If you have ever tried to get fitted for a snowboard, there is a very good chance that you were asked which stance you would like to be in. While it may not seem like a very big deal, it is actually going to have a huge effect on your entire ability to snowboard and how well you will be enjoying any snowboard runs. This is because getting setup in the right snowboard chance is one of the most important parts of actually snowboarding. No matter if you are just getting started with snowboarding or have been doing it for many years and consider yourself to be one of the more advanced, your stance is something that you will need to spend a little bit of time on if you are really going to find your ‘sweet spot’.
You have more than likely heard the phrase that ‘everyone is different’. The very same is going to be true in regard to finding the best snowboard stance for you. This means that it is worth spending a little bit of extra time on to get right. In order to do this, you will need to experiment to find out the stance that feels best for you.
With that being said, here is everything that you need to know in order to find the best snowboard stance for your individual requirements.
Regular Stance or Goofy Stance
If you are unsure which way you would like to board down the mountain, this is actually the perfect place for you to get started. While most riders will more than likely already know what stance they would like to have, you may be starting out and have no idea what a regular stance or goofy stance even are. If that is the case, it is perfectly alright and you have nothing to fear.
In case you were not aware, a regular stance is going to mean that you will be going down the hills with your left foot on the front of your board. A goofy stance means that you will have your right foot on the front of your board. Typically, if you are right-handed, you will have a regular stance. If you are left-handed, you will more than likely be better off with a goofy stance. Just keep in mind that this is not set-in stone and is considered more of a soft guideline than a rule.
How to Tell Which Stance You Are
The very first thing that you can do if you are trying to figure out whether you are a regular stance or goofy stance snowboarder, is to imagine yourself going down a steep hill at a very fast speed on a snowboard. Even if you have never been snowboarding, imagine yourself racing down a slope. Are you imagining yourself speeding down a mountain on a snowboard? Good. Now which foot is on the front of that snowboard? This is a good indicator of which stance you should use when snowboarding.
Another test is to simply have somebody that you know push you from behind when you are least expecting it. Just make sure that they do not push you too hard. The last thing you want is to fall, as this would not really teach you anything about which snowboard stance you should be using. Just be sure that you make a mental note of the foot that you used in order to step forward after being pushed to prevent falling. If you used your left foot, there is a higher chance that you will do better snowboarding in a regular stance. But if you stepped forward with your right foot, there is a better chance that you will do better snowboarding with a goofy stance.
If you are not a fan of having somebody push you from behind when you least expect it, an alternate test is to stand on the edge of a step or curb. If you are using steps, be sure that you are on the bottom step and not the top one as that can lead to some very potentially bad situations for you. Count down from 10 and then take a step off the step. Be sure that you make a note of the foot that was used to step off of the step first.
Finally, there is always the ‘slide test’. In order to do the slide test correctly, find yourself a surface that you are able to slide on while in your socks. Simply get some speed built up and then start to slide on this surface while wearing socks. Whichever foot you naturally lead with is more than likely going to be the foot that should be in the front of your snowboard. As was previously mentioned, if you naturally led with your left foot you will be better in a regular stance. If you naturally led with your right foot than goofy will be better for you.
What is Your Stance Width?
Now that you know if you are regular or goofy stance, the next thing you need to do is figure out what your stance width is. But don’t worry, this sounds much more difficult than it actually is. Generally speaking, your stance width is going to be a little bit wider than your regular shoulder width.
What makes your stance width so important is that if it is too wide, you will have a much more difficult time trying to maneuver your board. To give a visual, try to imagine being on a snowboard with your feet as wide as they can go. As you can imagine, it will be very difficult to move in any direction with any type of efficiency, let alone turn.
On the contrary, if you have a stance that is too narrow, you will have a board that will be too loose and unstable. Now imagine that you are standing on a snowboard going down a mountain with your feet very close together. You will have almost no control over your board, you will have great maneuverability. But since you will not be able to control your board, you will be in some trouble.
Finding Your Stance Width
In order to figure out what your stance width should be, try to stand on a board without any bindings and go through different stance widths. See what is more comfortable for you and what is less comfortable for you. Start with your feet at shoulder width and start moving them outwards from there. Be sure that you are keeping your knees slightly bent, as this is the position that you will be in while on your snowboard.
Measure the distance between your feet, which allows you to use this measurement as a guideline when you are trying to setup your bindings. Just keep in mind that this is only a rough estimate of where you should have your bindings for your best stance, but it will give you a very solid starting point to begin with.
When it comes to figuring out which stance is better for you while you are snowboarding, there are only going to be two different options. However, these two options are going to be very different. When you follow the tips that have been mentioned above, you will have no problems figuring out whether you will do better with a regular stance or a goofy stance, as well as what the best width for your feet will be.