My feet are size 10 1/2 (American) and standard width. In 16 years of windsurfing I've never had any issue with footstrap width, whether I was sailing barefoot, with booties, with winter booties, whatever. Until I bought my new Fanatic. The board (which I otherwise love) has its footstrap inserts set too narrow for comfort unless I'm sailing barefoot.
Is there a standard width for footstrap inserts on production windsurfing boards? Apparently not, based on some measurements I took on Sunday. Consider these widths, in centimeters:
JP Freestyle Wave 93 (2006) 16.5
JP Freestyle 109 (2005) 16.2
Naish 8' 11" (2000) 15.5
Fanatic Freewave 78 (2008) 14.25
So my JP Freestyle has almost an inch more room than the Fanatic.What to do? It's easy to compensate for on the back footstrap (just run the strap one extra hole for booties, and two extra holes for drysuit booties) but is not so easy on the front straps. I tried running the outer screw one hole forward of standard placement for extra room...this worked fairly well for reaching and jumping but I did notice the increased angle when jibing...it tripped up my footwork a bit. Between the additional increase in width needed for my drysuit booties and a desire to run the straps at their conventional angle, I took things much further, and now run my front footstraps all the way to the "outer" set of holes. (While this may sound nuts, remember that this board's straps are factory set to be almost an inch narrower than JP's for example.) I think the next step is to place a large washer under the outer screw, to take up some of the extra footstrap room. I'm also going to experiment with aftermarket straps to see if I can improve the situation.
As soon as the water warms up I'll probably restore the board to it's "factory settings" and only sail barefoot. I love sailing this board* but I'm just a little annoyed with dealing with the footstraps. I got lazy about extending the rear strap to accomodate heavy booties, and paid for it a couple of weeks ago when I got stuck in the strap during a fall, and tore a ligament in my foot.(Photo: The footstraps now span both sets of holes. This actually works well when I'm in thick booties, and I have regular width feet.)