Setting your straps with van Broeckhoven, Buzianis, Campello and Schmit

Where do you put yours?

Only by positioning the footstraps the correct way will you be able to gybe, jump high, and get enough speed. So, where do some of the top PWA sailors put them? There is no standard position for your straps, it depends on your riding level, weight, your height and so on. Here Boardseeker investigates more about where you should be placing your footstraps. Text by: reemedia.

Strap position for beginners and intermediates

To the front and to the middle is the formula; the easier it is to get into your straps, the better.

More to the front or to the back?

What happens when I put them more to the front?

For planing and planing through a move it is important to get more body weight to the front of the board. Thereby you increase the gliding area, which allows you to stay planing during the move.

Micah Buzianis in action

More to the back?

-The back of your board sinks deeper into the water which makes it harder to get planing.

-As soon as you are planing, there is less of the board touching the water which increases your speed.

-The more you have the footstraps at the back, the harder it is to keep control over your board in strong winds.

-Riders who have trouble getting in the back straps quick enough should mount them more to the front from the beginning, and with their level increasing they can slowly start moving it backwards.

Close together or separated?

What happens when you mount the straps far away from each other?

– Your position on the board is more stable and the board can be held more flat on the water. In the upper wind range you also have more control.

-The World cup sailors especially have their straps set-up super wide, so they can have maximal board control with their, almost always, overpowered sails.

-Have a look at the picture: 41cm and more are pretty common.

What happens when you put them closer together?

In low winds it will be more comfortable to ride, but as soon as the wind picks up you will have less board control.

Steven van Broeckhoven

How wide should a strap be?

The screws of a modern strap are positioned between 14,5 and 16,5cm. On a Raceboard/slalom board put it even tighter to have better control over the board in strong winds.

Outside or to the middle of the board?

With the latest freeride and freestyle boards you get a variety of plugins for your front straps. For freestyle and wave it is recommended to locate the straps more to the middle, for racing and freeride more to the outer line of the board.

Some tips for the specialists: 

-When your surface area is quite small and you position your straps to the front it is way harder to get planing. (Reason: you board is pushing water in front)

-The bigger your surface( “planing”) area the more you can put the straps to the front.


Youp Schmit

Youp Schmit, Freestyle Young Gun

Which points of your footstrap position are important for you?

I keep my footstraps the same position all year round, for strong winds and light winds I always like to be on the same position on my board, I get used to this position all year so when I hit the water I know my setup.

What I do is I put the front footstraps all the way in the front, I like to be close to the mastfoot and the nose because this give me more control over the whole rig in the moves. And could also it gives the board a bit more slide.

My back footstrap I put almost as tight as possible around my back foot and all the way in the back.

Freestyle has changed in the past years, away from the sliding moves to the power moves; does it affect on your footstrap position?

Freestyle has changed a lot, especially in the last years.. But I’m not sure if it did change the position we put our footstraps, I do think the screw-boxes moved to other positions. I think it could be different with almost all boards, because some of the boards might put the screw-boxes in different positions.

I think most guys have the back strap now placed more to the back for more pop, whereas before it was more the the front for more slide.

Youp Schmit’s positions
Youp Schmit’s positions








Do you have any tips regarding the footstrap positions?

For the freestyle readers I would recommend to find the footstrap position you are comfortable with; for freestyle it is pretty with you straps if you put them all the way in the front it gives more slide, and to the back more speed..

Tip: It’s hard to explain .. but imagine.. We are talking about the front footstrap, you have 4 holes to screw the screw down onto the board on each side, some guys like for example Kiri put the strap that they go switch stance into, he puts the screw on the rail side one screw more towards the tail then the other side. This will change the angle the foot-strap on his board, and makes it easier to get in your straps for switch and makes it more comfortable for him.

And it makes it a little bit more narrow for the foot to fit into the footstrap.

Play around with your footstraps and see what is best for you.

And enjoy sailing! 🙂

Steven van Broeckhoven

Steven van Broeckhoven, Freestyle World Champion 2011

Which points of your footstrap position are important for you?

The position is really personal; on freestyle boards the distance is closer than on wave boards, because its easier to pop with the feet closer together, but to close is also not good for the balance and control.

Basically if you put the straps in centre this should be the recommend position, I have my feet a little bit wider as I’m a bit taller the average freestyler; on the JP we have three positions in front and three in the back.

I also but my straps a little more narrow, here are my positions:

-The front strap; I put the front screws in the middle position, the back screws in the front position.

-The backstrap; I put the front screws in the back position and the back screw in the middle position.

Steven van Broeckhoven’s positions
Steven van Broeckhoven’s positions








Steven van Broeckhoven’s positions

Freestyle has changed in the past years, away from the sliding moves to the power moves; does it affect on your footstrap position? 

Not really I think, but the boards have changed a lot and also position of straps and base. On the 2013 JP Freestyle boards we moved the base, straps and the fin more to the back. This is the difference!

Do you have any tips regarding the footstrap positions?

On the JP boards I know if you put them in the centre, then it’s always good. If you are small and want more pop bring the straps together when you are tall take a wider stance.

Also, try to bring the straps into a narrower position to use one plug position closer and make straps bigger, so the strap stands nicely round, that makes going much easier without losing speed and more narrow you will not slip out while doing the move. On the JP boards the straps you can also turn the plastic plates to make more narrow strap.

Micah Buzianis
Micah Buzianis’ positions













Micah Buzianis, Top PWA Slalom racer.

Micah Buzianis’ positions
Micah Buzianis’ positions

Which points of your footstrap position are important for you?

The most important points of my footstraps are: comfort of the straps and in a position that makes the board comfortable and easy to ride.

In the season 2011 you had a wider stan

ce. What´s the reason for this?

In 2011 I think my sails were harder to sail than in 2012, thus a wider stance to allow more control over the board.

Do you have any tips regarding the footstrap positions?

I think for the mast foot it really depends on the sails and boards you are riding and how they work together.  I would suggest that in choppy water you ride it as far forward as you can as long as the board is not sticking to much and in flat water put it as far back as you can as long as the board is not flying away.

Ricardo Campello

Ricardo Campello, ranked 4th PWA Wave World Tour.

Which points of your footstrap position are important for you?

I just stick to the length I normally use for all my boards, then depending if it’s on-shore or side-off I change it a bit.

What´s the reason for a narrower stance for jumping (for example in Gran Canaria) in comparison to waveriding (with a wider stance)?  

Just to be more comfortable; I feel that if the stance is narrower jumping is more comfortable for me.

Ricardo Campello’s positions
Ricardo Campello’s positions


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