I can't believe how far wakeboard bindings have come. When I first got into wakeboarding I remember using flat sandal style bindings with two very chintzy feeling elastic straps, much like the ones pictured above. In fact I think the word "binding" is a gross misrepresentation of what they were, as I spent most of my time not bound to the board. A pair of flip flops nailed to the board would have been just as effective.
Now, however, bindings have grown into extremely hi-tech, custom fitted, advanced pieces of footwear -- most of which cost just as much, if not more, than a brand new wakeboard. But, if you have ever had the unpleasant experience of using poor quality bindings, then you are likely very thankful for the advancement of the technology -- even in spite of the high price tag.
I recently had a chance to test two of the latest bindings from Ronix and Hyperlite, and I have to say that I'm thrilled with how they both performed. They each had something unique and beneficial to offer. The Hyperlite "System" binding is very reminiscent of snowboard bindings and has some tremendous adjustment features. I also found the separate boot to be very nice for getting back on the board quickly -- you just have be careful that you don't leave them on all day because they can cause a wicked tan line.
Read the full review of the Hyperlite "System."
On the other hand (or foot), the Ronix Cell binding oozes eye appeal and is undoubtedly the lightest binding on the market right now. If you are a minimalist when it comes to your gear, then you will really appreciate this binding. At under two lbs. a piece, they felt about as light as my running shoes. I have to say that the Ronix Cell was definitely the most attractive binding of the two, but it does feel geared toward more advanced riders.
Forgiving is one thing that the Cell is not, so for riders just getting their sea legs I wouldn't recommend this boot. But if you are looking for a more advanced binding that has incredible responsiveness, then the Cell is worth a gander.
Read the full review of the Ronix Cell .
Now what about you? What bindings are you riding, and how do you like them? Let us know in the comments.
Photo © Bryan Hughes