Setting up your snowboard

Setting up your snowboard is easier than you might think and only requires a few tools found in almost every household. For fine-tuning, you might want to consider what stance you ride, your preference in centered versus set-back stance and the width of the stance.

The tools needed for setting up a snowboard are:

  • A Board
  • Two bindings
  • #3 Phillips Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • A Multi-tool is also good for quick adjustments on the go

If you don't know your stance, do a push or leap test. Just ask your friend to push you from behind - the foot that you step forward with first should be your front foot. Left foot forward is regular and right foot forward is goofy.

Centered stance versus set-back stance

When riding big mountain, freeride or powder you should consider a set-back stance so that your board stays above the surface of the snow at all times. This will give you an easier ride in deep-snow conditions. Most directional snowboards have mounting holes that are already set slightly closer to the tail of the board. Freestyle oriented twin tips come with a centered stance allowing you to ride both normal and switch with little difference in performance. Thus, before setting up your snowboard you should consider what kind of rider you are. If you are looking for an even more in-depth article on snowboard stance, check out this article.

Stance width

As with anything else in your snowboard, the stance width also comes down to your personal preference. The most important thing is that you are comfortable on your board and you can control it with ease.

Stance angle

Bindings need to have the right angle to reduce stress on your knees and calves. For the most comfort on longer days on the mountain, take a few laps on the slopes and adjust your binding angles accordingly. A recommended place to start is the “duck stance” where both of your feet are angled towards the nose and tail. This is great for learning to distribute your weight on the board and enhance your technique.

Good starting point is a 15° angle on the front binding and 0° to -6° in the rear binding. It is not recommended to go past -20° on your back foot because it can strain your knees.

Some slalom or alpine snowboarders have both feet pointing towards the nose which gives them a more aggressive stance for faster a faster ride and powerful turns. However, these are very advanced riders that have taken the time to get used to this specific style.

Mounting your bindings

First, figure out whether you want a set-back stance or centered stance. We recommend that you screw your base plates with your fingers first and then adjust the angles of the bindings. However, make sure that your bindings’ disks are centered across the width of your board. Once you have set your preferred angle it is time to tighten the bindings with a screwdriver.

You’re all set!

Highback lean

After the bindings are mounted to your board it is time to make the final customizations to them. Adjust the height back for the forward lean that you prefer. This will determine your posture and and how the board performs under your feet. The bigger the angle, the more aggressive the stance is. This is great for riders that rely on better control and power in turns. In short, great for half-pipe and big mountain riding! On the other hand, more forward lean provides less forgiveness which makes it difficult for rails and urban riding.

Adjusting the binding straps

Make sure that your binding straps are properly adjusted to fit your boots. The easiest way to do this is to step your boot in your binding and strap on to your board. If you feel any discomfort on the toe or ankle, you’ll want to make a few adjustments. For example, if a strap does not have the correct length to latch and tighten in the right way, just grab a screwdriver and change the length of the strap. A great rule of thumb is to have the straps centered on your board for the best result.

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