Wednesday, February 18, 2009

jeff's foot + footstraps + pwa + rocks encounter

Lil post update.

Right after reading my post, Ola and his family ran into this other seal on the south shore and took a few pics. Thanks!

So incredibly cute! Mine was slightly more pissed off, though...

Now this is Michelle Hunziker instead. She has absolutely nothing to do with Maui and Ola, but it was right next to the seal in the folder where I usually put the photos downloaded from emails. Sorry (not!), but I just couldn't stop myself from uploading her too.
"Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world... I feel like I can't take it."... let's see if someone remembers which movie this quote is from.
Anyway, I had the luck to meet her and she's truly incredibly beautiful. And in her case, I even feel like I could take all that beauty... or at least give it a good try!

What now, two photos for the seal race and only one for the human race? Da hell, here's another one!
Without any doubt the most beautiful woman I shook the hand of! Didn't wash my hand for a week after that...

AAARRRGGGGHHHH!!!! Scrolling down the post, Bruno now just got into my screen. Right after the Hunziker beauty... that scared me more than the seal!
Plenty stuff in this post.

Jeff's post about his broken foot, reminded me that I made a short interview with Bruno Andre about the DaKine footstraps he's using that should prevent those kind of injuries.

I tried them on his board (yet another nice AHD board, btw) and I was convinced enough to go buy a set. I put them on my 81l, but since then the wind started nuking and I've not used them much. So I can't tell yet, but I'll make sure to report my opinion once I'll have one.
I just feel like mentioning that when I bought them, I met a very good sailor at the cannery and he said:"those are the most dangerous streps around!"
"Really, and why is that?"
"Because they're stretchy and if you land a high jump or aerial, your foot sometimes slips all the way in and if you wipe out it will stay stuck there..."
Shit, that makes a lot of sense I thought...
But then I told Bruno this and he said:"probably that guy had the streps too wide. I have them pretty narrow to avoid that. For example, I don't use two corresponding inserts on mine (like the two middle ones), but two closer ones (like the middle one and the one closer).
I believe that if Jeff had these footstreps, his foot would have not broken. But, what if the guy at the cannery was right? That would mean that yes, less broken feet, but more risk for ankles and knees.
So, it's all to be proved.
If you guys have experience with these footstraps, please leave a comment and let us know. But please don't report about the very first version of these footstraps: they sucked (even though I know people who liked them). They were incredibly stiff. Now they are still a bit annoying if you have to adjust them (can't adjust them like the other ones, you need a screwdriver), but they are very flexible and that's what's different about them.


While I'm writing, the final day of the PWA contest at Cabo Verde is on its way. I've been reading the TEXT live ticker and instead of being happy that there is such a thing, I can't help being frustrated that we can't SEE it yet.
Here's an example: "16.45 Angulo just pulled onto a massive set and clocked up the closest thing to a perfect ride you can get. Simply stunning sailing from him, that was phenominal, just phenominal."
How does that make you feel?

As you can see from the double elimination ladder, Marcilio Browne had a good run all the way until he met KP, who then lost to Josh Angulo. Angulo won twice against Kauli and won the event.

Somewhere I read that Kauli was on a quad board. Quite timely, Mr. Bruce McKee in person left a comment on the Dirk's quads post. Thanks for that.

Remarkable JC photo on the PWA site. I like the caption: Camille Juban moments before it all went very wrong.

And now a funny story.

Last Monday Hookipa was beautiful. After all that shitty (but still fun) windswell, the first head to logo high sets of a proper NW ground swell were hitting the shore. I was having a blast until, unfortunately, I broke my mast. The usual kook stuff: I fell on the inside, the board towards the wave and the mast towards the beach, no time to turn it around, the next wave comes, the tip of the mast gets stuck on the reef and... SNAP. How many times have I done that?
Anyway, since I've done that many times, I knew what to do: take it easy, swim with the current and get in through that little rocky cove downwind of the rocks.
Once I finally got onshore, these two big hawaiian guys fishing on the cliff towards Lanes were shouting me something. They were downwind and I couldn't hear them. I thought they were either making fun of me or bitching about their fishing lines and I ignored them.
Once I got my shit together, I started walking on those grey rocks and DID NOT SEE something.
Now, imagine the scene. I'm on this isolated rocky little cove and I think I'm completely alone. All of a sudden, some of those grey rocks come to life in the form of a huge monk seal that barks furiously at me for having interrupted a fat nap...
Holy shit, did I get scared!
And finally I could hear the voice of the two hawaiian guys laughing:"we told you there was a seal there!".
The animal was probably ten times heavier than me. "OK honey, no worries... I'm going to walk away from you... you keep napping, alright? I'm out of here in no time..."
Anyway, how cool is that you can have encounters like those? I wasn't even pissed off for the mast. I saw a beautiful animal in its natural environment... stoked!


Anonymous said...

Hi GP,

I did not hear or read what the model name of the Dakine foot strap was. Could you find out? I would then order a set!

Here is a link to their foot strap page:

I have stock Starboard straps, but i have been thinking about this sort of product since a started windsurfing not long ago. I'll do anything to save ligaments. I want to windsurf for a long of pain and injury!


cammar said...

Hi Mark,

you didn't hear it, because I didn't say it...
They are the Core Contour System.
Hey, I assume no responsability if the guy at the cannery was right and you tear a ligament because of them... :O
Good luck and let us know how you liked them.

Sergey Andreev said...

These straps are pretty bad. Usually they would leave the bruises on my foot right at the edge. You never end up using the whole strap. I'm not sure how to explain this. and they do lock your feet no matter how you set them up. I had them once and had to take them off. way to dangerous.

cammar said...

mmm... looks like one of those products that you either love or hate.
It would seem that they are good straps to get stuck in, since they're stretchy. But, if it's true that you get stuck more often because they're stretchy... screw them!
Keep comments and experiences coming please.

Thanks Sergey. Oh, say hi to Davide. Does he go around without radiator cap on over there too, or he does that only with my car in Maui? Li mortacci sua...

Burns said...

Hi Giampaolo

Let me know if WE have won a contract with Da K... He he he!

The first time you try these footstraps, it is different!! so not like you usually feel or like to be...

As a superfreak... as a supermodel boom... As a Sealion... ...

Oscarjet said...

Hey ! nice blog !
i love surfing and wind surfing but i spend my time running triathlon !
see you !

Anonymous said...

Core Contours are the dogs bollocks. Great to use because they do mould to your foot as you put it in (the stretchy thing!) but it's easy to get them out. Set them tighter, not like the super-hoops that some use now, as because of the flexibility you can still crank your weight over to drive bottom turns etc.

cammar said...

Bruno/Burns, I trust you and I'll keep them on my 81l, as I said, until I have an opinion. May take a while though, since we have a sad light sideon forecast for a while... might be time for the Sea Lion! No footstrap problems with that one!!
And talking of which, thanks for the link you sent me!

Oscar, respect for that.

Anon, thanks for that.

rathokan said...

Hey GP,

I use Core Contours for the reasons you mentioned. I am primarily into freestyle, and these straps are a must for me and my friends. I can't tell you how many times I've fallen awkwardly, and these straps have just enough give to prevent serious damage to my feet.

I set my footstraps up big and slightly narrow, so I can get my whole foot in and stay over the centerline of the board. I don't find the straps hard to get out of when I want to, but I have been stuck in them on crashes. I believe that my feet would have stayed in the straps on these crashes if I would have used conventional footstraps too, but the stretchiness and give of the Core Contours makes this kind of crash a little less risky... straps stretch and twist instead of your feet being the week link.

My friends and I all had similar experiences while learning the flaka... fall back, back foot comes out, front foot stays in, board rotates, you end up on your back with your head up at the nose of the board while your front foot stays locked in the strap! This is a very scary fall: dangerous for your feet, ankles, knees, and psyche! It is scary w/ the Core Contour straps, but it's so much scarier with conventional straps IMHO. I swear I would have broken my foot if not for these stretchy straps.

The Core Contours definitely take some getting used to, and they take some effort to get set up correctly, but I am a convert as are many of my friends. I think these straps are suited to sailors who ride with big straps and like to sink their whole foot in. I don't think they work great for people with more conventional strap sizing (i.e. just get your toes in). I use these straps on all my bump & jump, freestyle, and wave boards... probably wouldn't use them on slalom gear if I had it, but who knows? I've been rolled in the waves in the straps, and I think they've saved me there, too.

They are the preferred strap for most of us at Team Dawg... a San Francisco Bay Area group site if you haven't seen it already:

Anyway, that's my testimonial... I love them!


cammar said...

Thanks Rathokan, great contribution.

Let's try to focus the comments a little more. There is no doubt that a stretchy strep will protect your foot in a wipeout with your foot stuck in it. I think everyone will agree on that.
The point is: do these straps tend to have your feet stuck in them more often than regular ones because of their stretchyness?
Every experience/comment on that is greately appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Ciao Gp;
P. Porcella doesn't seem convinced about Angulo's victory over Kauli, or so I get from his italian blog:
Do you think is possible to objectively judge wave comps? How do you compare two so different styles?

"Josh Angulo, eroe locale e organizzatore dell'evento, vince , battendo (battendo ?) due volte di seguito il brasiliano Kauli Seadi. Il campione mondiale degli ultimi tre anni.
Ma chissenefrega di loro. A me la doppia finale, seguita da palco dei giudici, sbirciando tra una foto e l'altra gli 'scoring sheets dei giudici, sembrava una recita già scritta….. guardate questo 'goiter' sull'onda di Kauli Seadi, roba che Angulo si sogna... e ditemi se non erano già predisposti ad ...angulare los judges......"

cammar said...

Hola Marcos,
Q: "Do you think is possible to objectively judge wave comps? How do you compare two so different styles?"
A: no, I don't think it's possible, but there's no other way. Between Aloha Classic and PWA Maui events, I judged something like 5 contests. PWA has public judging guidelines (I think I even posted them on this blog back then), but in the end it's up to the single individual judge to score a ride according to his very personal opinion. Kauli and Angulo in particular, as you say, have so readically different styles that the task is particularly hard and subjective.
What I can say is that in my personal experience I have not received by anyone any influence at all in preferring an athlete over another.
But I do remember judges who had apriori preferences for one athlete over the other (just because they're buddies or something).
I also remember one time in Maui, in which Nick Baker was late (lost the flight or something) and they moved his heat at the end, but that's not that bad, since nobody got directly damaged by that. I mean, if I was in that heat, I would have been totally fine with it... but I'm definitely not a competitive kind of guy!
I also remember many times in which people watching from the cliff did not agree with the judges. Well, unless you know the guidelines, unless you're writing your scores and unless you're an experienced judge, you shouldn't criticize. It's amazing how different the overall impression can be from the total of the marks you write down on your sheet.

ASP contests always have judges from all the main different surfing countries: Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Usa and Hawaii (this last one, surfing-wise is seen as an independent entity). They have instant replays. They can give a way more accurate result.
Who were the judges at Cabo Verde and where were they from? I wouldn't be surprised if a few of them were Cabo Verde residents... and in that case, I wouldn't be surprised if they had a preference for Angulo.
Was the Cabo Verde result fair? Pietro was there and says no.
We didn't see it and we can't say anything.
Wait... is that maybe why they won't do webcasts? Mmm...

Anonymous said...

The contour core Da kine straps take a little while to get used to it but once they are well adjuted, you stick on the board very well and get out easely. I sail now only with that, they prevent so many injuries! Nevertheless, after a stall overotated my back foot get stock and I twisted it a bit but with a stiff strap that could have been a lot worth! I definitively recommand it!

Anonymous said...

American Beauty.

cammar said...

Correct. Even though that is a Swiss one...

Morley said...

Wouldn't a ski-binding type work best? Something that held very firm, with ability to absorb normal shock loading without releasing, but that came completely free in the event of a crash where the forces were enough to cause injury? Sand would be the problem I'm sure. But I vaguely recall a windsurfing forum discussion of someone making that type of footstrap and a big company buying the patent then sitting on it refusing to market or let anyone else do it either. Anyone remember the full story?

The core contours sound like trying to ski with rubber bands attaching the ski to your foot.

cammar said...

Jeff told me that many years ago the ski binding brand Look was looking into a solution like this. They made a big investment, but never came up with a solution good enough.
One of the problems, I'm sure, it was to find the right amount of load/torsion that will activate the quick release. Not an easy task, for sure.
Imagine if one of the streps would release when not necessary (when landing a jump or hitting a lip hard) and then you get injured because of that. Nobody would like that.
Plus a ski binding-like solution would be heavy and have the salt/sand issue that you mentioned.
I have a little idea of my own based on velcro, but I need volonteers to test it. I'm to scared to test it myself... :)