Getting your snowboard setup dialed is akin to fine-tuning a car, but much easier. Still, you want things to be just right when you mount bindings on your board, from choosing binding angles to stance width and forward lean.
Finding a comfortable stance width comes first – most riders use between 21”-23” stance widths. To measure, use the distance from the middle of one baseplate to the other, or use the reference stance that is typically marked on the topsheet as a guide. All snowboards use the same four-hole mountain pattern, with the exception of Burton (see www.burton.com for instructions on using their Channel System). (Learn more about your natural stance, “Am I Goofy or Regular?”)
Once you’ve determined your stance width, set your stance/binding angles. A pretty common setup is +18 on your front foot, and -6 on your back foot. That said, freestyle riders may go +15/-15 or even more duck-footed. On the other extreme, freeriders may go +18 up front and 0 or +3 on their back foot. It comes down to what feels comfortable, and your style of riding.
Once you adjust your binding baseplates to the appropriate angles, center the bindings over the board and align the holes in the plates with the inserts in the board. Drop 4 screws through each baseplate and loosely tighten. Re-measure your stance width just to be sure, and then use a screwdriver to tighten down the screws. Get them tight, and check them again after a day of riding to be sure the screws aren’t loosening up–it happens.
Now to adjust your binding highbacks to the board. You want the highback to be as aligned with your heelside edge as possible, so loosen the necessary screws on the binding chassis and slightly twist the highback to align. Keep the highback in its new position while re-tightening the screws.
Last but not least… Looking at the back of the highback, there should be a forward lean adjustment. Forward lean literally pushes your calves forward, forcing you to bend at the knee and get lower. Some people like Zero forward lean, others kick it up a notch or two. Again, it comes down to personal preference and riding style.
Okay, now get out there and test your setup. Don’t be afraid to tweak your stance width, bindings angles and forward lean throughout the day until it’s picture perfect. Ride on – MH