By Brandon Scheid/ realkiteboarding.com

Boot riding has seemed to gain traction again in kiteboarding and a lot of people are asking if boots are right for them. The most optimal conditions for boot riding are steady mellow wind and butter flat water.

If you find yourself wanting to hit a lot of features (sliders and kickers) or are looking to ride with a bit more power and do a lot of unhooked tricks, boots may be for you. It’s best to start with a more flexible binding that is easy to get in and out of. If you find yourself looking for more from your binding you can try a stiffer boot or closed toe bindings.

When it really comes down to it, ride whatever makes you happy, but you’ll never know what makes you happy if you don’t try first.

  • Closed toe bindings give you extra leverage and help keep you feet warm in cold water.
  • Riding a bigger (138-142cm) board can help accommodate the larger binding.
  • When doing powered unhooked tricks, bindings help with the takeoffs and soften the landings.
  • For a first binding, look for something easy to get in and out of and simple to tighten down.
  • You may find it a little harder to go upwind with your ankle locked in place, but shift those hips and lean back and you’ll cruise upwind!
  • You’ll have to throw your tricks a little harder with the added weight, but you’ll have a lot more momentum!
  • Don’t ride boots because it’s the cool new thing. Do it because it’s right for you.
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