Water skiing can be a great hobby or even an athletic lifestyle, and every pair of skis needs comfortable bindings for your feet. The best water ski bindings can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are made with different materials that affect weight, comfort, and price. To make it easier for you, we’ve chosen three brands that each make a large selection of quality bindings for every budget and individual need!
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Our Top Choice
Radar Vector Water Ski Boot
Radar is one of the leading water ski bindings manufacturers, and the Vector is highly affordable with great performance.
Lightweight design. Comfortable construction.
Limited color selection.
6 Month Limited
Connelly Stoker Water Ski Binding
Connelly is one of the largest designers of water ski bindings, and the Stoker is affordable and great for beginners.
Soft materials and ergonomic design. Reinforced stitches.
Materials focused on durability and not weight.
Radar Vapor Waterski Boot
Radar made the list twice because of their extensive selection, and the Vapor is a boot made for professional competition.
Extreme strength-to-weight ratio. Comfortable construction. High performance.
Slightly expensive for beginners.
6 Month Limited
O’Brien Force Waterski Boot
O’Brien has made a name for itself in the waterskiing world, and the O’Brien Force is truly a boot to be reckoned with.
Professional, performance oriented design. Lowered center of gravity.
Limited color selection.
90 Day Limited
Connelly Nova Women’s Waterski Bindings
Connelly had to make the list twice, with their wide range of water ski bindings. The Nova is designed for women looking for quality and performance.
Floating toe makes sizing nearly universal. Connelly quality.
The best binding is going to be a personal choice, but we can help you along the way. You’ll want to look for fit, first. Make sure the binding is available in your size, and check reviews to see if they run large or small. Next, you’ll want to consider comfort. Check the material inside and out for the binding, and look to see if it is open or closed-toe. Lastly, you’ll want to make sure it’s durable and lightweight. Look for lightweight and strong materials in the chassis and on the bottom plate. We’ve chosen three brands and five bindings to review for the most fun, safety, and comfort overall!
Our Top Choice
The Vector is a great choice for all levels of water skiers. However, if you’re looking for a rear foot water ski binding, try the Radar Prime Rear Waterski Boot. It’s the 2016 model and is open toed.
Radar Vector Water Ski Binding Front Feather Frame – Available in 3 Sizes
Radar was founded over a decade ago with a thorough emphasis on quality and design. Created by water skiers for water skiers, Radar has shared their passion for watersports with the world - and even with wakeboarders, kiteboarders, and other watersport athletes. The Radar Vector Water Ski Boot is designed for all-day comfort and performance - with premium, lightweight materials.
The Vector features Radar’s patented Level 1 Reactive Wrap for comfort. The feather frame chassis and PVC construction make sure that the boot is lightweight, and yet durable. The 3D-molded tongue, with double lacing and symmetrical fit, makes this a stylish and high-performance boot in graphite gray.
No list would be complete without Connelly water ski equipment, and we’ve chosen two boots from the industry leader in water ski bindings. Connelly makes water ski bindings and accessories for all purposes and riders, and they place an emphasis on meeting high performance quality with friendly affordability. The Connelly Stoker Water Ski Binding is a great example, coming in at only $126.
The traditional wrap design of the Connelly Stoker Water Ski Binding is efficient, with high-quality materials for durability and comfort. The toe and heel portions are made with EVA and rolled at the edges with Lycra for an extra smooth feel and ease of entry. The wrap is strategically reinforced with extra stitching to provide lateral support and protect sensitive pressure points. It’s available in multiple shoe sizes from 4-13.
The Vapor is virtually unmatched in quality and comfort. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a front foot binding, take a look at the Radar Profile Front Waterski Boot which is closed toe and comes in 2 sizes.
Radar Vapor Rear Waterski Boot – 2016 Model – Available in 2 Sizes
As you’ve probably seen, we have two products featured on this list from Radar. As a leading brand of water ski bindings with so many options to choose from, they’ve earned a second spot. The Vapor is a premier, top-of-the-line water ski boot with cutting edge engineering and design. With carbon fiber or aluminum baseplate options, the Vapor is extremely light and unbelievably durable.
It features a Dual Density Intuition Liner with Rigid Outer Foam and a 3D Molded Carbitex Upper for comfort. The full-length orthotic insole and Pro Fit Chassis are designed to flex with your feet in the most demanding of conditions and stay supportive when and where you need it most. The PTU Integrated Lace Cover keeps your boots secured, even at higher speeds. Overall, the Radar Vapor is a competition level boot with high-quality materials and amazing performance that comes in a variety of sizes and colors.
O’Brien Force Slalom Rear Water Ski Binding in Black
O’Brien is one of the most visible, high-profile, and performance oriented watersport companies on the market. With decades of experience, they’ve pioneered watersports and helped evolve board and ski sports to the way we know them today. They create a wide variety of water ski bindings and boots, and the O’Brien Force Waterski Boot has competition-level design at an affordable price.
The Force uses the same chassis as the O’Brien sector, which means professional engineering and design at a fraction of the cost. The Nylon 6 plate is more budget friendly, but still light and durable. The integrated liner and heel make the boot a breeze to slip on and off, and it’s shaped individually for both right and left sides. The highly adjustable Force has two pressure-release zones for your ankle and heel, and has a low center of gravity for security and control. The O’Brien Force comes in multiple sizes, but never sacrifices quality or affordability.
Connelly Nova Front Waterski Bindings – Available in 2 Colors & Front or Rear
Does the name Connelly sound familiar? If you’ve spent any amount of time looking for high-quality water skiing equipment — or even if you just found this review — you’ll know that Connelly is a leading manufacturer of water skis and bindings. We’ve featured them twice because of their expansive selection of water ski bindings, and the Connelly Nova Women’s Water Ski Bindings are a great option for women’s performance ski equipment.
The Nova is designed with a Lycra toe and heel wrap to make the boot comfortable and easy to slip on and off. The floating toe keeps the sizing versatile for all foot sizes. The actual footbed is made of EVA and supported by a lightweight plate for feel and performance. It’s available in multiple sizes from women’s 5-14.
Water skiing is great fun on a lake, down a river, or on the ocean! You’ll need a few pieces of equipment first: your water skis, your bindings, and a tow rope! Unlike sports such as kneeboarding, the upright position takes a little more balance and skill. The best water ski bindings will keep your feet safe, secure, and comfortable while on the water. They come in open and closed-toe models with a variety of materials that affect their price.
When you’re looking at the prices of water ski bindings, you’ll want to consider quality, longevity, comfort, and design. Cheap water ski bindings are inexpensive because they haven’t invested in the research and development during product engineering and manufacturing. The best water ski bindings range from $99 to $299 because they last a lifetime. Well-known brands have a reputation to stand by, and professional athletes depend on their water skiing technology to compete.
The most basic bindings are usually two or three-piece designs with a base plate, instep, and heel wrap. As you look for more advanced technology, padding is usually thickened, and eventually a binding will more closely resemble a shoe or boot. A wrap-around design is simple, but often times feels less secure than a full-boot with laces. Other design features such as grommets or drainage outlets keep your feet well ventilated and allow for faster drying after use (incredibly important for cleanliness).
Construction and Design
A great binding has to have solid materials and construction, and it starts from the ground up. A basic baseplate is usually made of plastic, but the most durable and light models use aluminum or even carbon fiber for longevity. EVA is the go-to for padded foam in watersports, and you can expect EVA cushioning within most wraps and shoes. Lycra is a great secondary material for comfort and quick drying — especially important for closed-toe boots. It’s up to you which style you choose, but while open-toe boots give you more of a feel in the water, closed-toe bindings are more protective and keep your feet insulated.
Performance and Ease of Use
Most bindings are simple to use and connect with a Velcro strap and wraparound buckle, or else have a lace system that locks tightness without needing to tie a knot. Fit is crucial, and although water ski bindings are more widely proportioned to fit a range of sizes, it’s important to find the balance between a snug, secure fit and comfort. Too tight, and you’ll have poor circulation and marks left on your ankles. Too loose, and you may have blisters or pain on your feet. Installation usually requires simple mounting hardware that you screw onto each water ski, and you should commit to disassembling and washing the pieces separately after prolonged use.
Hopefully you’ve found the perfect bindings for your water ski adventures, but you can rest assured that each of these companies offers multiple choices if you haven’t. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly beginner binding or high-performance boot for your next competition, we’re confident that you will be able to find the best water ski bindings at an affordable price!
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