Getting your snowboard stance right is vital in ensuring that you and
your snowboard achieve optimum balance and timing while
efficiently using your energy and muscle strength. By
riding in a position that feels as natural as possible,
the effort required to ride comfortably for as long as
you want to is minimized.
Natural or Goofy?
These terms refer to which foot you will use as your front foot
while riding. Natural footers ride with their left leg in front
while goofy footers prefer leading with their right leg.
While a slight majority of snowboarders are natural footers,
there are both natural and goofyfooter pros and
neither one will mean having better skills.
Determining which foot you'll prefer is easy if you surf of
skateboard as they are similar to snowboarding since movement
is in a direction that's sideways to your body. Even playing other
sports such as snooker, baseball, martial arts or darts
can help you determine which foot you generally prefer
to use as your front foot for balancing.
If you're still unsure of which foot to use
as your front foot, you can conduct a few simple tests to
help you figure it out. Try sliding on a polished floor with
your socks on or examine which foot you put forward first
when climbing a set of stairs. In each case, you'll
notice which foot naturally moves to the front.
When all else fails, just hit the powder with your board and go with
whatever feels right. All will be revealed by then.
Your stance width is measured as the distance between the centers
of both feet. As a general rule, use a width that's about the
width of your shoulders or maybe just a little wider to begin
with and adjust it accordingly after a few rides to the width
that feels the most comfortable and natural.
If your stance width is too wide, you may find yourself
using more of your muscular strength instead of your overall torso
for controlling your board. As a result, you'll tire yourself out quickly
and find it difficult to negotiate your turns effectively. Conversely,
if your stance is too narrow, you'll severely limit the range of
motion of your lower joints while noticing a deterioration
in balance and stability.
Stance angle is measured as the angle that your bindings are pointing
to in relation to your board. These angles are usually printed on
your snowboard bindings.
For freeride and freestyle riders, moderate
angles of between 15-30 degrees for the front foot and no more than
15 degrees for your back foot should give you enough versatility
to ride, carve and perform tricks in a variety of situations.
Large angles will help you with your carving but will hinder
your ability to perform other moves while angles that are too
square to the board will limit your use of your legs and lower
If you are a beginner and are still confused as to what stance
angles you should be using, try using angles of 21 and 9 degrees
for your front and back foot respectively to start off with.
As with other aspects of your stance, you can fine tune
and adjust them over time according to whatever snowboarding
stance feels best for you.