Hiking Strap

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To maximize your speed, you want the maximum amount of power in your sails, at the same time as keeping the boat as flat as possible at all times. The hiking strap, or toe strap, in the center of the cockpit is there so you can hike or lean out of the boat as far as possible, to counteract the force of the wind in the sails, to keep the boat level.

To increase your ability to keep the boat flat, put your feet under the footstrap, lean back as far as you can, and straighten your legs. This is where your fitness (strength and endurance, mainly in your thighs and stomach) come in. The longer you can stay out in the fully hiked position, the faster you will be.

Check out the great video below that goes into detail on how to adjust the toestrap for different angles of sail.

Laser mainsheet blocks, cleats, hiking strap, toestrap in cockpit
Hiking Strap

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  1. Bill Jensen on October 8, 2012 at 4:00 am

    What are the dimensions for a standard hiking strap for a Laser sailboat

    • admin on October 10, 2012 at 7:33 am

      hi Bill
      I’m not sure that there are rules for the dimensions of the hiking strap. As you can see on the West Coast Sailing website below, there are different sizes depending on your personal preference. Here are a few options from their site –
      • for the Zhik Hiking Strap – click here
      – Total length: 79cm
      • for the Hiking Strap (Fast Canvas) – click here
      – Total length: 32″ = 81cm
      • for the Magic Marine Laser Race Hiking Strap – click here
      – Total length: 31″ = 80cm
      There’s a few more on this website, that are also different lengths/widths.
      Hope this helps

  2. Benjamin on May 4, 2018 at 2:48 am

    how much rope do you need tor a laser 4.7 hiking strap?

    • Admin on May 4, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      Hi Benjamin
      It depends on the toe-strap you are using and the final configuration you use, but about 1.5 m of 6-7mm rope should be plenty. You may have a little bit of excess which you can trim off once you know which configuration works for you.

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