Footstraps: plane better with the right setup | Photo: Carter/PWA

Footstraps are a key accessory for windsurfers wishing to step into intermediate and advanced sailing grounds. If you're looking for speed, fast jibes, and powerful jumps, then you need to know how to adjust them.

Learning how to set up your footstraps is learning how to control your windsurf board in relation to the wind. Footwork is a constant variable in windsurfing, especially when the wind picks up and you need an immediate response.

Footstraps are essential gear as you start to steer the board more with your feet and less with the sail, in order to complete tricks and to accelerate in open water. So, if you've mastered the art of planing, hooked in the harness, then you're ready for the footwork studies.

When you're hooked in a footstrap, you'll plane better, but you will also turn sharper while wisely sinking rail. That is why footstrap positioning is so important.

There are no strict rules for installing footstraps on a windsurf board. Your height, weight and level of experience matter; knowing if you're sailing out for speed, slalom, wave or freestyle is paramount too.

However, we've listed the major rules of thumb in the theory of footstrap adjustment:

1. Beginner and intermediate windsurfers should move footstraps to the middle and front of the board;
2. If you're planing, footstraps should be put more to the front to increase the surface of the board in contact with the water;
3. Set the footstraps far away from each other for more control in strong wind conditions;
4. Wave and freestyle windsurfers should mount the footstraps in the middle of the board;
5. Freeride and race windsurfers should mount the footstraps closer to the rails of the board;
6. Freestyle specialists prefer having the back footstrap more mounted more to back of the board;
7. Taller sailors can set up footstraps wider than the average standard;
8. Choppy waters require straps mounted as far forward as possible;
9. Flat waters ask for straps mounted as far back as possible;
10. A narrow stance is usually more comfortable for jumping waves;
11. To avoid the windsurfing catapult, always put the back foot first in the footstrap;

In the end, you must feel comfortable with your footstrap configuration. So, now that you've decided where, it's time to learn how to screw the footstraps to the board. Remember that the recommended strap aperture stands at 15.50 centimeters.

1. Insert the screws through the washers with its teeth facing down and through the center holes located on either end of a footstrap;
2. Screw down each footstrap onto the desired position on the board. Tighten the footstraps as much as possible for maximum comfort.

Competitive surfing can be divided into five different eras. From crowning the first world champion in 1964 until now, there have been several tours, spanning from 1964 to present day.

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