I have found that after a bit of VERY LIGHT PRESSURE stropping, the face of the balsa seems to form a polishing plane. I can then do short, AND VERY LIGHT, half strokes - meaning that I can go spine leading up and edge leading down - then same on the other side. Of course you will ruin your edge and the balsa if you let the edge dig into the wood. I'm not recommending that anyone do this, as you would be honing on the strop. But if you manage to pull it off, you get what McC calls "science fiction sharp". (I hope he does not yell at me!)
I encourage Method disciples to experiment, once they have spent some time in OMH (Orthodox Method Honing) and have an appreciation and understanding of the baseline dogma and what it can do. You can always return to the faith later, if you get disillusioned with your apostatic heresies.