Water/Slalom Ski Bindings Buyers Guide & Sizing Charts
Your skiing experience relies heavily on the gear you use on the water. While picking out the perfect water slalom or ski is important, it is equally important to have a quality binding in place. The right binding could be the difference between a good time and a difficult one, but also the right binding ensures you can control your ski and avoid any unnecessary injury.
At Marine Products, we carry a full line of water ski bindings and slalom bindings to suit every need. If you’re unsure which binding is right for you, contact a sales representative today for assistance by dialing <insert number here> now.
Getting to Know Your Bindings
As a general rule, your bindings should be loose enough for your foot to slip in and out of without lubricant. But, they should also be tight enough to give you the responsive control you need on the water.
Types of Bindings
There are three types of bindings for skiers: front high-wrap, double high-wrap, and adjustable bindings.
Front high-wrap bindings come with a rear toe plate. This is considered the most versatile binding option and is suitable if you have multiple skiers using the same ski. Use a front-high wrap for all skier ability levels, but especially if you have skiers of varying abilities.
Double high-wraps are considered custom bindings. These offer better control and enhanced performance, but cannot be used by multiple skiers on the same ski. These are better suited for more advanced, experienced skiers than beginners.
Adjustable bindings are more customized and can be suited to each rider. When you use adjustable bindings you have more control and perform better on the water. Adjustable bindings are costly, but beneficial to riders of all ability levels.
Bindings come in varying materials, but two of the most common types are traditional rubber and EVA foam.
Rubber bindings are recommended for beginners. They offer a soft, comfortable fit and still give the rider the necessary control.
EVA foam is suitable for intermediate to advanced rider ability levels. These are stiffer, but give the rider more edge control on the water. Beginner riders can use EVA foam bindings, but it might be difficult for them to control themselves on the water when the binding is so stiff.
Sizing varies by manufacturer. When you’re shopping for ski bindings, we suggest looking at the manufacturer specifications, but a good rule of thumb is:
- XS Bindings
- Men Size 4 to 6
- Women Size 5 to 7
- S Bindings
- Men Size 6 ½ to 8
- Women Size 7 ½ to 9
- M Bindings
- Men Size 8 ½ to 10
- Women Size 9 ½ to 11
- L Bindings
- Men Size 10 ½ to 13
- Women Size 11 ½ and Up
You have a few options for your boot arrangement and the right boot arrangement depends on your skill level and comfort.
Adjustable Front Open
This type of boot has an open front that gives you versatility based on size. Multiple skiers with varying foot sizes can use this type of boot. The heel is tucked back and secured inside -- giving you the necessary control. You can use an adjustable front open with a variety of skill levels as well. Therefore, this is the most versatile and recommended if you only have one ski, but multiple skiers.
Fixed Front, Fixed Back
This is a closed boot type and you cannot adjust it. It is fixed to the skier; therefore, it is not suitable for multiple skiers using the same ski. The benefit to this type of boot, however, is that you have a customized fit. We recommend only using this type of boot if you’re an intermediate to advanced skier and control is a big factor.
Fixed Front, Open Back
This type of boot has the boot cover upfront and a rear toe plate in the back. This still offers you more control and isn’t recommended for varying abilities or shoe sizes.
The binding position on your slalom is just as important as the binding you select. In most cases, you can find the right position by trial and error, but no matter what you do, don’t move the binding past the recommended amount. Always start with the basic skier position and adjust for optimum control and comfort. Most rubber bindings allow for a ½-inch movement in either direction. Install your bindings in their center-most position first and then adjust as needed. Moving your bindings back too far can force the tip of your ski to lift out of the water and you’ll lose your proper angle across the wake.
Your slalom ski bindings don’t require much maintenance, but to keep them working at their best we recommend a few maintenance tips:
- Rinse off your ski and bindings once you’re out of the water -- especially after skiing in salt water.
- Have your bindings and ski checked regularly to make sure they’re in proper working condition.
- Air dry your bindings before storing your ski. Never store your bindings and ski wet in a bag -- this promotes mold growth and can break down the materials of your ski and bindings.
- Keep your bindings free of dirt, salt and other contaminants.
- Never clean your bindings with soap or solvents -- these can remove factory lubricants and disrupt the integrity of the materials.
If you cannot get your foot into your binding, don’t use dish soap. While this is a highly recommended lubricant, dish soap is introduced into the water and can hurt the delicate ecosystem. Instead use a water ski boot and binding lubricant. This is eco-friendly and allows you to slip into your ski.
Still have questions? We have answers. Contact a Marine Products specialist today for more information on picking out the perfect binding by dialing 801.973.4017 now.
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