Wakeboard Binding Buyer's Guide
Finding the perfect pair of wakeboard bindings is a crucial but often overlooked part of the wakeboard buying process. After all, the bindings are the only thing connecting the rider to the wakeboard. Some people would even argue that finding bindings that are the right fit for you is more important than what wakeboard you are riding. We certainly wouldn't dispute that. Find the right bindings and you'll feel like Cinderella putting on the glass slipper.
Shopping online for bindings can be daunting but with the help of our Buyer's Guide we hope to educate you on the key features to look for, figure out what style is the right fit, and finally get you in a pair of bindings that you'll love.
The 2017 WakeMAKERS Wakeboard Binding Buyer's Guide will discuss the key features to consider when shopping for your next set of bindings as well as highlight some of the hottest bindings that are out on the market right now.
The first step in choosing your next pair of bindings is deciding between open-toe or closed-toe style. Each have their own pros/cons so we will cover that, hopefully helping make it obvious which style is the right one for you.
Open Toe Bindings
For many, many years the only type of wakeboard bindings were open-toe style. Although there are other closed-toe style bindings now days, the open-toe binding still remains a popular style to this day for several reasons.
An open-toe binding is the best option if you are buying a wakeboard that will be used by multiple riders. The open-toe bindings fit a general size range (ex. 8-12) whereas a closed-toe binding fits a single shoe size. The open-toe style will allow everyone to ride without spending precious minutes of your lake day switching out bindings to accomodate someone's foot size (and not having to buy multiple bindings).
If you are buying bindings for your kid, open-toe is great as your child won't outgrow them after just one summer.
This style of bindings is also great for beginner-intermediate riders as they typically feature a softer flex.
Pros: Versatile enough to fit several different riders. Easily adjustable. A softer flex. More affordable.
Cons: Not the precise fit or level of performance found in closed-toe style bindings.
The Hyperlite Focus bindings got completely redesigned for 2017 and my oh my do these bindings look good.
The Focus remains one of the most popular open-toe bindings for good reason. The design team at Hyperlite focused on comfort and support when redesigning this binding. This user-friendly design features three closure points, giving riders the ability to create a truly custom fit each and every session. Starting from the bottom up, it all begins with their new low-pro plate system that gives the rider a ton of feel for the board and reduces the overall weight. A lower velcro strap and center lace zone ensure a snug fit around the rider’s ankle for maximum hold while edging out or attacking the wake. The velcro strap in the upper zone of the binding can be tightened down for additional support or kept loose for more lateral movement on those stylish methods or tweaked out grabs.
Closed Toe Bindings
The best of the best. When closed-toe bindings emerged onto the scene, they forever changed our sport. A supreme fit. Unmatched comfort. Top level performance. The preferred choice of those who take their riding seriously.
Unlike open-toe style bindings, a closed-toe wakeboard boot is offered in specific shoe sizes and not in size ranges. The result is a supreme fit. Many nowdays are offered with heat moldable liners, providing a truly custom fit. If you are the sole person riding your wakeboard, closed-toe is the only way to go for a more enjoyable experience.
Pros: The best support, comfort, and performance. Custom fit. Keep your feet warmer.
Cons: Only offered in single sizes, not the versatility found in open-toe bindings. More $$$
The Cocktail is Ronix’s most affordable closed-toe binding. At just $329, these wakeboard boots are designed for those wanting that acclaimed Ronix fit but not wanting to drop $500 to have a heat moldable liner or a pro rider’s name backing the bindings. A first of its kind, the Network Boot can hang with the best of them but comes in at a much more affordable price. These bindings scream VALUE.
Bindings have came a long ways. Now offered with more closure options and technical features now than ever before. The recent trend has been velcro closure for open-toe styles and lace fasteners for closed-toe styles. Both of these are great because they offer you ease of entry along with excellent support and fit. No longer do you need to squeeze your way into bindings lubed with dish soap... anyone who rides can be thankful those days are long gone.
Velcro closure systems have become very popular because they are quick to get in and out of and you can easily adjust them to fit the rider's foot snugly. An added bonus, the velcro is highly durable and built to last for years.
Lace and Fastener
All of Ronix's and most of Liquid Force's closed-toe bindings feature the lace and fastener closure system. The benefit to the Lace and Fastener system is the ease of use and the ability to quickly replace any broken laces.
The BOA System is another technology borrowed from the snowboard industry. The benefit to the BOA system is the speed at which you can tighten and loosen your bindings. Many people swear by BOA and use it for all their sports.
*Note: Having trouble getting your bindings on/off?
-Make sure the laces or straps are totally loose. Also, make sure to get your bindings wet before taking them on/off.
Wakeboard bindings range from soft to stiff (1-10) on the WakeMAKERS scale. Most beginner/intermediate riders start off with a binding that has a softer flex. As riders progress they begin to opt for stiffer bindings that offer quicker response, added control, and ultimately a higher level of performance. Not an exact science, there are some exceptions to this rule. The emergence of cable park riding has resulted in more wakeboarders opting for a softer binding that will provide the necessary flex to flaunt that style with tweaked out grabs and presses throughout the park on all the rails. The height of the binding's cuff is a very important factor to the overall feel as well. Typically a binding featuring a softer flex will have a lower cuff line that makes it easier to transition from edge to edge.
We recommend setting your stance up "duck-footed" with both of your feet angled out at around 12 degrees. This is generally the most comfortable starting point for most riders. The best way to figure out a comfortable stance is to get in a squat position with your knees positioned outward. Find out what width and angle your feet need to be in order to be in the most comfortable and natural position. Voila! You've just found out what stance will work best for you... once you've taken your board for a few spins you may want to tweak the width or binding angles for a better feel. A general rule of thumb is: the taller the rider, the wider the stance. Your feet should be shoulder width apart.
You will want to make sure that your bindings are compatible with your wakeboard. Nothing is more frustrating than getting new bindings and realizing they won't work on your wakeboard. Bindings will use either 1/4" standard screws or M6 metric screws. Most brands are transitioning from standard hardware to Metric M6 hardware.
Pro Tip: buy a board and bindings from the same manufacturer during the same year to ensure compatibility.
2009 and newer Ronix bindings: M6 Metric screws
2013 and newer Ronix wakeboards: M6 Metric screws.
2012 and older Ronix wakeboards:1/4" standard screws.
2012 and newer Liquid Force wakeboards: M6 Metric screws
2011 and older Liquid Force wakeboards: 1/4" standard screws.
If you are buying BOTH a wakeboard and bindings, you should strongly consider one of our awesome wakeboard packages. When packaged together you save lots of $$$ on your next wakeboard setup. Check out the deals below!
Shopping for your next pair of wakeboard bindings is no easy task. If you are still unsure which bindings are right for you, that is okay. Our customer support team is here to help out. After all, our goal is to get you on the right gear so that you can have more fun on the water. Give us a call at 888-338-6085 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.