More info: www.surf-sales.com
Price: £17.99 per strap
The X-Lace is a windsurfing footstrap from legendary accessory maker Dakine, They are designed to allow easy adjustment of the footstrap with one easy pull-tab system.
The internals of the strap feature a system of spectra laces, allowing the footstrap to be easily tightened or loosened with one tug of a webbing tab whilst keeping the strap moulded nicely around the top of the foot.
Simple! Pull the black webbing strap to make them tighter. Pull the red loop to slacken them off. The system has been designed to allow the rider to adjust whilst on the water. Whether you need to do this or not is questionable, but never-the-less it’s a great system with a very easy operation – the best we have come across so far.
The first thing you will notice when using the X-Lace is that they are wider than a conventional strap. Across the top, they are approx 15mm wider than a regular strap. The advantage of the extra width is that it spreads the load across the top of your foot, making them extremely comfortable to blast in.
The downside of extra wide straps (remember when it was cool to put kite straps on your freestyle board?) is that they can make it more difficult for your foot to release when you crash etc. Luckily this wasn’t a problem with the X-Lace. The good shape and stiffness of the strap allowed our test Clones feet to release with all the ease of a conventional strap.
Compared with most conventional straps, the extra width and slightly stiffer form give you a very ‘connected’ feel with the board. For blasting, this is great. For wave riding, it’s a matter of personal preference. We have heard that Dakine are planning to release a wave version of this strap in the future which will have similar form to their core contour strap ie a bit narrower at the front and wider at the back.
They are a bit heavier than a conventional strap and slightly less padded. Luckily the extra width does spread the load across the top of your foot a bit more, so the lack of padding is not such an issue.
Many of the quick adjust footstrap systems on offer today simply don’t work. They may save a few minutes of adjustment time on the beach, but the next few hours on the water are spent wishing for a more comfortable set of straps.
The X-Lace is different however. The straps really do adjust easily, but more importantly, for the 99% of the time that you are actually using the straps (rather than adjusting them), they are very comfortable to use.
If you share boards with someone of a different foot size eg. husband and wife, you will love the X-Lace.
You will also find them good if you change from boots to bare feet on a regular basis (eg for different beaches) or simply like to adjust the size of your straps slightly for different conditions eg riding or jumping etc.