Snowboard binding angles will affect the way you ride. How you have these set up will depend partly on your riding style and ability and partly on your personal preference and what feels right for your body type.
Below I will be taking a look at binding angles for 4 different styles and abilities:
- Beginner stances;
- Freestyle stances;
- All mountain stances; and
- Free-ride stances
These should be thought of as starting points – from there you can experiment until you get the angles that feel perfect for you. Most people find that they have a “sweet spot” where it feels just right.
First let’s quickly look at what binding angles are all about.
Snowboard Stance Angles
Your stance angle refers to the angle of your feet on the snowboard. A zero degree angle refers to your feet being completely straight across the width of the board (perpendicular). An angle where your toes are pointing towards the nose (tip/front) of the board is a positive (+) angle and a negative angle (-) is when your toes point towards the tail (back) of the board.
Different styles are more suited to certain stances because it can make it easier to perform what is needed for that style. Most riders, based on personal experience and research, seem to ride somewhere between +15 and +24 for the front foot and between +6 and -15 on the back foot.
Snowboard binding plates (which attach the bindings and the board together) have angles already set into them – so you won’t have to get out your protractor for this! Phew! They go up in multiples of 3° angles.
What Else Should You Think About for Your Stance?
Other than bindings angles there are a couple of other stance set up considerations. For more on your stance – such as stance width, set back and high-back angles, check out the link below.
Which Binding Angles Suit You the Best?
I have outlined the most common stance angles for 3 different styles plus the most common for beginners. Your exact stance will come somewhat down to personal preference. NB: All stances illustrated in a regular stance (as opposed to goofy).
There is a lot of different advice on what stance you should start out with. And I guess that’s because there is a bit of scope. However, there are two main schools of thought here.
The first school of thought is: because you are just learning then you want to make it easy to ride in one direction, so you should set up your stance to make turning easier whilst still feeling stable. The most common setup for this is to set the front binding to +15 and the back binding to +0 or +3.
The second school of thought is: because you may still be figuring out whether you are goofy or regular then you should start with a duck stance (see below) so that you can ride in both directions for a while until you decide which is easiest and then change to a more forward stance (as above).
I would suggest going with the first school of thought if you know whether you are goofy or regular and then play around with it from there until you find your most comfortable set-up.
Freestylers generally go with either a mirrored duck or slight duck stance.
A mirrored duck stance is where the positive (+) angle of the front binding is matched by a negative (-) angle in the back binding. The most common mirrored duck stance is +15/-15.
A slight duck stance is any stance where the back foot is on a negative angle but on a different angle to the front foot. There are a few combinations here and these are commonly used by freestylers & all mountaineers and everyone in between.
Some common set-ups include +18/-12, +15/-9, +18/-9 & +15/-6, but there are a large number of combinations you could try. However, usually this is somewhere between +21 and +12 for the front binding and -3 to -15 for the back binding.
It is not recommended to go beyond -21 on the back bindings as this probably isn’t very comfortable or good for the knees.
Again you should experiment to find what works best for you.
All-Mountaineers usually ride with a slight duck or slight forward stance – as always it will depend on your personal preference and you should experiment until you find what’s most comfortable for you.
If you like to ride a lot of switch on the mountain then a slight duck stance is probably the best way to go. A +18/-6, +15/-6, +18/-3, +15/-3 – and the list could go on. Experiment and find what feels the best for you.
If you are not so concerned with riding switch then a slight forward stance is probably the best option. A +18/+3 is a common one for this and a good starting point.
Freeriders typically ride with a forward stance. This means that both bindings will have positive angles. Common stances include +21/+6, +18/+6, +18/+3.
For freeriding you will probably find some form of forward stance to be most comfortable but you don’t need to restrict yourself to these examples. Experiment and find the stance you like most.
As some reference your front foot is likely to be somewhere between +24 and +15 and your back foot somewhere between +3 and +9. However, some people do prefer more extreme angles.
What Angles do you Use?
I’m always curious to know the set up of other riders so it would be great to know your preferred angles and what style you ride with those angles.
I am currently riding a slight duck +18/-9. I was riding +18/-6 (at the recommendation in the binding box) and after I try +18/-9 for a while I might try a full duck stance of +15/-15 to see how that works out. I suspect I will probably settle on a +18/-12 or a +15/-9 stance (watch this space).