Wakeboard Bindings: How Do I Choose Wakeboard Bindings?
Just bought your first wakeboard? It’s time to consider wakeboard bindings….
Wakeboarding bindings are a key part of any wakeboarding equipment set-up. What are wakeboard bindings? They are devices that fix your feet to your wakeboard. You might see them referred to as wakeboarding boots - wakeboard bindings and boots are the same thing.
So where do you start when looking for your first pair of wakeboard bindings? You need to make sure you buy a pair that fit properly and are right for your ability.
You might also be interested in reading our guide to choosing your first wakeboard here.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF WAKEBOARD BINDINGS?
There isn’t just one type of wakeboard binding or boots. There are loads of different styles with varying lacing systems to choose from.
OPEN TOE BOOTS
Open toe boots are exactly as they sound. They are wakeboard bindings with an open toe, which gives your toes a bit more space, especially useful if you have kids whose feet are still growing.
CLOSED TOE BOOTS
Closed toe boots are wakeboard bindings with closed toes. This means the fit is a little tighter and allows more control over your wakeboard. They are also more beneficial in the winter because they will keep your feet warmer.
SYSTEM WAKEBOARD BINDINGS
System wakeboard bindings are very similar to snowboard boots and bindings. They have a wakeboard boot and a separate binding that screws directly onto the board. They have a highback with a ratchet system to tighten the ankle and toe strap.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT LACING SYSTEMS?
These are pretty straight-forward lace-up system that holds your feet into the binding. Lace binding will have fasteners to stop the laces from coming loose while you are riding. They do take more time however to put on and take off.
Just like in snowboarding, BOA is a quick lacing system that uses a dial to tighten the laces. It’s super fast and neat - you won’t have stray laces flying around the place. However some complaints include laces snapping easily and being tricky to replace.
Velcro straps are a very popular lacing system, mainly because there are no laces to tie. The downside is some might say they don’t offer as precise a fit. Try for yourself and see what you think.
HOW SHOULD YOUR WAKEBOARD BINDINGS FIT?
Wakeboard bindings should be tight around your feet, but not so tight that they are uncomfortable and cutting off your blood supply. Like snowboarding boots, you want them to be snug, so your feet aren’t slipping around in them when you move. Nowadays technology has moved on and you can get heat molded liners (just like in ski boots!) that will give you an even better fit and reduce the need for boot lubricant to help get your feet into them.
WHAT SIZE SHOULD I GET?
Many wakeboard bindings or boots will come in US sizes. Roughly UK sizes are one less for men and two less for women. For example, if you are a men’s UK size 9, then you will be a US size 10 and women’s UK size 6 would be US size 8. It is worth going to your local wakeboarding shop and try on a few pairs to see which suit your feet best.
TOP TIPS FOR CHOOSING WAKEBOARD BINDINGS
- Try on lots of different types of bindings. Some boots are stiff, others are soft. It will depend on your riding style which flex you prefer. Stiff boots are more responsive and offer more support through the ankle. Soft boots allow more mobility and are great for beginners.
- Make sure your boots and feet are wet when trying on wakeboard bindings. If they are dry, it’ll be a nightmare to get them on!
- Don’t use soap as a lubricant to help get your feet into your boots. Traditional washing up liquid dries out the bindings and isn’t great for the environment. If you need lube, find an eco-friendly brand like Cling-On Spooge.
- Wakeboard bindings will stretch over time and mould to the shape of your feet, so bear this in mind when trying them on for the first time.
- Make sure you bindings are compatible with your wakeboard. The easiest way to do this is buy your wakeboard and bindings from the same manufacturer. Alternatively just check the screws - they will either be ¼" standard screws or M6 metric screws.
- Set your bindings up so they are duck-footed. Most riders find that 12 degrees is a good comfortable angle, however taller riders may find that a wider angle is more comfortable.