Wakeboard bindings and what to choose. We can make this pretty simple and straight forward as always.
Why go with one style over the other. There are advantages to each and variables that everyone has to consider but the decision is easy.
Why Open Toe.
This boot design has been around since before wakeboarding. Water skiers used this for the longest time and wakeboarders just adopted it. Why it is around. Simple design and easy to manufacture. You can get several foot sizes into one boot. Great for family and friends who have to share. Most companies make at least 3 sizes in a model to fit a little closer but the overall design will be a little loose no matter what. This has never stopped riders from doing some amazing tricks and if you stuff your foot into a small size you will still have a lot of control just never as much as a closed toe.
I find this is also great for people who have what I like to call toe touch phobia. A lot of us just do not like our toes touching anything. It is why most people wear shoes that are 1 size to big.
Why Open Toe.
Again the design is nothing new and has been around for decades. It is just a little newer in the wakeboard world having been introduced around 2005ish. The reality here is that as riders began pushing the limits they needed all the control they could muster. tighter fitting boots is one way to do this. Less movement in the boot means more response to the board. With the potential for injury always high the tighter fitting closed toes offer more security from feet coming out as well and to be honest one of the drivers of injury was one foot coming out of a binding and the board becoming a huge lever that twisted your knee and hips. With your toes contacting the end means that your heel side turns had more drive and leverage from your feet and transition to toe side turns was quicker because your foot did not slide in the boot. High end open toe designs had to accomplish this with tighter fitting boots which became a nightmare getting into without copious amounts of soap.
Some designs are one boot size for every size, size and a half. I.E. 9/9.5 were the same boot. Some companies back off on this in the mid range and make a 9/10 size. Most of these closed toe boots offer some kind of molding features that allow a lot of flexibility in a particular size to fit different foot shapes as well.
Bottom line here is that you will have a more forgiving feel and less control with open toes but fit more people. You will have a more secure feeling and more control with closed toes but you may need more that one set.
Think about it this way too. You spend tens of thousands of dollars on that awesome boat. Getting equipment that fits multiple riders is going to make everyone in the boat happier and feel more secure. So even if you have two sizes of open toe boots on two different size boards everyone riding will have a better day and isn't that what it is all about? Nothing is worse than putting a small kid on an adult board and seeing them struggle to control it because the boots are loose or having an adult on a small board trying to stuff their feet into something too small and giving up because their feet hurt.
There is way more to it then this and we will save the deeper discussion for another time. Right now get out on the water. Have fun. Spend time with friends and family.