HansB

BOA wading boots and sand, workaround.

Rate this topic

20 posts in this topic

Posted (edited) · Report post

Just wanted to share my experience with the use of BOA boots in the surf or anywhere you are likely to foul the BOA mechanism

 

Initially tried them in the surf with just the built in gravel guards from my Orvis Guide Waders and the BOA mechanism fouled up first trip and it was difficult to get them off.   I took the mechanism apart and it was literally clogged with sand and I felt fortunate to be able to get them off at all considering some of the other experiences I had read.

 

Called Orvis and they recommended their Infinite Gravel Guards worn over the built in gravel guards on my waders.  Didn't take long to realize that wearing them over my existing gravel guards was a bad idea as the surf will work them loose, so I put them under my gravel guards.   Unfortunately, the sand still got under both sets of gravel guards and clogged the BOA mechanism.  Took it apart again and there was a decent amount of sand in the mechanism. 

 

So thought trial and error over the next few trips I was able to find a way to keep sand completely out of the mechanism:

 

1) Use the old garbage back trick.  Using a plastic trash bag has always made it easier to slip a bootie into a wading boot and will actually save wear and tear by making the boot entry smoother with no pressure or stretching on the neoprene fabric.   I use a cheap lightweight 10 gal wastebasket liner I got from Costco and use the excess and fold it to create a barrier on the upper 2-3” of the boot to cover the BOA mechanism.  I take the leftover liner and pull it back and just tuck it into the back of my boot.

2) Use an additional neoprene gravel guard over the top of the boot thereby sealing the plastic liner over the BOA mechanism.

 

Just a couple of steps that doesn’t take a lot of time and the BOA boots are good to go in the surf.

 

I clean the mechanism out after a few trips with a T6 driver.  Call BOA folks and they will send you a repair kit and the driver free of charge.  Quick rinse and check and simple maintenance to keep the BOA mechanism functioning properly.  There are pros and cons to the BOA boots with the potential for the wiring breaking but at least clogged mechanisms can be managed.  I really like mine, the easy in and out is real plus.

 

I also have a small mini-pry bar with a beveled edge in my SUV just in case I need to lift the BOA knob should it get jammed.  Haven’t had to use it in several trips once I started using the methods above

 

HTH 

 

1.JPG

2.JPG

3.JPG

4.JPG

Edited by HansB
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

I wanted to add that the only thing you have to watch for is that the better neoprene gravel guards have a Velcro strip that runs the entire length of the attachment side of the gravel guard. There is a sharp edge on the upper edge  of the strip once it’s attached that can cause abrasions and tear into the inner fabric of the gravel guard built into my silver sonic waders.  When you fold your gravel guards down to attach to the D ring on the boot, the inner fabric of the gravel guard is resting on that sharp edge and can damage it.  Just be careful with this when wrapping the neoprene gravel guard or modify that edge by removing some of the outer edge of the Velcro.  I have been able to use the Orvis Infinity Gravel Guards and the Frogg Troggs Gravel Guards with success.  I removed the outside edge of the guards and tacked them down with a couple of stitches.  If you are careful  how you wrap the neoprene gravel guards it likely isn’t necessary to remove the edge.

 

 

 

IMG_9644.JPG

 

Here is a close up of the upper edge that abrades the lining of the built in gravel guard.

IMG_9660.JPG

IMG_9667.JPG

Edited by HansB
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Nice report Hans... 

Sand is INVASIVE and RELENTLESS...!

if there is any way in, sand WILL find prevail...

well intended "mechanisms" and zippers WILL clog...

soonerorlater...

I've had my best "luck" [to date] with Henderson H2 titanium 5mm's hard sole booties...

sofarsogood...

Fairly snug slip on / off [no zipper] sealed at the top with some duct tape...

worksforme...

2006-03-30%20006_zpszdmwx1ry.jpg

 

Edited by petegray
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A product that clearly is not suitable for sandy beaches. The evidence is there to read above.

 

Laces might be a bit of a pain but nothing like a mechanism that is jammed and you can’t undo in a hurry.

Mike

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BOA Laces breaking?   Is this something that actually happened to you, if so, that’s a real bummer.  Or something you read or heard anecdotally somewhere that occurs at a high rate?  Please provide the reference or the shop you talked to.

 

To be honest, I’m still on the fence about the BOA systems, but the laces are not what I am concerned about.   Managing the sand issue is a big step in liking these boots.  

 

I talked to BOA before I bought these boots and they claimed less than 1% failure rate and most of those failures they tracked are secondary to impact such as bike crashes.  The reason they offer a lifetime “no question asked” warranty where they will provide you parts at no cost is because of the robustness of their systems.  The wire is supposedly a 49 strand aircraft grade stainless wire cable.  They were kind enough to send me a 100mm wire kit to have as a spare just in case, which included a T6 driver used to open the mechanism.

 

I was told that for this application (wading boot) I should worry less about the wire breaking and more about the materials of the boot itself breaking down before that would likely happen.   Cleaning and maintaining the mechanism would go a long ways to prevent failure as would changing the wire should you see a fray or klnk develop.  But for tensile strength failure, unlikely.

 

I spoke to the customer service desk at Orvis about the BOA Pivots boot and they said to look at the reviews and to date, there is one mention of a wire problem out of 118 reviews. (4.7/5)  Orvis fan boys?  Don’t know but mostly positive things are said.

 

I also received firsthand positive feedback from the customer service folks at REI who sell BOA-equipped snowboard, ski and cycling models.  All the feedback I got from them was positive, and none of them had any problems with wires snapping without user error.  The only precaution they gave as an example was not to let the snowboard edge rest on the wire and possibly fray it.  I mentioned fishing and the reply was that snowboarding involves a lot more physical stress on a BOA mechanism than climbing a hill, walking a stream or the surf. 

 

Guessing time will tell and I’m hoping others with firsthand experience will drop in and share them, and I will do the same at the end of the season.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a pair of Hodgman BOA boots one size larger than I normally wear for winter fishing with multiple sock layers and 5mm neoprenes.  I really like them and have had no issues whatsoever.  My younger son has a pair he uses is SW - no isssues.  They are very easy on/off.

 

I have not used them in the surf in CC or RI but I could see how sand could foul them.  Hell, if you ever went to the beach, you know how sand gets EVERYWHERE...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I gave up on boa after a few different Korker boots, replacement boa systems at $10 each. Great idea but the sand just ruins them, jams them up and strips the plastic gear inside. I find they work ok on more rocky north shore LI spots but they are not good if you’re fishing any fine sandy beaches. I actually removed the boa systems and punched holes for regular laces in a couple pairs of korkers. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a pair of LL Bean Boa's that I used in salt and sand exclusively 3 or 4 years. No problems, with religious rinsing. Mileage is limited as I shed and shiver (the waders) earlier than most.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update on the Orvis BOA boot I wore all spring and summer in the salt.  Used them twice a week anywhere from 4-8 hours from April through October.   Worked them hard climbing trails and fishing primarily on sand.  Washed them out after every trip. 
 

Went through 2 laces, one main gear and one dial.  One lace broke when tightening up the dial on location, but I found I was still able to climb and fish all day with just the additional neoprene gravel guard I typically wrap over the upper boot.  That was good to know.  The other lace I changed out when I saw some fraying mid summer.

 

Fortunately, the BOA folks provide parts for the mechanism as part of their lifetime guarantee.  Changing the wire and gears just takes a few minutes once you figure out how to do it.  Ordered the parts to have on hand so no problems with down time.  Get the kit and spare laces.

 

IMG_0375.JPG.78a5bb8edc9a7c837279a6752a2ba81b.JPG

 

Other than that, as long as I used the  Costco 10 gallon wastebasket bag and the additional gravel guard, I have had few problems with sand clogging the mechanism.  I typically turn the dial a little and then pull to pop it up.  I have had to use the mini pry bar a couple of times, not sure if slight corrosion or sand was part of the problem or I was just too tired to try harder.  The mini pry bar pops the dial up very easily and is a MUST to have in your vehicle if you are using these boots.  

 

IMG_0377.JPG.59c47da7ce5eb9d9531030b2630d150d.JPG

 

I’m using a 5 1/2 inch mini pry bar from Dasco (Dasco Pro 222) that came with a set.

 

I started out using the Orvis Infinity Gravel Guards and then tried the cheaper Frogg Toggs neoprene gravel guards.  Both worked fine, the Orvis have a thicker neoprene and heavier Velcro but cost twice as much.

 

Boots and studs still good to go for next season.  Picked up a pair of the lace up  Orvis Access Boots to try next season as well.

IMG_0382.JPG.904918ee936be078afcaef694432030f.JPGIMG_0385.JPG.135a5dcd9d41f3fa421da1779c54f7c2.JPG

Edited by HansB
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been fishing with Korkers Boa system boots for a number of seasons now and I love them. I take advantage of the interchangeable soles and I really like the BOA lacing system in freshwater. However I won't use them in the surf because of the problems with sand fouling the gears. It would be nice if BOA designed a real solution for us. In the meantime I'm going to get a mini pry bar as suggested above and keep it in my kit.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will personally NEVER used boa laced korkers again after this season. Sand absolutely destroys the mechanism and fouls the **** out of it. Plus the wire chews through the plastic guides like butter through the season. I'll stick to regular laces.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.