Slalom Ski Boot Buyer's Guide
Slalom waterski boots have come a long way since the traditional rubber wrap bindings of the past. Most modern slalom ski bindings are lace up and made from neoprene lined foam. This creates a comfortable, supportive waterski boot that is much easier to get on and off than those old rubbers. So throw the detergent away and use this guide to find the best of modern slalom ski footwear.
Fitting out an old ski with new boots? Be aware that the age and brand of ski will affect how well new boots will attach. Modern lace up bindings are plated to fit skis with bolt inserts and the pattern of these inserts on your old ski (if it has them) may not line up with a newer boot’s baseplate. If the holes don’t line up you may have to re-drill the ski or find a boot with an older style base-plate to fit. If you’re not sure, please contact us.
OPEN TOE BOOTS
Open toe slalom waterski boots are great for skiers of all levels looking for comfort and easy access. Because of the open toe design they are made to fit size ranges rather than specific foot sizes. This make them great for sharing your ski around or for young skiers growing into their footwear. Most of these open toe bindings are lace up with a stiff lace over the toes for control and a bungee style lace around the ankle so your boot will release on any big stacks!
CLOSED TOE BOOTS
A closed toe binding with precise sizing are usually used by advanced and tournament skiers looking to get the most performance out of their waterski footwear. A closed toe slalom boot gives you the most control and connection to your ski. They are generally stiffer in the ankle than an open toe boot so your ski reacts instantaneously to rider input. There are two basic types of closed toe waterski binding:
FIXED CLOSED TOE BOOTS remain attached a baseplate and will not release from the ski. Rather a bungee lace section will allow the boot to eject you on any wipeouts. They give you the best connection to the ski and are lighter weight than a hardshell binding.
Use HARDSHELL BINDINGS for the ultimate peace of mind a hardshell waterski binding will release your entire boot from the ski to save you from injury on a big off. This is mainly a concern for tournament skiers throwing everything they have at the slalom course. Hardshell slalom boots are heavier than other slalom ski bindings because of their weighty release mechanism but it’s worth it for their ankle saving properties!
Rear boots come in different shapes and sizes to suit your style of skiing. As almost all of your control in waterskiing comes from your front foot so it’s not necessary to have a full boot for your rear foot. Most people ski with a Rear Toe Plate (RTP) which is a sandal style boot that you can slide your foot into. They can be a fixed size in rubber or a one size fits all style with laces.
Of course you can go with a complete rear boot for your slalom ski too. Most ski manufacturer’s offer their front boots in a rear option. There are even hybrid kicker designs that incorporate a heel cup into a traditional rear toe plate. Most of our online ski packages are set up with rear toe plates so if you prefer double boots please contact us for availability.
We hope this guide has helped you to find the right boot/s for your slalom waterski. If you have any further questions please CONTACT our friendly staff.