One of the first and most important things you will learn in snowboarding is your stance. The snowboard binding angles will dictate your stance, and as you become more experienced and experiment with different snowboarding styles, you will come to favor certain stances over others.
Snowboard binding angles are one of the most important elements of snowboarding - they connect you to the board and allow you to direct your actions. Correctly matching your binding angles to your style will give you a better experience and more control.
We'll be looking at some of the most popular snowboard binding angles to give you a better idea of how you should be positioning yourself on your board.
Your snowboard stance angle is how you position your feet when you are on your board. Your stance direction is dictated by whichever foot you lead with - your riding style will usually play a big part in this, though it can be down to personal preference.
If you lead with your left foot, this is known as a regular stance. It is known as a goofy stance if you lead with your right, but don't worry - it's named after the Disney character Goofy, who stood this way in the 1937 movie Hawaiian Holiday.
Your stance will be dictated by how your snowboard binding angles are set up. Knowing your riding style and level of ability will help decide what bindings will help you perform.
Centered snowboard binding angles generally give you an equal amount of nose and tail. This means your weight will be in the middle of the board and is commonly used for freestyle snowboarding.
It suits riding backward or switch.
When your bindings are set back you'll have more nose than tail, with your weight being at the back of the board.
This keeps your board's nose up, so it is especially useful in deep or powdered snow. The uneven weight distribution makes it less efficient for switch riding.
A duck stance is where both feet are angled away from each other. Usually, the front foot would be at a greater positive angle, around 15° with the back foot at a negative angle. A mirrored duck stance sees both feet are at the same angle.
These are commonly used snowboard binding angles for freestyle riding as it gives the rider more freedom for riding switch.
Carving is turning using only the sidecut of your board; this is usually done at speed and sets you up for riding pipe and spinning jumps.
Both feet would be at a positive angle for this, as it cuts out the overhang and positions you forward.
This technique sees the foot at the back at 0° and the front foot angled forward. It is not as commonly used as it once was - but it does work.
You will find a personal preference for snowboard binding angles as you become more experienced. This will be down to comfort and performance and will determine whether you opt for a positive or negative angle.
Here's our quick guide for what snowboard binding angles will suit you best to give you a better idea of the setup you might want to use.
If you are starting out, you might have an idea about the style you want to progress in, but a slight duck stance setup should be a good start that is comfortable and helps your progression.
Positioning your back foot at a negative angle from -9° to -3° and your front from 6° to 12° should help. Finding your comfortable position within this range should be a good starting point for beginners.
One directional riders might find bindings with a negative angle between -9° to 0° for your back foot and your front with a positive angle from 12° to 21° to be an optimal position.
If snowboarding on fresh powder is your thing, a forward stance with positive stances from 6° to 9° at the back and 15° to 24° at the front can help your form.
If you find yourself in a terrain park, most often, an aggressive, mirrored duck stance can be useful, especially for riding switch.
Positioning your feet at a negative angle of -9° to -15° on your back foot and 9° to 15° on the front is an option you will find to be suitable.
Your stance width is also an important factor that you will need to consider. Generally speaking, your stance should be a little wider than the width of your shoulders.
Because of this, taller riders will generally have a wider stance than shorter riders.
A wider stance is more suited to freestyle snowboarders as it offers a more stable position and makes hard turn transitions easier, whereas a narrow stance is not as stable a position and is more commonly used by freeride snowboarders.
Now you know a bit more about stance and binding setups, you might want to find out a little more about the bindings themselves.
Strap-in bindings are the most commonly used due to how easy they are. You simply slide your foot in and adjust the straps. They offer a secure and responsive hold, making them a popular choice.
These have a high back that pops open, allowing you to slide your foot in before closing around your boot. They also have a single strap at the toe for adjustments.
Compatible with Burton Step On boots, Burton Step On bindings are quick and easy to use - just step on, and click your heel into place.
As far as sizing goes, you will find that bindings come in general sizes from small to medium, medium to large, and large to XL. You should be able to check the manufacturer's size chart to make sure you get the right size.
You can check your boot in a binding by placing it in and adjusting the straps to secure it without being painful or having any slack. Your boots should not hang over the bindings to any great extent.
Make sure the heel snuggly fits and the strap ladder reaches the ratchet. If it does not, you should be able to adjust this from both sides so you can center the strap on your boot.
The fit should be comfortable and secure, allowing the bots to flex without swaying.
You will find that most patterns will be compatible with one another, and most brands also have universal discs.
Universal discs are more common now than ever before, making it easier to match bindings with snowboards, but it is always worth checking first.
When finding the best snowboard bindings for you, you will have to consider a few things first.
Set your budget; it can be easy when you are buying new gear to forget that all of your equipment adds up. Setting a budget and staying within these parameters will help stop you from overspending and narrow down the search.
You might want to decide on a brand or just shop what comes up when you search. Some people have favorite brands as they know what they are getting in terms of size, fit, and quality. Exploring new brands can help uncover hidden gems, though.
If you have a certain aesthetic, you might not want to ruin that by going for a cheaper option if the style or color doesn't suit you. If you aren't too bothered, you will have a lot more to choose from.
Finally, sizing is crucial. Double-check sizing guides so you can find the perfect bindings that will fit your board and boots.
They absolutely should. If you already have a board and bindings, you will have to make sure the boots suit and fit the bindings.
Bindings tend to be adjustable, but taking the time to check the boots are suitable before buying can save any hassle.
The sizing of your boots is essential to have a comfortable riding experience. This should be your priority when buying a new pair of boots.
Other things you will consider when buying new snowboard boots are the price and style. Nobody wants to spend more than they have to so shopping around is a great idea. Online shopping is a great way to find deals but make sure you have the option to return, and you don't want to try them on and find they just don't feel right.
Depending on your style, you may want to shop for a certain look or color.
Finally, you will need to think about the boot flex. Depending on your style or personal preference, this will play a big part in how comfortable your boots are.
Soft flex boots are the most comfortable and are great if you are going to be spending a long time on the slopes. Stiff boots are more rigid but offer more support and control, especially at high speeds.
You can also find boots in the mid-range that offer a bit more comfort than stiff boots and more stability than a soft pair.