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.