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SebastianJL 11-25-2012 03:13 AM

Foot and Knee Pain
Hi there,

So being new to the whole snowboarding scene, wasn't really sure what i was looking for when it came to buying my gear at the beginning of the season. I have just a cheap pair of firefly boots on a K2 Vandal binding set now to +15 -15. The problem that i've been having since about my second day riding is that on my front foot (left, riding regular) it feels like its twisting from about the middle of the foot and this is then causing a bit of torque that is causing the knee pain. I'm a 19 going on 20 in a month and never had knee problems. I've played tennis my whole life and from time to time my knee might get the little tweaked for a minute or so but then disappear never to be heard from for a couple of weeks or months. So just wondering what you guys might think as my friends are a little clueless.

I'm planning on riding a lot this season and i was just wondering what might be the issue. Don't have any issues on my back foot and it only seems to occur if i sit on my toe edge or extended periods of time, such as when traversing. The pain in my foot is almost completely relieved when i go to my heel edge. Am i twisting my body causing me to pull my front foot in a weird way? Or is my body just getting used to the whole concept of snowboarding and is not used to having a foot strapped in with a piece of wood underneath it being dragged along, causing the knee torque.

Also would heat forming my shoes help at all? Or maybe trying to loosen my main binding on my left foot a little because now thinking about it, i do have a tendency to really tighten my bindings hard on the mountain. Any help would be awesome guys and much appreciated as a nice long season is what i have in mind.


Snow Hound 11-25-2012 04:48 AM

I'm no expert but the first thing I'd be looking at is your binding angles. You're riding full on duck stance and maybe your body just doesn't like it.
I ride +18 -6 I think, try some angles with a spread closer to 20 than the 30 you've currently got.

mjd 11-25-2012 12:06 PM

In my experience, a little foot pain is part of the deal until you get warmed. You can loosen your boots and bindings to help that. Knee pain is not natural. You may be aggravating a pre-existing injury. Your stance angles and width will usually affect your quads and hips more than anything else.

ARSENALFAN 11-25-2012 12:13 PM

I rode 12 front and -6 rear last year. I then switched it to 15 and -9 this year. Rode it for 2 weekends like that and finally realized why I was having constant knee pain and riding like shit. So I switched it to 15 and -3 on the slope. Loved it and rode very, very confident with no knee pain. Decided to go to 15 and -6 yesterday after a full board tune. Not as good. So 15 and -3 it will be. You have to play around with these things.

MeanJoe 11-26-2012 10:19 AM

I'm 43 so take that into consideration - how in the world people ride with a stance like +15/-15 is beyond me! My knees would separate and my hip flexors snap!! Then again, when I started riding it was normal to have positive angle on front and back foot, all Euro-carver style! :D

Now, before I go back to throwing cats at people who come into my yard - I'd re-iterate what others have said - you need to tweak the binding angles a bit. Nothing wrong with +15/-15 if it suits your riding style and is comfortable but clearly you are having problems. I'd start dialing back that negative angle on the back foot until you find a happy place.

snowklinger 11-26-2012 10:25 AM

Also 15/15 is not a very extreme duck, you may even find comfort going wider like 18/18.

Canted or not and stance width also will affect you.

Is the pain in the outside of your front foot? Try moving your bindings apart 1/2" at a time. Just a little can really alleviate this pressure, especially with canted bindings.

Good bent knee athletic stance helps, arthritis, not so much :D

MeanJoe 11-26-2012 10:30 AM


Originally Posted by snowklinger (Post 543505)
Good bent knee athletic stance helps, arthritis, not so much :D

Don't make me put down my walker and school you like we did in the oldie-times - +30/+30 and an onion in our pocket for a snack later! ;-)

Kids these days. Haha!

snowklinger 11-26-2012 10:37 AM


Originally Posted by MeanJoe (Post 543510)
Don't make me put down my walker and school you like we did in the oldie-times - +30/+30 and an onion in our pocket for a snack later! ;-)

Kids these days. Haha!

I was referring to my own arthritis :laugh:

+30/+30, may as well just tie 2 skis together.:eek:

Sincraft 11-26-2012 06:45 PM

I would have someone take a look or a quick video of your riding, dont do anything different than you would normally do when you get video'd. it's possible you may be trying to 'face' the fall line with your body instead of your head.

Due to an ever pressing issue where my body feels the need to slowly kill itself, my joints are all screwed up, including my neck. If I turn the way I should, it hurts and thus, I have a bit of a body turn which hindered my ability to ride properly. I knew this as when I would go fast and get abit down in my position, this would force my body more forward and I found I had more control then.

I finally put two and two together and that was some of my issue. This also caused my left knee (reg rider) to be fatigued more after 6 hours of riding with a few 20 minute breaks and a few on the hill breaks , on top of the lift breaks. I figured well my arthritis couldnt be that bad already. Sure enough I had too much twist on my knee all day.

Try to lean back just a tad, turn your head a bit more left and this 'should' set your body in line with the board better.

A lesson from a good instructor with your concerns up front should allow them to point out your stance flaws; however, I havent seen many snowboard instructors out east that know what they are talking about so, thats another topic depending on where you are. I believe there is a certification to look for but dont remember what it is. Hitup snowolf on these boards, he'll tell ya

Bones 11-26-2012 07:10 PM

As the others have said, you need to play around with your stance a bit. I have no idea what stance width/angles I started out with but, over the years, I've settled into 12/-12 on a 23.5" width. I tried +15 on the front for a while, but I felt it in the inside of my lead knee after half a day. Personally, I like a duck stance so that I can really get low without feeling like I'm tucking one knee in behind the other, but that's just me.

One thing that I would suggest is to take a measuring tape to your existing stance and write it down somewhere. Tweak one of your variables and ride for a while. See what your knee says. Just don't go all crazy and change everything in large increments all at once. You'll be chasing your stance all over the place in no time by doing that.

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