I’ve had a lot of guys coming up to me at the beginning of are season here locally asking about why I wear wakeboard boots every time I go out kiting. And it kind of got me thinking about it more and thought it was important enough for me to share my opinion on it here. Just cause there are a couple of kids at your local spot riding boots with baggy ass tees and somehow always seem to be listening to dubstep… Don’t let this turn you away from trying out some boots, believe me the boots don’t make you start listening to dubstep. Don’t worry
First off if you haven’t ridden boots before I’d recommend you have a few skills under your belt before you semi-permanently attach yourself to kite more so then with your strap set. I’d say if you’re riding “Upwind” and have a good understanding of kite control and body control under the kite your ready 🙂 By “Body Control” I mean your ability to get your feet back infront of you after a crash or unexpected pull of the kite. With Boots on you can’t take your board off and start over as easily. But with every negative there is something positive, and to get that board in front of you, your abs will be feeling it. The lady at home will thank you for the switch to boots if you don’t feel anything else changing in your kite game.
The big perks of boots that keep me riding them as my main choose of connection to my kiteboard are a simple few.
1)Power- With boots and the new found control on your board you will feel more comfortable with your edge control and ability to lay back into your boots and have a lot more control over your heelside edge and toeside edge. Allowing you to control that extra power!
2)Landings- You might think the landings would be worse being locked in, and this could be so on a nice edge catching wipeout. But when you learn to ride with boots you also learn how to fall properly. Something that the Street and my Shinn kiteboards have learned to do with me 🙂 When you stomp that standard trick it is considerable more controllable with the locked in footing and more comfortable with the extra stuffing under your feet. No more one footer wipeouts and that injure way too many riders.
3)Rocker- Not everybody is going to get a board with more rocker to try out their boots with but with more rocker you will find it to suit your boots better. Increased rocker helps soften your landing and provides better control over your board when riding powered. It will crave more power from your kite so remember to rig a little bit bigger then what you would for straps and unhooking. I ride The Street by Shinn as it’s a great board for boots that has just enough rocker but not so much that will kill your speed and seem like you’re dragging an anchor around with you everywhere. (Below is Mike Campanaro booting it off a kicker with the Street)
4)Kickers/Rails- Don’t look like a wanker and hit rails or kickers with straps… For some reason it’s really frowned upon. I don’t care but its basically in the rule book. Also some boards have a better base for sliders then others, I like the Street by Shinn for the P-Tex bottom base as it can handle session after session on the rails and kickers without you having to worry about increasing your chances of a snapped board from a worn base.
If you find these 4 reasons aren’t enough then your probably not ready to try boots. I’m not telling you to ride boots for life but to just try them out and see how much they add to you’re kiting. Have fun out there! Good Winds