Risers aren't bad at all. I have big feet too (12's) and my board was skinnier then expected. I actually picked up a pair of Palmer flex risers and couldn't be happier. They set your foot like 10 mm up and it really does make a big difference. Carving couldn't be any easier. Usually I would catch edges with my toes or heels but with this I don't at all.
He was probably sure he needed risers when his toes and heels dug in at speed causing him to face/ass plant into the ground waking up to ringing and tremendous pain. If I was you I'd take your boots and bindings in with you to pick out your board and see if your toes or heels are going to dig into the ground mounted in your stance etc. I wouldn't worry about it too much, if you have a somewhat agressive stance you may not need them. I have small boots (8.5) so I don't have to worry about it but if I could help it I don't think I'd want risers if I had larger feet, I'd go with a wider board instead.