The 2BK (cross-kick variety) Drives it...
The 2BK using a cross-kick variety - the one with a one-foot driver (when the body is about to rotate to the side) , using the foot flick - provides the "corkscrew" effect. The process:
o kicks off-the-wall, then initiates the 2BK, say, foot driver is right foot (left foot just drafts along)
o corkscrew affect turns the hip to the left,
o causes a rotation that clears the left shoulder off the water surface,
o allows a graceful marionette spearing left hand to enter the water (all the while the propulsion caused by the 2BK moves the body forward),
o left hand may pull depending on the speed one wants
o as spearing left hand enters the water, right hand at "anchor" at this time slightly past, near or about the head, as it is about to near the point to recover (near the hips or slightly past the hips, depending on the speed)
And the process is repeated by the left-foot driver doing the foot-flick to initiate the corkscrew effect to rotate the hips to the right, to clear the right shoulder off the water for the right spearing hand to enter the water.
If you note, I started off the process from the rear to the front.
To answer your question: YES, you still pull. But the level of propulsion provided by the hand pulls is secondary to the level of propulsion brought about by the corkscrew effect of the 2BK on the core body, thus providing the principal source of forward motion.
At this early stage of my own 2BK breakthrough - sometime in March of this year - am still experimenting with ways to generate more force from the 2BK. At this stage, I have found that (based on my own personal experience):
o that as I try to increase speed, my kicks become more vertical vis-a-vis cross-kick or diagonal,
o there is now more force required from the hand pulls,
o the 2BK I think increases (not sure about the # of beats)
o point of entry of spearing hands becomes variable (depending on the speed) (varies to attain ideal of noiselessness)
o for some reason - with this vertical 2BK - the core body seems to be providing the major part of the overall forward speed
Going back to your hand pull issue...with the 2BK and at more faster speeds...the hand pull force will increase...but it should only be the secondary propulsive source...the core body should still be the principal mover.