Wakeboard Bindings Explained
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When selecting the right set of wakeboard bindings, consider the fit, flex, and features.
Fit is the most important thing to think about when it comes to choosing the right pair of bindings. A good fit makes for the most efficient transfer of your body's movements to your wakeboard. Your wakeboard bindings should be snug, but not so tight that they cause your feet to cramp (although cramping is common when breaking in a new set of bindings). Most bindings are designed to fit a range of shoe sizes.
Flex is one of the most important factors in deciding which bindings are right for you.
The flex of wakeboard bindings can vary dramatically between models. The flex of your bindings is all about personal preference. Some riders like to feel locked into stiff boots with a lot of support, while other riders prefer a softer flex that gives them the ability to tweak their wakeboard in different directions when doing tricks.
The stiffer the binding, the better it is for carving and speed and the more directly it will transfer your energy to your board. The softer the binding, the more maneuverability you will have when getting rad.
Entry-level models are typically softer and more flexible than bindings geared towards more advanced riders.
Open-Toe vs. Closed-Toe
A big benefit of open-toe bindings they can accommodate a wider range of foot sizes while still offering a high level of performance.
Closed-toe wakeboard bindings offer a more control and leverage, a quicker heel-to-toe response, and a more precise fit. Closed-toe bindings are usually higher-end models and are typically more expensive than their open-toe counterparts.
Since the advent of laces, getting in and out of wakeboard bindings has been made much easier. Front lace-up wakeboard bindings offer a fully adjustable feel over the entire front of the foot. Rear lace-up wakeboard bindings have a series of laces running up the back of the boot and an overlay system in the front for a more fitted feel.
The Boa system allows you to turn a knob and tighten the lacing system around your foot for a precise fit. Wakeboard bindings featuring the Boa are interlaced with surgical steel wire for a complete tightening system. There are major benefits to this technology, such as ease of entry/exit and a customized feel.
Velcro closures tend to be the easiest bindings to get in and out of. 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 ways to get different flexes out of their bindings by tightening the straps independently.
Gummy Straps are unique to Slingshot bindings. Gummy Straps stretch when you fasten them, then squeeze your boots tight as you ride.
You can read more about the various closure systems by clicking here.
The Hyperlite System
The Hyperlite System is a true snowboard-style boot and binding setup that combines a comfortable and lightweight wakeboard-specific boot with a separate external binding that supplies all of the strength and support a rider could ever need in a much stronger and more durable package. This design philosophy makes for a pair of boots that fit and perform like athletic footwear and a separate supportive chassis that gives a locked-in feel and a responsive ride.