New Footstraps

Kovalski wide footstrapsSome time ago I came across a website which contained some cool looking footstraps. Ups, why English all of a sudden ? Well, am writing this blog entry in English as the content has relevance for a wider audience.

Footstraps are not just footstraps, there’s indeed a big difference. Just as well as there’s a difference in feet, there’s a difference in footstraps. The effect of how your straps are positioned on the board and how they fit your feet is remarkable. I won’t go into details about this though, instead I’ll focus on a strap which has become my favorite footstrap, and that for a number of reasons.

You are of course already familiar with all the top brand names, and you haven’t noticed the name Kovalski as it’s not among the big names. The Kovalski straps are engineered and manufactured by Armin Kovalski in Switzerland in the highest quality of materials and workmanship. The strap has a high-end “inner-life”, and the strap performs  ergonomical to the feet, even to my very wide feet.

Every single strap is handcraftet with the very best quality in material and workmanship. Raw material is Kovalski’s own development, and results in a perfect density and impuls/energy transfer at the same time – feet to board. The built in inner belt helps securing that the strap always performs ergonomical correct to your feet, it doesn’t get “worn out”.

The Kovalski strap is very light, only 63 grams, it doesn’t absorb any water at all, this means that the weight when wet remains the same. Compared to 4 regular wet neoprene straps, the weight advantage with 4 of the Kovalski light straps can be as much as 700 grams !

Kovalski wide footstrapsSetting up the straps a little bit wider than you would normally do, you’ll notice that with the Kovalski strap, you will gain a lot of more hold in them, they are not slippery like neoprene straps. Setting them wider also means that you will gain more directional freedom to put your feet in the right angle, as this is necessary depending on the course you are sailing. When setting them wider the ease of entry and exit is still in top, and despite the wider position your foot is still “in control”, it doesn’t feel as if you loose board control, on the contrary, this applies to barefoot as well as with boots. The straps are adjustable only by changing mounting hole position as can be seen on the picture. Therefore adjusting them on the water is not possible, it’s however very quick and easily done when on shore.

The adaption to the foot and the angle, when in different positions on the board is really good, and it makes the straps feel very comfortable. As mentioned, my feet are very wide and I have a high ancle, which means that I sometimes encounter difficulties getting in and out of footstraps rather fast. This has certainly been improved by these straps, as they fit and suit my foot very very well.

The Kovalski straps are available in a wide and a narrow version, both use same type of material and setup. I’ve primarilly been using the wide strap types for my iSonic’s and on my HWR formula. On the HWR formula I opted for a narrow type for the chicken strap though. When using the straps on narrower/smaller slalom boards the narrow strap is better suited, this applies for dedicated speed sailors and wave sailors as well. The narrow strap has the same dimensions as any regular neoprene strap on the market, i.e. Dakine. There’s a wide variety of colours available, white-black, red-black, blue, yellow etc. so choosing a match for your preferred setup should be easy.

Kovalski platelets for footstrapsBesides manufacturing various types of lightweight straps, Kovalski also manufactures a plastic platelet for mounting the straps. It’s very strong, stiff, light and multi-functional. The surface applies a big and even amount of downforce pressure to avoid twisting when mounted with just 1 screw per side. The holes are in an asymmetrical position, this means that you can turn the plate 180° and achieve a very precise and comfortable width for your foot. I.e. turning both plates from narrow to wide position equals the difference between barefoot or with shoes, very easy adjustment.

The Kovalski straps are very different to any other product out there, and despite the price you won’t be disappointed, you’ll benefit from the comfort they bring. I’m very pleased wih them, highly recommendable.

For additional information, availability and pricing you can contact Armin Kovalski.

Sport-E-Motion – Armin Kovalski
Eichhaldenweg 10
5113 Holderbank
Tel/Fax. +41 628931857
Mobile +41 793329101

6 Responses to “New Footstraps”

  1. Jeffrey says:

    Hi !
    Interesting article…..I wonder if the straps are adjustable or are they fixed in size ?

  2. erik says:

    These look interesting!! Have you also seen the new 2011 drake footstraps??


  3. admin says:

    @Jeffrey – the straps are adjustable by changing mounting hole position, I’ve added that info to the blog entry.

    @erik – they indeed are very interesting, but most of all they are very comfortable. I haven’t seen the new Drakes, but am of course interested.

  4. Richard Chng says:

    Dear Mr Kovalski, how can I buy online your wide footstraps.. for my Fanatic Falcon ? Am based in Singapore

  5. admin says:

    Hi Richard.

    I’m not Armin Kovalski, but you can contact him via the above phone and/or address, or you can send him an email – click on the link.

  6. alberto says:

    si possono acquistare in italia? dicono che chi, le ha provate non torna piu indietro , sono ottime………….

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