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Atans, Solites, Ninjas, etc
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grantmac017



Joined: 04 Aug 2016
Posts: 558

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:18 pm    Post subject: Atans, Solites, Ninjas, etc Reply with quote

Alright folks what ACTUALLY works for bump and jump sailing in water that gets no warmer than 55 degrees? I have feet which are wide at the toe box size 11.5-12 and tend to get stuck at the best of times.
Locals like the Atans but admit they don't last long on our rocks and they aren't cheap (but maybe I could wear flip flops over them into the water). The Solites are a new idea that seems similar with a bit more structure, however no windsurfing specific reviews.
O'neil Ninjas get mentioned as both minimal and cheap, are they worth it as a single-season throw away?

Thanks,
Grant
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dllee



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 3960
Location: East Bay

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anything that fits snug, keeps your toes from jamming forwards, and narrow enough to fit inside your straps that are widened one hole.
Been surfing and ws since 1966 in the San francisco area and have literally sold over 1,000 pairs of booties and owned well over 75 pairs.
And old roomy was 5'9" and 275 lbs. Imagine how wide his feet were for 7 years of surfing and about that many ws.
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grantmac017



Joined: 04 Aug 2016
Posts: 558

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm 0 for 3 on previous boot choices and was looking for specifics that will work at lowish water temps. When I can stand it I go barefoot and my footwork is noticeably better but after a recent move (to an area with much better wind) I'm resigned to needing them 90% of the time.
Also I'm unlikely to be able to try anything on before buying.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18693

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For decades I didn't need booties because my hands were my limiting factors and gloves suck worse than booties. When a podiatrist told me that 46 degree water was damaging my feet permanently (chillblains) even though sort of comfortable, I began trying booties in an attempt to find some that didn't get stuck in the straps.

No one demos booties, so I threw money at the problem. I did some research, ordered a wide variety of booties from discount sources (plus some retail purchases from helpful dealers), and tried 'em on the water. There's not much more we can do, since booties and feet are highly personal. For example, some love split toes, some hate 'em.

It took me a year to find some Atans stateside, but find 'em I did, and they provide great deck and strap feel. I have warmer 3mm booties and a couple of 5s, but none with better feel. The quick wear problem is greatly reduced by extra deck padding under sail and stepping into size 15 Crocs on land (my primary launch is grass and sand, but I could park the Crocs at the water's edge.)

The Heats were fantastic booties before O'Neil outright ruined them by permanently coating the soles with snot, liquid Teflon, and KY jelly (i.e., they changed the sole design) 6-8 years ago. I do a lot of quick and sometimes clumsy footwork, and I'm way too old to be doing the splits while opposing sail power before strapping in.

Congrats on moving to better sailing. Whether it was luck or effort, it's the results that count.
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windward1



Joined: 18 Jun 2000
Posts: 1074

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure if you have tried the recent O'Neill Heat Booties. They have a herringbone pattern on the soles that grips better than my bare feet on my strapless boards. One of my sons gave me a pair of used O'Neill Psychos for Christmas that had a different sole and that was slick as snot. Would hold for a bit and then act like it was greased when a slight sideways pressure was applied. Interesting that the two designs of the sole grip is so completely different from the same manufacturer. Anyway, my new Heats are great. Just cut your toe nails though, or they will cut through the bootie when jamming into the straps. I sail strap boards as well as strapless.
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grantmac017



Joined: 04 Aug 2016
Posts: 558

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Heats appear to have a molded section start precisely where my foot gets hung up in the strap. Having a one-piece foot section is part of what draws me to both the Atan and Solite designs. That and they are both supposed to do very little flushing and fit a variety of foot shapes. Most boots which fit my toes are then too big for the rest of my foot or vice versa.
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fxop



Joined: 13 Jun 1998
Posts: 151

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently got some O'Neill Ninjas. It is a split toe design and I don't think they make non split toe in that model. I was looking for a design that did not have a lot of sticky rubber lapped up on the sides and this is it. They are just a step above neoprene socks.

The soles have surprisingly good traction, better than what I've been using for 10 years, which were custom made by a guy who has retired.

I wish the soles were a little thicker. Every little rock makes an impression. Don't know how you barefoot guys do it.

At $36 they are easy to try. Closest thing to barefoot I've ever used, maybe too close.

fxop
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18693

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

windward1 wrote:
Not sure if you have tried the recent O'Neill Heat Booties. They have a herringbone pattern on the soles that grips better than my bare feet on my strapless boards.

I have both types of Ninja Heats. The herringbone version is the slippery one on my boards. A big dealer told me O'Neil knows about the problem and is planning to fix it, but O'Neil denied it when I inquired.

As you describe with the smooth soles, the herringbone sole grips adequately in normal footwork for me, but when traction gets most critical, they skate on my boards, with my feet. Example: Exiting a jibe on a small sinker with marginal speed, I may need to step way forward with the front foot to keep the nose down. That, plus maybe a gust, way too often broke the traction loose completely. Too many variables to determine or explain why. Considering the medical risk of doing the splits, let alone simply blowing jibes, I always add traction pads up towards the mast foot.
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grantmac017



Joined: 04 Aug 2016
Posts: 558

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fxop wrote:
I recently got some O'Neill Ninjas. It is a split toe design and I don't think they make non split toe in that model. I was looking for a design that did not have a lot of sticky rubber lapped up on the sides and this is it. They are just a step above neoprene socks.

The soles have surprisingly good traction, better than what I've been using for 10 years, which were custom made by a guy who has retired.

I wish the soles were a little thicker. Every little rock makes an impression. Don't know how you barefoot guys do it.

At $36 they are easy to try. Closest thing to barefoot I've ever used, maybe too close.

fxop


How is the warmth?



Mike: little column A, little column B.
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fxop



Joined: 13 Jun 1998
Posts: 151

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

grantmac017 wrote:

How is the warmth?


I'm only dealing in 53F and up so they are fine for me. They seem cooler than 3mm actually, probably because of the very thin sole. We are at 57F now and no problem at all.

Several years ago my custom wetsuit guy told me he no longer could get the standard material for the sole that he had been using for years. The replacement was noticeably slippier but improved over time, then got worse as the nubs wore down.

fxop
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