If you ride freestyle or are looking to start riding freetyle you might be wondering what the best binding angles for freestyle are.
The “duck stance” is the most common freestyle snowboarding stance but there are other options and different variations on the duck stance.
First let’s take a look at what a duck stance is and then we’ll take a look at the variations and other options.
The Duck Stance
Duck stance essentially means any snowboarding stance where the angle of the back binding mirrors the angle of the front binding.
So if you have a +15 degree angle on your front binding, then you’ll have a -15 degree angle on the back binding.
This type of duck stance is also known as the “mirror duck stance”.
Why Use a Duck Stance?
A lot of snowboarders prefer a duck stance for freestyle riding because freestylers tend to ride in the switch position a lot.
A duck stance, or at least a mirrored duck stance, means that your binding angles stay the same whether you are riding in your normal direction or riding switch.
That’s certainly not to say that you can’t ride switch well without a duck stance. A lot snowboarder’s ride switch really well with a forward stance.
The types of Duck Stance
There are several options you can try including the ones outlined below or other variations.
The one thing is that I wouldn’t recommend having a negative angle on the back binding of more than 15 degrees. This could potentially cause knee soreness or knee problems. Some riders complain of knee or ankle soreness with any type of negative angle on their back foot – but others find this more comfortable.
It’s up to you to experiment to see which the best stance is for you. I encourage you to try as many as possible until you find the one that is the sweet spot for you.
Mirror Duck Stances
The following are examples of the most common duck stances. All images below are shown in the regular stance (the left foot is the front foot).
Mirror Duck +15, -15
Mirror Duck +12, -12
Mirror Duck +9, -9
Slight Duck Stances
There are heaps of combinations of slight duck stances. The one rule to stick to here is that your front foot should be on a greater angle than the back foot – and that, again, your back foot shouldn’t exceed a 15 degree angle.
Slight Duck +18, -12
Slight Duck +18, -9
Slight Duck +18, -6
Slight Duck +15, -12
Slight Duck +15, -9
Slight Duck +15, -6
Slight Duck +15, -3
Slight Duck +12, -9
Slight Duck +12, -6
Slight Duck +12, -3
It’s definitely not mandatory to use a duck stance for riding freestyle. Some freestyle riders do favor a more forward stance.
But typically they would favor a “slight” forward stance. Get into too much of a forward stance and it can start to get pretty tricky riding switch and performing tricks. You can try anything you like but the following are probably the best options for freestyle forward stances.
Slight Forward +18, +0
Slight Forward +18, +3
Slight Forward +15, +0
Slight Forward +15, +3
Slight Forward +12, +0
Slight forward +12, +3
The above aren’t all of the possibilities but quite a few of them. As you can see there are heaps of options.
Now it’s time to start experimenting. Really take the time to try out different stances to see which fits the best for you. It’s different for everyone. It’s definitely worth spending the time to get this right – you’ll thank yourself for it when you’re riding in that sweet spot!
For more on binding angles check out the article at the link below.
What angles do you use for freestyle riding? Anything outside of the ones above? I am currently using a slight duck +15/-9. It would be awesome to hear what others ride. Just leave a comment below.
Any other comments or questions very welcome in the comments section below as well.
Related: Top 5 Men’s Freestyle Snowboard Bindings
Related: Top 5 Women’s Freestyle Snowboard Bindings
Hey what do you think are the best angles for shock absorption, i.e. landing jumps? I currently ride the pretty standard +15, -15 on my park board and that works great for me. I have tried jumps with my directional all mountain/pow board, set up at +21, -6 and always feel wonky and unbalanced landing, and am not sure if it’s more the binding angles, the directional board itself, or just me feeling unbalancing landing with those angles.
For the record, while actually riding I feel more comfortable with the directional board setup versus the park setup, just less comfortable landing jumps and sit hits and stuff.
Thanks for your message. Like you, I prefer landing with +15/-15. Not sure if that’s because those angles are the best for landing jumps or if that’s just the angles I learned to jump with, so it’s what I’m most comfortable with, but if you’re most comfortable with it, then it’s probably best for you too. You could try something in between and see how it feels for jumps and general riding. But yeah it’s pretty hard to say if it’s the board or angles, given that you’re riding different setups with the different angles. If you could try riding your directional board at +15/-15 or your park board at +21/-6, and then you might get more of an idea of whether the angles are making a big difference or if it’s more the board.
In terms of actual shock absorption, I’m not sure if binding angles affect how well your setup will absorb shock, unless it affects the way you are bending your knees on landing, I guess.
I see you are still replying to the comments even after many years, maybe you’ll give some tips to me either:)
Recently I bought a new setup and still searching for optimal stance. In addition started to force myself riding switch. First I started in my regulat +18/-6 – that was hard on switch, then tried duck 12/-12 – better, but not so good on goofy, tried -6/+18 – it helped a lot to ride goofy, but became uncomfortable regular, next -9/+15 – that kinda worked both ways pretty ok. I even managed to make my first small 180 jumps. But I have doubts if it will work comfortably in riding regular in pow (where I still plan to go:)).
What do you think about bigger angle on back leg? Is it worth to stay, or I should push myself at least in duck? Btw, I find my knees uncomfortable when span of angles is more than 24. Didint tried lower though….
Thanks for your message.
Typically I wouldn’t recommend going with a higher angle on your back binding. For learning switch, you could go with it for a while, if you were predominantly riding switch while you learned. Something like the +9/-15, but long term, I wouldn’t recommend it. You want the stance to be at it’s best for riding in the direction that you’ll be riding in more often. So, if you want to get the best for both directions, then a duck stance is the best bet, IMO. You could try +15/-15 and +9/-9 and see how that feels. But, if you were going to riding switch most of the time for a little while to get better at it, then you could temporarily go into something like +9/-15, until you felt your switch game was good. Then once you’re feeling good about switch, going something like +15/-15 should feel good when you’re riding switch.
Hope this helps
I am trying to figure out what stance would be best for me. I seem to want to skate goofy, but my body wants to ride regular. I have my binding set for goofy because thats what I skate as, but it seems really hard to ride, so I always end up regular. Would some kind of duck stance be a good starting point to learn on?
Thanks for your message.
Yeah, I would definitely start with a duck stance, and you can figure it out as you go. Sounds like you could be good both ways, which is never a bad thing. Really interesting that you prefer to skate goofy, but finding yourself wanting to ride regular. But if that’s what feels most natural to you, then go with it. But yeah, certainly no harm in setting up duck and getting good riding switch (whichever turns out to be switch for you) from the getgo. The one thing is though is to not fall in to the trap of trying to just ride one edge (e.g. just riding heel edge in both directions). Not sure where you’re at in your progression, but if you’re still at a stage that you’re not linking your turns, then just make sure you’re learning that, which ever direction it is that you’re going in.
Hey, I currently have a Jones Mountain Twin 158W, which is a directional twin (I’m 1,83 cm long and my weight is 80kg).
I like to play on the piste (Riding down and have fun with buttering, and maybe some carving) but I also like to take ramps, and do some jibbing and boardslides.
What angles do you suggest to me? I’m Goofy and the shop guy set my bindings on +15, -9 but I was thinking by to try something like 18,-6 or 18,-12 even. I also board on reference because I heard put my bindings on the center isn’t a good idea on my Directional twin board, it will lose performance.
Thanks for your message.
I would definitely experiment with those angles. Try +18/-6 first and see if you prefer it. If not, I would try something like +15/-15 too. For the way you describe your riding a mirror duck could work too. It really depends on what feels right for you. For what you’re describing, I probably wouldn’t go any further forward facing than +18/-6 (e.g. I probably wouldn’t go to like +18/0, or +21/-3 or anything like that) but see what feels right. If you’re riding a lot of switch, then going closer to a mirror duck is a good idea.
You can ride the Mountain Twin with a centered stance. The centered stance is centered along the effective edge of the board, rather than being centered on the overall length of the board. The Mountain Twin is a directional twin, because it’s nose is longer than the tail, but that’s outside the contact points. It also has a 20mm setback on its reference stance – but that’s in addition to the longer nose. So overall on the board you are will still be slightly setback in the centered stance, but you will be centered along the effective edge, which is fine, if you think you’d prefer to the centered stance. Depending on the year of your Mountain Twin, they might even have the centered stance (which they label “freestyle stance”) marked on the board. The 2021 Mountain Twin I tested had 3 stances marked on it “freestyle stance” “reference stance” and “freeride stance” (which increases the setback).
Hope this helps
Bonjour je roule en +3 -3, j ai tout essayé j utilisé cette position pour tout principalement jib freestyle ✌️🏂
I have roughly translated your post to “Hello I ride +3 -3 angles, I’ve tried everything and I use this position mainly for jib freestyle” but if this is a bad translation, let me know, my french isn’t the best!
Currently riding +18/-18 and working fine. Though I would like to feel more solid switch. I’m thinking of adding more angle to my back foot. Thoughts?
Thanks for your message.
Personally I wouldn’t ride with more than -18 on the back foot. And I wouldn’t ride with a larger angle on the back foot than the front foot either. Though in saying that, if you really just wanted to focus on riding switch for a while, you could setup in your switch stance as if it was your regular stance and mostly ride that for a while. But long term I wouldn’t personally ride with more angle on the back foot or more than -18 on the back foot – though everyone is comfortable with different setups.
Im riding mirror duck +9/-9
Had a lot of pain in my front leg all the time while riding +15/-15
My stance is great now, and i have a wide stance as my board is really short.
Hi man i have a Kazu Pro Board, Burton Ion and Burton Genesis and what i love to do is right between the trees and to be able to make quick fast turns
What do you propose as a stance ?
I think the best thing you can do for find the right angles is to experiment until you find something that feels the best for you. In saying that, if you like to ride switch in the trees, then a duck stance is probably a good idea – not necessarily mirror duck, but something close.
If you never ride switch, then you could certainly experiment with anything. A good way to do it, IMO is to test out between 2 quite different angle setups to begin with and then work your way in. E.g. you could start with something like +15/-15 and see how that feels. Then try a forward stance like +21/+3 and see if you like that. If you prefer the +15/-15, then move to something like +18/-6. If you still preferred the +15/-15, then so with that if you preferred +18-6, then go with that.
If after your first test you preferred +21/+3. Then you could try something like +18/-6 and see which you prefer.
You could keep testing like this if you wanted but a couple of experiments is usually find to get something close to your sweet spot.
In terms of your stance width, you probably don’t want to go too wide. A narrower stance usually makes it easier to make quicker turns – it’s more maneuverable form there. Of course if you go too narrow it can start getting too squirrelly. But if you go too wide, then you get more stability for sure, but you loose some maneuverability. So on the narrow side, but not like crazy narrow so as to loose too much stability. Again, it’s a good idea to experiment. Start out on the reference stance and then try something narrower. If you preferred the narrower stay there. If you preferred the reference stance, then probably stick to the reference stance or try something a little wider – but I suspect that, given that you want sharp fast turns, that reference or slightly narrower is probably going to be your best bet.
Hope this helps
Not been boarding long but currently at +15 -15 but want to start experimenting with diff angles maybe +15 -9 or something similar ride chill factor at trafford 3 times a week
Definitely a good idea to experiment to find your ideal binding angles. I would even try something more different to start with. Say +18/-3 or something. If you like it better you could even try a forward stance. If you ride the +18/-3 and prefer the +15/-15 still, then you could try something like the +15/-9 and see what that feels like. Then go back to the +15/-15 and see which you prefer out of the +15/-15 and +15/-9. I find that going a bit more different first and then moving in is a good way to experiment – if you’re willing to change around a few times.
At the moment +18/-18 works really well for me. No knee aches or anything, but maybe I’ll try other degrees to find other sweet spots.
Awesome if that works for you. Definitely worth experimenting too. You can always come back to that if you don’t like other angles as much.
Used to ride a duck stance, from the classic 15/-15 to 18/-12 which was better all around the mountain and still close to the mirrored duck.
And this year I had discover the magical benefits of +21 coupled with a -12 (pow) or -15 (park).
Thanks for your input. I haven’t tried either +21/-12 or or +21/-15 but I’ve heard from a couple of people loving +21/-12 so I’m definitely going to try it at some point this season.