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Skiff Footstraps


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I've been using Shock footstraps on my 14 for the past few years (http://49er.ca/product/shock-foot-strap-wide-2). They are easy to get in and out of, comfortable to hold, but tend to wear out fast and I've had a couple close calls with ankle injuries with being unable to get out in a capsize or the like.

Has anyone come up with what they think is a better option? Windsurfing foot loops? something else?

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Only bought my 14 recently, but it had dyneema loops with a rubber cover over them. Will certainly last until you get tired of your feet being uncomfortable. I'm ditching mine soon. Look forward to hearing some other solutions.

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Hanging upside down in footstraps with your ankle at un-natural angles aint fun, happened to many times, but I have been lucky.

3 layers of 20mm webbing swen together seems to be all the rage (so 20mm wide and 3 x 2mm thick) for footloops.    Get you sailmaker to "overlly" sew it together.

It would be really nice to develope and break out system (to save ankles)

                                jB

 

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Would a velcro "tear out" section allow for release when needed?  User could adjust the amount of overlap of the velcro to determine how hard or easy it was to break out. Different strength velcro might also be used. If it doesn't work, it's no worse than status quo. 

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12 hours ago, Tubes said:

Only bought my 14 recently, but it had dyneema loops with a rubber cover over them. Will certainly last until you get tired of your feet being uncomfortable. I'm ditching mine soon. Look forward to hearing some other solutions.

That's what my 14 had. I was way to scared to have full on foot straps like on my boards. I windsurf barefoot and I've been stuck, putting a boot into a foot strap on a skiff - no thanks!

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1 hour ago, Liquid said:

That's what my 14 had. I was way to scared to have full on foot straps like on my boards. I windsurf barefoot and I've been stuck, putting a boot into a foot strap on a skiff - no thanks!

Yep, rope straps are easy to get into, easy to get out of. My partner loves his windsurf loops, so get gets his way, but I'd rather have the rope loops.

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Yeah, definitely not the first time someone thought about this....I guess this is a problem in windsurfing as well - found a bunch of patents on the subject from the 80's and 90's. I guess it never took off. Some of these seem too mechanically complex to really make sense,

Re: velcro - just need to figure out how to tune the strength of of the strap so that it actually goes.

image.thumb.png.c2abd98e59d60f1806db4d0c53b10ad0.png

Thiese seemed reasonable.. https://patents.google.com/patent/US5378181A/en or https://patents.google.com/patent/EP0084863A1/en
image.thumb.png.b8a45f4049b68a0029d443f3cb70263e.png

Re: hook option - I think this would probably require more active effort on the part of the sailor to use. Would be interesting to try.

Re: rope - I think this is the easiest to rig up, but yeah, not a great option for long races due to comfort. Also, dyneema won't break before your foot. 

We tie the Shock ones straight to the rack with 1.5mm dyneema, and have bolted them on in the past as well. Perhaps there is a way to just screw it into the rack with 2 threads or so, something that would tear out before your knee or ankle, but still be reliable enough to not need to fix every time you go sailing.

I guess with any option, step 1 would be to figure out what the actual loading is on a foot strap, and then figure out under what loading conditions you need it to break away.

 

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The French company Look made safety footstraps for windsurfers a long time ago. They had taken the technology from ski bindings to make bicycle pedals and cleats which eliminated toe clips, straps and plates and made cycling (well racing anyway) safer. Then they went looking for other sports where they could do the same thing. I remember safety stirrups for horse riding, and the windsurfing footstraps.

https://www.look-bindings.com/history

https://www.lookcycle.com/fr-en/inside/about-look-heritage

Can't find any information on the windsurf ones, but here's an article about the stirrups.

https://horsyklop.com/ridup/

Capture d’écran 2020-09-13 à 10.52.45.png

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5 hours ago, mothra64 said:

We tie the Shock ones straight to the rack with 1.5mm dyneema, and have bolted them on in the past as well. Perhaps there is a way to just screw it into the rack with 2 threads or so, something that would tear out before your knee or ankle, but still be reliable enough to not need to fix every time you go sailing.

I have used the method with two bolts(also depicted on the shocksailing page) for all my(too short) time sailing 49er and from the two times I got stuck in the foot loop whilethe boat flipped/fuck up that this seems to work.

Both the bolts tearing through the material due to their small diameter and the loops themselves stretching under excessive load of a trapped foot. One memorable time got dragged by my foot after falling out of the trapeze(actually was "hooked in" with the tip of the hook, less than secure. Would not recommend ;)) and didn't get any injury. Not pleasant though.

Also helps to have loops small enough that your foot doesn't slip through and gets jammed in there. At least that is what saved me while windsurfing a couple of times.

Thinking on it now, if you're concerned that the stretchy shocksailing rubber doesn't have enough give to fail before your foot you could opt to use some nylon bolts?
That seems to be the go to option for fasteners you want to fail before parts get damaged and should allow you to get free easily enough. May need some testing to see what thickness you need to avoid nuiscance breakage.

 

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Shock straps seem to go through phases of quality and longeivity. I most recently have used DaKine contour straps - not cheap but they hold their shape well, and they last longer than shocks. Which, for what they are are not exactly cheap either.

My sense is that any attempt to make a system with a "fuse" is asking for the fuse to go off in the usual rough and tumble of sailing. Biggest thing re falling out (perhaps breaking trap line apart) is to point your toes. Other thing is to use nice tight windsurf boots. Hiking boots are asking for trouble - big and stiff and grippy.

I did hear some guys using donkey nose band baterial with success

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The most important thing is to get the size of the foot strap correct. If it is too small, you either jamb the foot in too tight and can get stuck, or you are only in with your toes and don't have enough to hold you. If the strap is too loose, then you can slip your foot too far in and get well and truly stuck when you are thrown back or forward. This is why I go for the magic Marine adjustable straps, so I get the sizing spot on. The other benefit is that if all else goes wrong, you don't need a knife or tools to undo the strap as you just undo velcro. I am not sure if I could do it when sailing on my own (and I hope to never have to try), but in a crewed boat, no problem.

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We've used the narrow shock sailing ones in the past. But, the rubber wears off the webbing quite quick (say a season) and they're reasonably expensive. 

We now have a singe piece of webbing laid over several times and sewn together. Ends up being 20mm wide like Julian describes. Moat Sails did it for us and are based in Portland. They're quite cheap too. 

They're not as comfortable as the moulded shock ones, however, but they're okay. I have ended up with bruised feet a couple of times after really putting pressure through them. They're very minimalistic and light weight. You can also fold them over at the back to get further aft on the rack. 

 

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5 hours ago, Mozzy Sails said:

We've used the narrow shock sailing ones in the past. But, the rubber wears off the webbing quite quick (say a season) and they're reasonably expensive. 

We now have a singe piece of webbing laid over several times and sewn together. Ends up being 20mm wide like Julian describes. Moat Sails did it for us and are based in Portland. They're quite cheap too. 

They're not as comfortable as the moulded shock ones, however, but they're okay. I have ended up with bruised feet a couple of times after really putting pressure through them. They're very minimalistic and light weight. You can also fold them over at the back to get further aft on the rack. 

 

I'm a fan of that type, but the crew loves his Musto. So we have both.

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