and you’re out! Getting out of your straps in a hurry is important.

CHECK OUT BRIAN FINCH’S PRO MODEL THE FTW PRO! IT PAIRS PERFECTLY WITH THE FFB AIR STRAPS

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