Laces vs. Velcro vs. Boa vs. Gummy Straps
What’s the most important part of your wakeboard set up you ask? The bindings.
Wakeboard bindings have come a long way since the inception of our sport. From sandal models to closed toe models and everything in between. Along the way we’ve seen all kinds of closure systems and we wanted to break down what is going to be available for the 2018 season and help you choose the best style of binding for your riding needs!
This topic is highly subjective and based on personal preference, but keep an open mind to new things, as your next pair of bindings might be your favorite pair yet!
Here’s your tried and true option, just like momma’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You know it’s good, you know you like it, you know it works!
This is probably the most common type of closure found in wakeboard bindings…mainly because so many riders like how lacing up a binding feels. Or…maybe it’s all they’ve ever known.
Just like a pair of running shoes or hiking boots, you can distribute as much pressure as you like from the bridge of foot all the way up your shin depending on how high your bindings come up. Most lace bindings either have a single lace or double lace closure. If you’re considering a couple models, always look for a dual lace closure binding. These will have a lace that secures the bridge of your foot and then another lace that secures the area above your ankle to your shin. Single lace bindings are still good options for riders who are getting into the sport, but dual lace closures are undeniably better for any rider and are going to be way more comfortable.
Here are a couple of examples of lace closure bindings we can get behind this season:
Rule number one with Velcro: Do not let anyone tell you Velcro doesn’t work.
Personally, I had a pair of Velcro closure bindings when I started riding. They were the 2001 Hyperlite Split Boots, actually. If you had asked me about Velcro bindings back then, I would have argued that Velcro was a pain in the ass and sucked because you couldn’t continue to ride your bindings after the Velcro wore out. The models out now for 2018 basically feature NASA-grade Velcro…so this is no longer an issue. The type of Velcro brands are using these days has a much better hold and will not wear out like the Velcro I was using over 17 years ago. Even if they do, in most cases replacement straps available to ensure you get the most out of your bindings.
These tend to be the easiest bindings to get in and out of, and who doesn’t like easy? Similar to lace closures, you can dial in the fit of your bindings with a 2-strap or 3-strap closure. Some riders prefer Velcro because they have found a way to get different flexes out of their bindings, depending on how they want to ride that day. It’s really hard to get that out of a lace closure.
Let’s take a look at Liquid Force’s 4D Hook binding shown here:
By cinching each strap as tight as you can, you end up getting a stiffer feel and tons of ankle support. By only tightening the lower straps and leaving the upper strap a little looser, you can get a more flexible feel and tons of mobility. This is great if you’re the type of rider who likes to tweak out your grabs and add your own personal flavor to the way you throw a trick.
I had the chance to ride a pair of the 4D Hook behind the boat, as well as at the cable park, and I have to say that it’s a win-win in either scenario. I would recommend Velcro to anyone, especially these from Liquid Force!
One drawback for lace and Velcro closure bindings is that, during a long set behind the boat or a long session at the cable park, the closures can loosen up and require re-tightening in order to keep riding. The best way to combat having to deal with that mid-session is with a set of Boa closure bindings. Applying this technology from the snowboard industry to wakeboard binding construction has been a game-changer for sure.
One of the most popular bindings we carry featuring Boa would be the Hyperlite 2018 Kruz Boots. Check out the video below to see them in action:
Boa closures will keep your binding as tight as you want until you’re ready to take them off. Super easy to use and backed by a lifetime warranty on the Boa itself, it’s definitely worth the investment.
Oh snap, son! What are those?
These? They’re Gummy Straps!
This new closure boasts:
“No more loosening over time, no more Velcro, and no more cumbersome closure systems. Gummy Straps stretch when you fasten them, then squeeze your boots tight as you ride.”
If that statement from Slingshot isn’t enough to pique your interest, then you need to get up and get your feet into a pair of these!
After getting my hands on a pair of KTV bindings, I can say from personal experience that these things are next-level awesome. They honestly have all the pros of laces, Velcro, and Boa all wrapped up into one easy-to-use strap…with no drawbacks at all.
The entire 2018 Slingshot binding lineup, from the Option to the RAD, come with Gummy Straps. They even come with an extra set of alternate colors to mix things up! You can’t knock that!
Each type of closure can and will compliment your riding in different ways. The best thing to do is think about what’s most important to you and where you want to take your riding, and go from there. Comfort certainly plays a big part in your decision, but give your feet the consideration they deserve and let our team help you get dialed for 2018.