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Boot Camp: Why Boots?

Aug 5, 2009

Author: Compiled by John Bryja

There can be no denying that boots add an element of style to kiteboarding that you just can’t get any other way. The change in rider style makes kiteboarding look more akin to wakeboarding and even snowboarding. In this issue of SBC Kiteboard magazine the sport’s top riders share some tips for riding with boots. No mater what your skill level there is some tasty info for you. Give boots a try, you might be surprised at what you have been missing.

Why boots?
Better connection: “Boots offer a much more comfortable and connected attachment than footstraps. They allow the rider to land harder and faster with more control. Oh, and did I mention they feel so right they can’t be wrong?”­ —Andre Phillip

Control and Power:
“First off, they give you more board control. That in turn will let you ride a bigger and wider board, allowing for more flatwater pop, and more cushion when landing big tricks. Secondly, they keep you locked onto your board, so that you can load more power into your moves without getting ripped off your board. Third they give more cushion under your feet when landing hard, which usually happens when doing tricks with the kite low.” —Jason Stone

Improve Landings:
“I will only take boots when the conditions are perfect, for me that is dead flatwater and a smooth, consistent wind without being too overpowered. Also, I will use them if there are some good wave kickers with flat sections in between and off course on kickers and sliders. I use them for landings, I find you can go into all your tricks, especially off kickers, full belt and be able to take the landing. Also I find it adds to style because you have more swing weight and a smoother rotation, if done right.­”—Aaron Hadlow

Smoother and More Stylish:
“I think they change the momentum of a move, giving it a more smooth, stylish look. Because there is extra weight on your feet you have to initiate the move correctly from the pop to get it to come around correctly. In straps you just jump and then do whatever trick you want to do, with boots you really have to focus on the move before you pop.” —Jason Stone

Tricks Look Better: “It gives you more support and more leverage for holding a hard edge on powered tricks. It makes some tricks a bit harder because of the extra weight and you lose some of that movement in your ankles, so tweaking out grabs takes a bit more effort. But the extra effort you have to put in seems to make the trick look better when you do stomp it, and it feels so much better. The extra support and cushioning also helps on hot landings. So overall it requires a bit of extra work but it’s so worth it in the end, and those who know will appreciate and applaud your work.” —Adam Anton

Basic Training
First Time: “Most people dislike or feel very uncomfortable on bindings the first time they try them. Boots take longer to get into than straps and are a lot heavier, but given some time you’ll find that boots give you much greater control over the board when doing powered wake tricks, which can almost instantly lead to better style.” —Denver Coon

Stance and Angle:
“Stance and foot angle are very important to getting the most out of your boot riding experience. You want to set your stance to what’s comfortable to your body type. Personally, I usually set my bindings two hand-widths from inside arch to inside arch. Another quick way to get a general idea of what your stance should be is to jump off a step or chair with both feet, and how you land is usually a good indication of what width your stance should be. Foot angle is also important, and is just personal preference, I think I ride my feet ducked out at 15-18 degrees from 90.”—Jason Stone

Set em Wide:
“Wide stance, it make everything easier and it looks better too.”—Mauricio Abreu

Heel Hold: “Whatever binding you’re using make sure you have good heel hold down. You don’t want your heel moving up and down in the binding while you’re riding or it will make you feel like you’re floating off your board and have no control. Make sure the binding is tight enough to hold your heel down properly.” —Jason Stone



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