No matter how much time you’ve spent on the mountain, there’s always room to improve your snowboard stance. The more comfortable you are on the mountain, the more time you can spend hitting those powder lines or kickers. This, on the other hand makes you progress even faster!

"Everything in your setup is up to your personal preference. The most important thing is that you are comfortable on your board and you can control it with ease". 

Are you goofy or regular?

First, let’s do a quick recap. There are two options for snowboard stances – Right foot forward is goofy and left foot forward is regular. This has nothing to do with what kind of board you can buy as long as your front foot is pointing towards the nose. If you are familiar with other board sports like surfing, wakeboarding or skateboarding you probably already know your stance already. However, if you don’t know your stance, there are a few ways to find it out.

  • 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.
  • Slide on the floor and see which foot is in front.
  • Try out different snowboard stances on the slopes.
    If you are as good on both stances – even better. Ain’t nothing wrong with riding switch!

Centered snowboard stance or a set-back stance?

Set-back snowboard stance means that your bindings are a bit closer to the tail than the nose. As performance goes, a set-back stance makes sure that your board stays afloat even on deeper snow. Therefore, making it a great option for big mountain, freeride or powder snowboards. Most directional snowboards have mounting holes already set slightly closer to the tail. 

Freestyle-oriented twin tips usually have a centered stance. This allows you to ride both switch and regular with little difference in performance. However, we don’t recommend you take your twin tip to those backountry kickers. You’ll have a far better time if you ride a directional board with a proper set-back. Also, we suggest not to make changes in your bindings before diving into  fresh powder. Always try out first on regular slopes. 

Snowboard stance width

The width of the snowboard stance means the distance between the front and rear bindings. It is measured from the center of each snowboard disk. If you want a general idea of your snowboard stance width, you can measure the distance from your kneecap to your heel. The distance should be somewhat bigger than your shoulder width. A good thing to remember is that if your snowboard is the right size for you, the default distance of the board’s holes should work just fine. 

A wider snowboard stance will offer more stability but harder turn transitions. This is mostly used by freestyle snowboarders. A more narrow stance, on the other hand, will have easier transitions from edge to edge. However, this comes at the expense of stability when compared to a wider freestyle-oriented stance. That is why a narrow snowboard stance is best suited for freeride snowboarders. 

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

Let your own comfort be your guide! If you are not a 100% satisfied with the fit - make some adjustments.

Find the correct binding angle

Once you know your snowboard stance and stance width, it’s time to set up your binding angle. Bindings need to have the correct angle and be in sync to reduce stress on your knees and calves. This means that if you adjust to a bigger angle in the front, the rear angle should also be bigger. A 15° angle on the front binding and 0° to -6° in the rear binding is a great place to start. If you plan on riding switch a lot, you should consider putting some negative angle on your rear binding. However, we do not recommend going past -20° on your back foot. This can strain your knees and be uncomfortable on the mountain. 

The best way to set up your snowboard stance, especially the binding angles is to test it out on the mountain and make adjustments as you go. 

Snowboard stance for alpine or slalom riders

Alpine riders use hard boots and forward stance angles for free-riding and racing. Hard boots also offer a more direct connection between the snowboarder and the board. This enhances edge-to-edge transition and gives the board an agile feel. The aggressive stance allows riders to really lean into the edge when carving. The higher angles also make for a more centered position on the board and prevents boot out. 

Alpine boards used to be around 18cm wide but they slowly evolved into wider designs with  shallower angles. This provided both agility and more power. Modern alpine boards usually  have a 20-22cm waist width but can be either wider or narrower.

Typical rear stance angles range from 45 to 60 degrees with the front foot 5 to 10 degrees steeper. Alpine riders often use some combination of cant and lift in their bindings.

Duck stance

If you are a freestyle rider or an intermediate rider, a ”duck stance” should work fine for your needs. This means that both of your feet point towards the closest nose/tail. Usually the binding angles vary from 0° to 30° degrees in the front and 0° to -20° in the rear.

Don’t overdo the angles if you are not comfortable with it. If your knees turn inward as you squat, adjust to a less aggressive angle. Otherwise you’ll end up putting unwanted pressure on your knees.

The benefit of this snowboard stance is that it helps you distribute your weight evenly on the board and enhance your technique. 

Forward stance

Forward stance means that both bindings are pointing towards the nose, but not nearly as much as in the alpine stance. In this case the snowboards are normal freestyle or freeride snowboards and the binding angles vary between 40° and 15° in front and 30° to 0° in the rear. Forward stance is often used by beginners and it makes edge use easier.

Let comfort be your guide

Setting up your snowboard is easy, but finding the perfect snowboard stance for your needs might take some time. While most ski resorts have tools that you can use, we still recommend you bring your own tools for quick adjustments on the go. Also, let your own comfort be your guide! If you are not a 100% satisfied with the fit – make some adjustments. 

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