How Do You Know When You’re Ready For Boots?
Boots are an excellent option if you’re looking to progress in freestyle or wakestyle. A good pair of boots will provide ankle support and hold your feet in place. You can land harder and faster, and not have to worry about one foot coming loose. But how do you know if you’re experienced enough to make the transition into riding boots?
Benefits Of Footstraps
All kiteboarding students start off with footstraps because its easier and safer for beginner riders. One reason for footstraps is that it’s easier to slide your feet into when you waterstart. A beginner rider may struggle sliding their feet into the footstraps because their kite control prevents them from getting positioned right. Boots are a lot more difficult to get in and out of so you will need to have great kite control.
Footstraps are easier for beginner riders to ride upwind. Riding upwind is the golden ticket for a new kiteboarder. Footstraps make it easier than boots to ride upwind because there is space on the heel of the footstraps that allows the rider to pivot their heel depending on the direction they are riding.
If something goes wrong while riding, it’s easier to kick off a board with footstraps and body drag back to it. Before strapping yourself to the board with boots, be aware of the possible situations you can be in. A common situation is to crash and be floating on your stomach. You need to be able to rotate the board in front of you or use the kite to pop you back up. Either way, be cautious of other kiteboarders and do not create a dangerous environment for others.
When To Ride Boots
You’re ready for boots when you have excellent kite control and want to learn more experienced freestyle or wakestyle tricks. Kite control always comes first. You know you have excellent kite control when you can put your boots on while controlling the kite with one hand and not have the kite move. Chances are, there will be other riders around you so you need to keep your kite under control and in the same spot while putting your boots on. If you crash while wearing boots, you need to be able to control your kite and get up as easily as if you had footstraps.
When you’re at the point where you recognize that there is a different pop for different rotations, then you’re at a level where you will benefit from boots. If you’re at this point, you know and understand how to pop, boost and unhook. You can do basic unhooked tricks like an S Bend, Raley or Backrolls. If you feel comfortable with these tricks and want to take your riding to the next level, boots will help give you the support you may need.
Benefits of Boots
Boots will provide more support for those harder landings. The benefits of boots are that you can focus on other parts of the trick like your rotation or bar position rather than the landing. The next step after learning how to Raley is learning how to Raley To Blind. Raley To Blinds may cause you to land harder than hooked in tricks if you don’t get the slack just right. Boots will also help you to ride harder and with more confidence knowing that you are strapped into the board.
For freestyle and wakestyle, boots are safer because most knee injuries happen when one foot slips out of a footstrap. It is still possible to injure yourself with boots so know your limits and learn how to crash.
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