How Gummy Straps are making our wake boots easier to use and more comfortable
Laces or Velcro: That used to be your choice when picking out a wake boot.
The problem? Laces break, slip, tangle and are a pain in the ass when you’re putting your boots on and off all day. Velcro picks up dirt, sand and weeds. It wears out, blows open, slips and can be hard to tighten just right. Laces and Velcro are often either too loose or too tight, and both can limit your mobility. In the past, we were forced to choose between the lesser of the two evils. This troubled our R&D team and left us with one mission: solve the problem!
We spend a lot of time at Slingshot being different. Our CEO, Jeff Logosz, and R&D Project Manager, Matt Gustafsen, were brainstorming over an afternoon beer (because all good ideas start with beer, right?). They asked the question- why don’t we try some of those rubber ski straps we are always seeing on the mountain (the ones that hold skis and poles together in a group while you break for a beer and a slice)? The snow industry uses them, they are flexible, durable, replaceable and come in multiple colors. Hell, they stretch tight along the sharp edges of skis and never seem to fail, so why wouldn’t they hold up in water? The idea was hatched and the project was turned over to Matt and the R&D team to make it a reality.
Turns out it took a lot more work than just a great idea over beers, but now that we have gummy straps on all of our boots, we can say for sure that it was worth the work and the wait.
“It took almost two years to fully develop the Gummy Strap,” Matt said. “The first prototype was on an Orange 2014 Shredtown boot with the velcro straps removed and standard ski straps used in their place. We sent them down to Florida for Jeff McKee (Slingshot wake team and brand manager) and our team riders to test. They were immediately hooked on their strength, flexibility and the ability to tighten the boots more than ever.”
“I started with the ski strap urethane formula as a baseline and tweaked it from there. How many rounds did it take to develop? Too many to keep track of, that’s for sure. We tested durability, performance in a wide range of temperatures, cosmetic options, endless colors, digital printing, UV tests and more. The biggest challenge was to figure out the proper stretch and rebound characteristics needed for wakeboarding. You want a tight and secure fit. Traditionally that came with the price of limited mobility. With Gummy Straps, you get the best of both worlds- excellent fit with unbelievable flexibility.”
We’re in love with Gummy Straps for their flexibility, durability, fit and fashion. Jeff McKee agrees, “Gummy Straps were an instant hit with the Slingshot Wake team. You strap up once and never have to toy with them again. They STAY STRAPPED so you can focus on your riding 100% of the session. You also get to skip ahead of all the lace lock fiddlers in the cable lines.”
Check out our 2017 boot line w/Gummy Straps on our website: http://www.slingshotsports.com/Boots