While the focus of most people is firmly on wakeboards and how good they are, you should also look for other features making the wakeboarding process easier to carry out. Among the most important parts are the bindings of the board.
These are what secures your feet to the board and makes it possible to ride the wakeboard and, most importantly, carry out some tricks on it. They come in various levels of flex, toe designs and lacing systems as one sees fit.
We sought out some of the best options when it comes to wakeboard bindings and boots. The ones we put on our list below are easy to put on and take off, comfortable to the feet and are flexible enough to allow you pull off some of the most difficult tricks on a wakeboarding.
Hyperlite Defacto Wakeboard Bindings
First up are these closed toe mounted bindings from Hyperlite called Defacto. They have a sleek yet simple look on the outside which makes you stand out on the beach. They borrow a lot from conventional boots with separate outsoles, midsoles and insoles for a fit like no other.
They come with an integrated ankle harness with the benefit that you get a better heel hold while preventing unwanted lift on the water. The Hypercush insole provides the maximum impact protection and a great board response when you need it.
- Integrated ankle harness provides heel hold to prevent unwanted lift on the board.
- Hypercush insole offers protection and great response from the board.
- Removable heat moldable pro liner provides comfort and control of the board.
- Internal upper support for the plate creates a responsive feel.
- 3-part construction for the insole, midsole and outsole for support, protection and cushioning.
- Aluminum claw mounting system for a secure interface.
- Fusion plate system reduces toe and heel lift while providing a strong connection to the board.
- 6” universal mounting spread.
- Injected EVA outsole adds traction on the board.
This is a great pair of wakeboard bindings no matter your level of skill on the water.
Slingshot Space Mob Wakeboard Boots
These Slingshot boots are for those in the advanced skill level and upwards and they handle like the pros they are touted to be. The removable liner slips come off and on quite easily and they stay in place without troubling you. They have great padding on the inside and cushion your landings while providing a great response from the board.
You also get interchangeable gummy straps made of high-tension thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) which adds to the fit and stability of the boots on the feet. In general, you have a pair of boots that fit well and provide the best response on the wakeboard of your choice. With soft padding inside, you won’t feel any pain after a session with the waves.
- Removable walkabout liners for ease of putting them on and off.
- Tri-zone gummy strap closure for extra sturdiness on the feet.
- Shoe-style lace for further sturdiness.
- Interchangeable gummy straps use TPU materials to secure the feet in the boot.
A boot made for the pros, you’ll feel right at home with this pair no matter the board you choose to go with.
Hyperlite Agent 2021 Wakeboard Bindings
Next up is the Hyperlite Agent, an open toe pair of wakeboard bindings that are some of the best you can get no matter your skill level. It has Hyperlite’s Low Pro Plate System that limits the flex and material between the foot and the surface of the board for the best reaction and control when riding.
The superkush back flex zone makes putting the bindings on and off the feet quite easy. It also comes with the all-new EVA cushioned footbed which provides great comfort under the feet while providing the best reaction times for the rider. The mounting section has metal embeds to improve the durability of the bindings.
- Highly durable materials for durability.
- Low Pro Plate System limits the flex and material between the foot and the board for the best reaction times.
- Supercush back flex zone makes passage and leaving the coupling much simpler.
- EVA cushioned footbed for comfort and quick reaction times.
- Metal embeds added to the mounting section for durability.
- Speed lace for fast removal and putting on.
- Not the best build quality.
Another great entry from Hyperlite with qualities that focus on comfort and fast response when on the water.
Hyperlite Remix Wakeboard Bindings
A third entry from Hyperlite, the Remix Wakeboard Bindings comes in an all-black color with an aluminum claw mounting system for a secure fit. It’s an open toe design which makes it a low-profile pair of bindings with lots of comfort and reaction times.
It also has the favorite Low Pro Plate System found in other Hyperlite bindings and boots for wakeboards. This system reduces the overall volume of the bindings by an impressive 16%. You thus get a lighter pair of bindings without a compromise in their quality.
- Aluminum claw mounting system with a larger teeth design for a secure interface.
- Low Pro Plate System reduces the volume while maintaining the quality.
- Dual density EVA with dual density footbed.
- Dual quick cinch front lace zones.
- Floating toe that’s adjustable.
- The plastic pieces on the laces are quite weak.
If you prefer the open toe design, this pair offers some of the best features for this design.
Airhead Binding Venom
Another brand with great reputation in the water equipment category is Airhead. And, in this Binding Venom wakeboard binding, they have created one of the best open-toe bindings for the wakeboarder who wants the best out of their sessions on the waves.
It comes with specific plates which provide a better fit than general ones. The adjustable closure system further provides a tighter and more customizable fit for your feet. It also comes with an easy entry system for faster entry and exit when done.
- Customizable fit.
- Adjustable closure system.
- Specific plates for a better fit.
- Adjustable size.
- Easy entry and exit.
- Open toe system.
- Only fits newer wakeboard models.
It’s one of the lightest and most comfortable pair of wakeboard bindings.
United Ortho Short Air Cam Walker Fracture Boot
If you’ve just had an acute ankle sprain, soft tissue injury, or a foot and ankle fracture and are recovering, you’re likely to be given the United Ortho Short Air Cam Walker Fracture Boot. The boot, however, also works as one of the best wakeboard bindings on the market.
This is all thanks to the many great features it comes with such as a steel reinforcement for more durability. They also have shock-absorbing inner soles for softer landings and plastic molded uprights for a proper posture.
- Shock-absorbing inner soles.
- Steel reinforcements for durability and stability.
- Plastic molded uprights for stability.
- Doesn’t have the best straps.
A good choice for those just starting out on the wakeboard.
Liquid Force Classic 6X Wakeboard Bindings
Last but definitely not least are the Liquid Force Classic 6X wakeboard bindings. At first glance, you’ll easily mistake them for sneakers as they have a closed toe design with shoe laces to boot. They have the classic look which is favored by most expert wakeboarders and have one of the best attention-to-detail we’ve seen so far.
It has a medium flex with a 6X chassis system articulating flex cuff design which makes it flexible but steady enough to stay in control of the wakeboard. It has a back cuff stretch zone for comfort when in motion. You also get a reflex liner with impact EVA cushioning for comfort and control.
- Classic design with a closed toe.
- Medium flex.
- 6X chassis system articulating flex cuff design for quick response and comfort.
- Medium to wide fit.
- Back cuff stretch zone.
- Reflex liner with impact EVA cushioning.
- Honeycomb flex floor as the baseplate for perfect cushioning.
- Fits all types of wakeboards.
- The honeycomb flex floor gathers pebbles easily.
If you’re the classic guy or girl, this is the best pair of bindings you can look to.
These boots and bindings for your wakeboard come with comfort, the best fit and perfect response when on the water.
When in the lookout for a new set of wakeboard boots and bindings, consider the following aspects:
The flex levels
The flex level of your bindings refers to how flexible or stiff they are when in use. This is a personal preference in which the rider decides what best works for them. Generally, a rider would want a stiff boot which provides the best support to their feet while another one would want some freedom to move their feet around in difficult tricks.
For boots or bindings, the stiffer it is, the better it will be for handling speed and carving. If it’s softer, on the other hand, it allows for easy movements in complex tricks. The rating of each set of bindings will be indicated on the product or its guide in the shop.
The most common closure systems for wakeboard boots are as follows:
Hinge closure system
The hinge closure system enables fast entry and exit into the bindings. The hinge in question is located at the heel of the boot. You simply fling it open then insert your foot into the boot. This is far easier than doing the same through the narrow top part of the shoe.
Boa lacing system
This is another quick lacing system with lacing that easily go over the top part of the foot rather than through holes or other time-wasting structures.
These are straps that simply go from one side of the foot to the other and they stay in place.
Laces and fasteners
These are among the most common methods although not the most efficient.
Wakeboard binding style
There are three main binding styles the choice of which is personal for everyone. In fact, even when you’re sharing a wakeboard, always get your own bindings are they determine a lot how good you are on the wakeboard. They are as follows:
These ones look like an actual boot with the bindings covering the whole foot. They offer more control and a precise fit. You thus get better leverage and a faster heel to toe response when riding the board. If you’ll be riding in cold waters, they will afford you some warmth by covering the toes.
The open toe binding style doesn’t have material covering the toes but there is cover for the rest of the foot. They’re great for warm waters and learners who need to learn the board well although some experts prefer them to closed toe bindings. The open toe design is best for those who share the bindings or a growing individual as they’ll take a while to outgrow them.
These are quite similar to the bindings for snowboards. They have a high back frames and ratchet straps across the toes and ankles and take a custom design for the boot. They allow a rider to customize the fit further so that they can engage the entire leg rather than just the toes and heels.
You need a pair of boots/bindings which fit the mounting hardware on your wakeboard of choice. Most boards use the standard 6” binding plates with M6 mounting hardware. The only exception being the Liquid Force 4D bindings which are compatible only with those wakeboards equipped with a Flextrack. When you buy a boot, you should check for these specifications.
The aspects to consider when checking the compatibility include the following:
The wakeboard binding screws
The industry standard wakeboard binding screws are the ¼” thread ones. Most companies use these ones and they have the same length as well. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to use screws not made by the manufacturer, you should ensure they’re shorter than the thickness of the board to avoid damaging the board or having loose connections.
The wakeboard stance
For your boots to feel good and help you in avoiding injuries, you need a good fit with a default angle of 12° out when the boots are placed wide of your shoulders.
Most boards will indicate the angle increments on the boards to give you a good picture of what you need to do to stay comfortable and symmetrical. Generally, taller riders will need a wider stance on the board than shorter ones.
With these aspects in mind, you can always find the right boots/bindings for your wakeboard.