The very first thing you have to decide when putting your bindings on the board is which foot is going to be your forward foot (leading foot). If you prefer your left foot forward, you have a regular stance. If you prefer having your right foot is forward, you have a goofy stance. If you have ever surfed, skated, wake boarded, or done any other type of board sport then we suggest starting with the stance that worked for you in the past.
If you have never been on a board of any kind and have no idea what stance you are, here is a little trick: Set a small item on the ground and leap over it one leg after the other (like a hurdle.) Whichever leg you put in front of you, is most likely your lead foot. If you still arn't feeling confident about which foot should be infront, set your bindings up symmetrically. Once you start learning it should become clear what stance you are.
When you're riding in the really deep stuff, your goal is to keep the nose of your board above the snow. That is where set back stances come in. By mounting your bindings towards the back of the board your weight will already be on the tail, lifting your nose out of the snow with minimal effort, so you can concentrate on getting the best lines and spraying your buddies. Directional snowboards come with a preset set back and Twin boards come with centered stance.
|Height (in feet)||Width (in inches)|
|5'2" to 5'4"||18-19"|
|5'5" to 5'8"||19-20"|
|5'9" to 6'||20-21"|
|> 6'|| |
Now it's time to adjust the angle of the binding. If your bindings are not properly angled you can put unnecessary and often painful strain on your calves and knees resulting in shorter, less enjoyable days. You can adjust the angle of your binding with the mounting disc in the center of your binding. On your binding baseplate where the disc fits into the binding, you will see dash marks with a number every fifth mark. These dash marks are your angles. Set the disc with the indicator arrows pointing to the angle you want and mount the whole thing onto your board. Make sure you measure your width and set back so you are mounting them in the correct place.
Different styles of snowboarding use different stance set ups. Most snowboarders prefer a "duck" stance, where your feet are angled away from each other, while some "alpine" or slalom snowboarders prefer to have both feet angled towards the front of the board. A common set up for beginners is around -5 degrees on the back foot and +15 degrees or less on the front foot. We don't recommend going past -21 degrees on your back foot because it puts a lot of strain on your knees. However, it’s all about comfort and what works for one person may not work for you. There is no specific way to set up a snowboard so do plenty of experimenting and tweaking as you progress. Small changes can have a large impact on the way a board feels and responds.
Once you’ve figured out where to put your bindings, it’s time to screw them in. First, align the baseplate holes with the inserts that best match your desired stance.
Next, rotate your binding around the disc until you’ve reached the angle you want. Making sure that the base of your binding is centered across the width of your board (with no part overhanging), carefully screw the bindings into place.
Some bindings may require adjusting the toe ramps to pair up with your boot size. If so, put your boot in the binding and adjust the toe ramp to line up under the ball of your toes. This will ensure you’re getting proper leverage when riding.
WARNING: Never overtighten your screws and never use a bonding adhesive such as Loctite. Doing so may void your snowboard warranty.
So now that you have your bindings mounted on the board, it’s time to adjust the bindings themselves. Adjusting the angle of the high back or "Forward Lean", will have a large impact not only on the way the board performs but on your body posture. Angling your high back forward will force your knees to bend giving you a lower center of gravity and more aggressive stance. This is great for half pipe and big mountain riding because it provides better leverage and control for powering through turns. The drawback is that it it restricts your leg movement, which makes it harder to catch yourself or make corrections when buttering a box or locking into a rail. Many urban and rail oriented riders prefer to have their high backs pushed as far back as possible, while some big jump enthusiasts like to crank up the forward lean for edge control in the landings and take off. As with everything else, it's all personal preference and you will have to do some experimenting and tinkering to figure out what works best for you.
The last thing you will want to do is make sure your straps are adjusted properly to fit you boots. Place your boots in your bindings and make sure both the toe strap and the ankle strap can properly latch and tighten without causing you discomfort. You want the straps to be centered on your boot when fully tightened. Most bindings are designed to angle over the tips of your toes not straight over your forefoot like older binding straps. This will help push your heel back into your binding’s heelcup for a secure fit and better leverage when turning.
All right, you’re all set up and ready for your first day on the hill. As you snowboard, take note of things you would like to change. Does your stance feel too wide? Too narrow? Do your angles hurt your knees? Getting a perfectly dialed in set up takes some time so keep playing and experimenting with your set up. Most of all, HAVE FUN!