How to Determine Your Snowboard Stance
Are you goofy or regular? OK, before you start getting concerned whether people think you are “goofy” or “regular” let’s talk about exactly what this means. Goofy and regular refer to the stance you take on your snowboard based on whether you have your left or right foot in front while going down the mountain. What about width? Do you like to ride wide or keep it on the straight and narrow? Here we are going to go over snowboard stances explaining regular and goofy as well as explaining how to determine the width you set your bindings apart and the angles you set the bindings at.
There are different ways to ride a snowboard?
Goofy or Regular - There are two main ways one can have their snowboard set up. You can either ride left foot forward or right foot forward. This will determine whether you are regular or goofy. Regular refers to left foot forward and goofy refers to right foot forward; neither is incorrect and how you ride has all to do with personal preference. There are many myths to how to determine which way you ride a snowboard and many will work but not all will work for all types of boarders.
Varying Angles – Angles refer to the actual placement of your snowboard bindings relative to the snowboard. Setting your snowboard bindings will be related to the type of snowboarding you will be doing and your personal preference.
Stance Width – The width of your stance is the actual width apart your snowboard bindings are. The stance can be determined by your height but should always be fine tuned by preference.
Below we will go into specifics regarding all the different variables that go into deciding how you will set up your snowboard stance including goofy or regular, angles, stance width while also covering some of the more common questions associated with this topic.
How to determine if you ride a snowboard regular or goofy
Before we cover some of the practices of determining how you ride your snowboard we want to state that there is no right or wrong way to ride a snowboard and that whether regular or goofy it is simply how you ride the snowboard.
The Push Test – This is only for the younger snowboarders that have no idea how they would ride a snowboard. This is also not always a set in stone way of determining and could have the boarder switch at a later date. To perform this test simply have the boarder stand flat footed and give them a gentle push, just enough so they have to put a foot forward, and see which foot they put forward to catch themselves. The foot they put forward is the foot that should be in the front while snowboarding. So if they put their right foot forward first they would ride goofy or right foot forward. Do the test a few times to ensure they are putting the same foot forward for the majority of the time.
Skateboard – If you or the person you are trying to outfit skateboards you can use this to determine how they might ride a snowboard. 9 times out of 10 the way that you ride a skateboard will be the same as the way you ride a snowboard as the two sports share so many similarities. If you skateboard with your left foot in front you will more than likely snowboard the same way. There are instances where this is not the case but it is more often than not the two coincide making it a viable determination for your snowboard stance.
Right Handed or Left Handed – Are you right handed or left handed? This has been shown to bear some relevance to whether you ride a snowboard regular or goofy. This is not a direct correlation and doesn’t always ring true but in some cases a right hand dominant person has been shown to ride a snowboard with their left foot forward and a left hand dominant person will ride right foot forward. Again, this is not always the case but can lead you down the right path when all else fails.
Trial and Error – If all else fails you can simply employ the tactic of trial and error. Set up the snowboard somewhat standard and allow the user to try one way and the other to see which they are more comfortable with. This is best done in a backyard setting or on the bunny hill as the user will need a smaller slope to retain their bearings and keep balanced.
Setting Snowboard Angles – Different Degrees to Set Snowboard Bindings
Once you have figured out which direction you will be riding down the mountain you can then start working on which angles work best for you. Snowboard angles refer to how the snowboard bindings sit on the snowboard and will be measured in degrees. This determines if your back or front foot will be straight or angled one direction or the other. There are two main ways to set up your stance which will account for the majority of snowboarders. We will go over below the two main ways to set up your angles and who they work best for as well as covering a beginner’s way to determine which will work best for them.
Forward Stance – A forward stance is used in some cases for carving and some hard booted racers. A forward stance is not often used in today’s snowboarding as hard boots are now very rarely used and boarders have found other stances to work better. A forward stance will make riding switch more difficult and is not a good stance for for freestyle and park riders.
Ducked Stance – A ducked stance is one of the most popular stances on a snowboard and can have many variations. Basically a ducked stance will put both snowboard bindings facing outward and can have varying degrees from almost straight to extremely ducked. Great for freestyle and park riders as this stance gives great ability to ride switch and control in the terrain park.
Standard Stance – One of the most widely used stances by beginner snowboarders and beyond is what we will call standard stance. Standard stance will have the back binding straight and the front binding slightly ducked out. This offers beginners a feeling of control while starting out but will not be ideal for riding switch although riding switch is still an option with this stance.
The Verdict – Setting up your snowboard stance angles is personal preference and nobody can tell you exactly what they should be at. Take recommendations and try them out; the best way to set your binding angles is going to be trial and error to see exactly what works best for you.
Width Matters – Snowboard Binding Stance Width The width of your stance refers to how far apart your snowboard bindings are from one another. Setting your width depends a lot on personal preference but if you are new to snowboarding and need some assistance we have included a chart below to verify the most standard recommendations of stance width based on height.
|Height (Feet)||Stance Width (Inches)|
|5'2" - 5'4"||18-19|
|5'5" - 5'8"||19-20|
|5'9" - 6'||20-21|
Common Questions Regarding Snowboard Stance
- Q: Do I have to buy a certain snowboard based on my stance?
- A: No, you do not need to buy a snowboard based on your stance. The stance is set up based on how you mount the bindings to the snowboard. A snowboard comes flat without the snowboard bindings mounted to it. These are easy to set up and come with instructions on how to do so. Setting up the snowboard bindings is when you will need to decide which stance you will be taking whether that is left or right foot forward.
- Q: What tools will I need to adjust my bindings?
- A: To adjust snowboard bindings you will only need a Phillips screwdriver. We recommend a snowboard pocket tool which will be quicker as they ratchet but any standard Phillips screwdriver will do the trick.
- Q: Is there a wrong way to set up snowboard bindings?
- A: In some ways there may be a wrong way to set up a snowboard like if you set one bindings pointing one direction and the other pointing the exact opposite but overall, no, there isn’t a wrong way. It’s all personal preference so some snowboarders may think your set up is a little weird but it doesn’t mean it’s wrong.