You might find yourself “asking what makes them better riders than me?” A lot of factors affect your snowboarding abilities and skill level. One that is commonly overlooked is your stance. Stance can make a world of a difference to your riding, and making sure that you’re properly setup for YOUR style of riding will make your life much easier. For those wondering, stance is the angle at which your bindings are set to.
What To Do
1. Figure out whether you are a regular (left foot forward) or goofy (right foot forward) rider. My favorite method (also the funnest one) is to run across a smooth floor with socks on and try stopping yourself. The foot that creeps its way in front of the other will be the foot you place at the tip of your board.
2. Angle the front binding outwards a bit and set the back one at zero.
3. After you’re no longer falling on your ass every few meters, start testing out different stances. Two things to focus on are stance width and angle.
Stance width affects your ease of turning and board control as you go down a hill. Riding too narrow or to wide will just make you uncomfortable and you’ll feel the pain in the side of your legs (one too many friends have complained about it, so I feel I must point this out). A good starting point is roughly an inch wider than your shoulder width and then feel free to adjust if you need. Theoretically, go wider for more stability.
There are two main variances in stance direction that are used:
- Forward stance – this is where the front food is angled forward and the back is just slightly angled forward or not at all (this is most popular with free riding where the board is primarily facing one direction).
- Duck-footed – this is where your front food points outwards towards your tip (similar to forward stance) AND your back foot points out towards the tail of the board, thus forming a crude V (this is most popular with freestyle riders).
Tip – Center yourself on the board, put your feet where they feel the most comfortable and squat and stand up like you would if you were turning down the mountain (at this point your bindings should not be mounted on your board). This will give you a good idea of what is a good width and angle for you, but feel free to change it up as your riding gets better.