Wakeboard bindings used to be terrible. Your feet would fall asleep and throb for 20 minutes after your set. The bindings would imprint a waffle pattern on the skin over the top of your foot. And, your sets would only be as long as your feet could handle.
These days things are much different. Wakeboard bindings are amazing. Manufacturers are actually taking into account foot ergonomics, blood flow patterns, pressure points, and support when designing their products. Bindings are much less like bindings and more like boots: comfy, supportive protection that actually help you perform better.
I’m obsessed with bindings. If my feet aren’t happy, I ride like crap. On the other hand, if I am comfortable, locked in, and have a great deal of confidence in the level of support my bindings offer, I am more apt to push my wakeboarding and have a great set.
Here are my favorite boots that help me do just that:
2013 Slingshot R.A.D.
1. Slingshot R.A.D. – Sorry to sound so lame, but these binding are just plain rad. They may be a little heavier than a Ronix boot, but they fit like a glove. I always knew Slingshot made good boards, but I was a little hesitant to try their boots. The first time I put my foot into these things I was blown away. I was not expecting such a perfect fit. My foot was secure but content and I had all the confidence that I was being supported well. Everything about these boots is magical. They almost feel like they were made specifically for me.
The dual zone lacing system is a big improvement over last year’s model. I like to ride with the lower zone a little looser to keep blood flowing to my foot and the top zone really tight like a noose. The new lacing system allows for that customization. Plus, when you tighten the lower zone, a little heel anchor cinches around your foot giving you even more support and control.
The R.A.D. boot is really absorbing on landings too. The new gels that make up the footbed support your heel and cushion impact well. Say good bye to heel bruises.
Overall, this boot is my fave. Lots of touch, lots of board feel, lots of support, lots of control, lots of customization (including optional heat molding). And, most importantly, the fit is spectacular.
2013 Ronix One
2. Ronix One – This is the most popular pro model boot in the wakeboard industry. People love this binding and I am no exception. For Ronix, its all about the weight and this binding weighs almost nothing. With a super light boot you can ride longer, boost your airs higher, complete your spins and inverts more quickly. Less swing weight equals better wakeboarding.
Also, the mid-density foam provides for a super versatile ride. This boot is great for riding hard behind the boat, tweaking out smooth grabs, or flexing on a rail. Plus, the Intuition liner allows riders to heat mold their boots to a custom fit. You no longer have to hope that the binding designers foot was similar to yours. Simply ask us to put the boots on our heat stacks, cook them up, and put them on. Within a couple of minutes the boots will mold precisely to the characterisitcs of your foot.
2013 Hyperlite Marek
3. Hyperlite Marek/System Combo – When I first saw the Hyperlite System, I was a bit skeptical. My first impression of The System was that it was just a gimmick borrowed from the snowboard industry. I was dead wrong. The boot and binding combo allows you to get a great power transfer between your body and your board and give you unmatched support on landings. Your knees will greatly appreciate the Marek/System combo.
The Marek boots are super low profile which allows for a more shoe like fit. Plus, a low profile boot uses less material so your boots don’t overly pack out and fit differently down the road. The Marek boots are also heat moldable.
Riding cable with them is amazing. You can wear the Marek boot in your feet while you walk back to the starting area which keeps your feet clean of mud and debris. Then, simply strap in when you are ready to ride. On the other hand, when wakeboarding behind the boat, putting them on is a few too many steps. Unless you decide to keep the boots on while others ride.
Drop by Ambush and try on a new pair wakeboard bindings today. You will definitely be impressed at all the new technology that is rolled into these products. Plus, your feet will appreciate the love.