Finding the best snowboard stance can help you become a better rider. Everyone has a slightly different preference and varied physical attributes that come into play when choosing a setup. Knowing your preferences will help highlight your body’s natural tendencies.
I’m a snowboarding instructor who has seen nearly every type of rider you can imagine. I’ve helped my students discover their ideal stance setup and I know how to help others find it as well.
In this post, I’ll show you how to find the best snowboard stance setup. Not everyone will want or need the same stance, but figuring out what is best for you can pay off towards improving your skills and abilities on the snow.
Time to put your feet on the board and get started.
If you are a beginner, it can take some time to figure out what stance setup is ideal. It’s not always a simple or straightforward thing, and even slight changes can impact how you feel or perform on your board.
With beginner-level skills, you might find that your setup changes as you learn how to ride better, and you’ll have to adjust things. Even if you have more experience, you might want to change a particular board to your liking.
Regardless of your level, it’s crucial to dial in the ideal stance setup. It will help in terms of both comfort and performance. By following the tips mentioned here or getting some advice from a snowboard tech, it’s pretty easy to figure out.
The Different Elements of Stance Setup
There are several different elements at play when it comes to finding the best snowboard stance setup. I’ll show you all of them below and some tips to figure out how to take these into consideration when dialing in your stance.
The first step in getting an ideal stance is knowing your dominant foot. This is which foot you most naturally want to have in the front, or downhill side, of your board. Left foot dominant (forward) is called regular, and right foot dominant (forward) is called goofy.
Most people have a natural tendency to which way they ride and which foot will be forward. Some people can ride either way pretty much the same, but that is rare. You’ll figure this out on your first day of riding.
Width is another critical element to determining the ideal snowboard stance. This relates to the ideal distance between your two feet when you are standing on the board. Your bindings will be mounted at the width you choose.
Width is very important when it comes to maintaining good balance and control of your board. Generally, you want a stance that is just slightly wider than shoulder width. Too wide, and it can be hard to turn, too narrow, and you’ll begin to lose some control.
Determining your ideal width can be challenging for beginners. This is because the width is often changed depending on your preferred riding style, and you might not know that yet.
Freeride and powder riders like wider stances, and freestyle riders often like a more narrow setup. Nearly every experienced rider will have an ideal width that they want in their stance setup.
It’s best to start with a relatively average width and experiment from there. You can adjust the width by sliding the bindings in or out of the mounting holes to create more or less distance between each foot.
In addition to the distance between your two bindings, you also need to consider what angle you set the bindings at. Almost every rider will have a front foot angle pointed more toward the board’s nose with the back foot at a closer to neutral angle.
This angle helps you maintain control when turning and is natural. If you do any other board sports like skateboarding or surfing, watch your feet, and you’ll notice that the front foot will be at more of an angle.
Stance angles can be changed quickly by loosening the mounting screws of a board and twisting the bindings to the desired angles. That makes it easy to play around with if you don’t know your preferred angles yet.
The best angle comes down to what style of riding you like to do. If you are a freerider or like to go fast, you’ll probably want a heavy front angle of over 20-degrees. This allows you to stay engaged and active at higher speeds.
If you love freestyle riding and want to stay in the terrain park often, you’ll have more of a neutral angle, perhaps even a slightly duckfooted stance. This allows you to effectively ride switch and take off and land easily going either direction.
Setback is another stance consideration that you can play around with for the ideal setup. This refers to how far forward or back you have your stance mounted in relation to the center of the board.
Zero setback means you are completely centered on the board. This is good for beginners and for park riders who want to be able to ride switch easily. It’s a very balanced setup. This centered setup is easy to control and makes a board pretty versatile.
Increased levels of setback are often used for freeriding, backcountry, and powder situations. By moving the center of gravity further back on the board, you can get more lift and float out the board when conditions are deep or more technical.
If you are an inexperienced rider, I’d suggest keeping your setback relatively centered. Once you develop a preferred riding style, you can adjust it from there as part of your process for getting everything set up.
Putting It All Together
The factors mentioned above are the main components to figuring out the best snowboarding stance setup. There isn’t one exact stance that works best for everyone, and it will probably take some experimenting to dial in one that is best for your ability and riding style.
Luckily, it’s pretty easy to make minor adjustments to your stance, even when you are out on the mountain. Most resorts have tool stands that will allow you to change the width or angle on the fly.
As you improve your abilities, you might find that you like a specific stance set up for a particular riding style. I have a powder board with a narrow width and big setback and a freestyle board with an almost dead-on centered setup.
Changes in your stance can play a significant role in controlling your board in certain on-snow situations. These can be subtle changes, but they make a difference. If you don’t like how a board is riding, it’s possible to make a minor tweak and get things dialed in just right.
It’s well worth taking the time to figure out the best snowboard stance setup. We may be talking in centimeters with all of the factors mentioned above, but those small changes can make a big difference.About Lorraine