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behi 03-06-2013 07:21 AM

Taming the Beast - Wide Stance Duck wants to carve

My conclusion is, carving with a very wide stance works perfectly fine.

Hip rotation, screws up carving performance with a duck stance and the wide stance is more affected by that. When keeping the hips reasonably parallel to the board, things work just as well with the wide stance.


Are there any ducks with very wide stances and stiff rocker/hybrid boards that can carve well?

The long-winded version:

I'm 6'2" tall. I have a very stiff board symmetrical twin board (tail rocker/camber under binding/rocker in middle/camber under binding/front rocker) that I can carve pretty well with a 23.5" stance and -9/21 binding angles. However, for pretty much everything else I strongly prefer a 26.8" stance with -12/12, -12/15 or -15/15 binding angles (which I'm sure many people will consider extreme).

The wide stance gives me much more control in choppy terrain and my active suspension of independently moving legs and anticipating bumps works much better. I also have a much easier time forcing turns in bad terrain and turning with little weight in front (useful when riding powder with crusty stuff mixed in) and riding powder is a lot less strenuous since I can shift weight back with a lot less effort (riding with set-back screws up handling on groomers).

The only problem with the wide stance is that I can only carve stuff that's not very steep with very good snow conditions - otherwise the carves turn into scarves.

As far as I can tell, I have 3 issues:
- with the narrow stance, I can de-rocker the board by pushing the knees outwards; really helps with setting up the turn, otherwise the board wants to turn a very short radius (can't do that with the wide stance)
- with the wide stance, I have problems tilting the board as much; probably a result of a slightly restricted movement range and binding angles (the -9/21 doesn't work with the wide stance)
- I'm fighting the board: with the narrow stance it can be foot-steered, with the wide stance, dynamic turning is pretty much mandatory (torsionally, on a scale of 1-10, the board probably deserves a stiffness rating of 12)

@Snowolf: I know about angulation vs. inclination and do my best to bend and utilize angulation.

I have screwed around a lot with my bindings (pun intended) and having the maximum forward lean helps, but not enough.

An intermediate stance helps a little with carving, but is not worth the handling sacrifice in choppy terrain.

Any tips are appreciated.

NoirX252 03-07-2013 01:40 PM

What is your foot size? Your board waist?

Perhaps you are feeling the effects of a wider board width working against you when you ride with a wider stance. The more underhang you have, the more effort it'll take to put it up on edge, this affects your riding immensely in challenging situations, such as carving steeps. (no skidding whatsoever at all)

behi 03-07-2013 02:30 PM

Foot size is US14/MP310. Board is an oil tanker with 28.6cm waist, 33cm tip/tail, 166cm length. I wish underhang was an issue.

After reading some more, my scarves meet the AASI definition of carves (track being less than 1 board width) quite often.

behi 03-08-2013 09:36 AM

I spent a lot of time doing carving experiments and switching the stances back and forth. I found the major problem I was having with the wide stance. In case it helps someone else, here it goes...

I was rotating my hips slightly into the turn (ironically, from what I've read, it's supposed to be helpful), which caused my back leg to rotate along with the hips (can't keep it in place with the wide stance - end of movement range). That resulted in more rockering of the board and in weight shifting through the turn being more problematic.

While I thought, I was getting more angulation with the narrow stance, that's not the case. With being able to de-rocker the board, I had more speed/larger turn radius and simply more inclination.

When everything worked right, I was able to get nice pencil-line carves with the wide stance, but things are quite a bit more finicky and really intolerant of sloppy technique. Not staying extremely focused and the tail starts washing out a bit...

What was quite noticeable is that edge transitions were snappier/cleaner/faster with the wide stance.

Baileygunns 03-08-2013 11:18 AM

Try 15/15 for binding angles... Get rid of the negative on your rear binding. It's going to put your hips in the right position and help with angulation. It also keeps you from rotation your knee and putting stress on it. Your trailing knee will thank you!

It will feel funny at first but you'll be dragging hip in no time...

herjazz 03-08-2013 08:44 PM

i know you're asking about carving with a duck stance. i don't think i know anyone that does. or at least not all the time, maybe part of a run but not really carving... if anything try 0 on your back to start off? i dunno, i'm full positive angle +24/+12 and 95% of the time i'm just carving and speed running down steep slopes...

i tried with my bindings at 0 or negative (duck) and i don't have nearly the control over the board as i do. i can do it in a pinch but it requires so much more effort and feels unnatural to me...

not sure if that answered your question. maybe an expert can chime in if you're really adamant about carving with a duck stance; i'm sure it can be done... (nothing is really impossible)

behi 03-09-2013 01:43 AM


Originally Posted by Baileygunns (Post 816538)
Try 15/15 for binding angles... Get rid of the negative on your rear binding. It's going to put your hips in the right position and help with angulation. It also keeps you from rotation your knee and putting stress on it. Your trailing knee will thank you!

Seriously? I would stand like a knock-kneed pigeon on the board. Then I would blow a knee or ankle for sure.

With a duck stance (properly done), the hips are rotated forward very, very little (not more more than the front binding angle), so there is not much additional stress on the back knee. (Of course, there are plenty of pseudo-ducks who ride like they had a forward stance.)


It will feel funny at first but you'll be dragging hip in no time...
I'm not going to drag my hip, I'm dragging my butt (or knees). :D


i know you're asking about carving with a duck stance. i don't think i know anyone that does. or at least not all the time, maybe part of a run but not really carving... if anything try 0 on your back to start off?
I don't have problems carving duck per se. But my very stiff symmetrical hybrid-board rides like an expert-only board (that's why the 'taming the beast') and is FAR more difficult to ride than my mid-flex camber board, that is directional, has taper, a variable sidecut and maybe 1/5 the torsional stiffness. The camber board also maxes out at a 62cm stance.

I really want to make carving with the symmetrical wide duck stance work, since I can ride WAY more aggressively in chop and maybe one of these days, my switch-riding won't suck.

Anyway, like I mentioned in my previous post, I think I found the major issue holding me back.

behi 03-09-2013 10:39 AM


Originally Posted by Snowolf (Post 818970)
To find your ideal stance, get on a slick surface like tile in your socks and get into your normal snowboard stance. Now, squat down and go as low as you can comfortably go. Raise up and squat a few times to find your maximum range of movement. As you squat, your feet will slide out to their ideal width and you will also notice that they will angle out to where they want to be for this. Have a friend or significant other, measure the width (center of foot to center of foot) and then use a straight edge along your heels and measure the angles that your feet have assumed. Match these measurements on your board and go ride. Most people find the best performance overall and most comfort after setting their board up this way.

I've done that before. The funny thing is, I ended up pretty much at the 68cm I'm using. I may be weird, but squatting/getting very low that way is a lot more comfortable for me. With the wide stance, I'm utilizing more muscles and it's less strenuous.

Thinking about it, I was doing fencing in a previous life - that may well be the reason I'm so comfortable with the wide stance.

I was wrong about the angulation thing, I mentioned in the first post. There is no difference.

As for some of the issues you describe, even with a narrower stance, you can use good independent flexion and extension as well as overall lower riding posture to absorb vibration and chatter from shitty snow conditions.
Sure, I do that. But that only works to a certain point, if the speed/chop frequency gets too high, things are far better with the wider stance; the board cuts better through the chop, it has less leverage against my legs and I have a lot more strength.

Doing some squatting exercises, the strength difference is surprisingly large - that may actually be the biggest factor (in that I can leave my legs 'looser').

Too wide of a stance can be just as limiting to this as too narrow. Additionally, fore-aft movements timed right can help quiet the ride. Again, too wide a stance will limit your ability to do fore-aft movements as well.
My fore-aft movements work better with the wide stance. I have no problem getting completely on my front or back leg (beyond a 90 deg angle board/leg). With a 68cm stance vs. a 60cm stance, I'm getting close to 8cm more weight shifting range.

It should not be necessary to bow your knees out to "derocker" the board to increase turn radius. Simply toning down the tilting movements can accomplish a lot of this.
Yeah, doing my carving experiments, I think I was using a lot of that to cover sloppy technique. At the same time, the board is rather stiff, I'm a little below the minimum weight listed for the board and once it's on edge, it turns extremely fast. (The board has really been exposing a lot of sloppy stuff, I was doing.)

When I was turning the hips, I probably rockered the board even more.

With the wide stance, I can perform smoother edge switches and set the new edge better (when I don't rotate the hips). So I don't need to de-rocker the board, if I watch my hips.

Even so, there can be times when this movement has value in your carve and I would again say that if you find that you can not do this, it is a clear indication that you have indeed too wide of a stance.
It was turning the hips that screwed me up here. If I keep them in line with the board, I have no problems going beyond a 90deg angle between lower legs and board. If I don't turn my hips too much, I can get the board flat with the wide stance (ok, with the narrower stance, I can 'camber' the board).

Anyway, even if it may not sound like it, I do appreciate your feedback. Even if I don't go to narrower stance (it looks like, I can make things work quite well; I had some runs with really clean pencil-tracks), it's helpful to think about what I may or may not be be giving up and where I may encounter bio-mechanical limitations.

behi 03-11-2013 05:56 AM

Doing more experimenting, hip rotation really seems to screw up carving performance with a duck stance.

Thinking about it, it will result in the board being twisted and the tip being at a higher angle than the tail. Thus, the tip will want to turn at a shorter radius than the tail -> perfect setup for turning carves into scarves.

I now think that with the narrower stance and trying to de-rocker the board, I'm counteracting some of that board twist and what's helpful is not really straightening out the board, but the reduction in board twist.

jlm1976 03-12-2013 10:29 AM

Hip rotation can be using to improve range of most in the legs in a specific direction. In carving, this is useful to help twist the back half of the snowboard to a higher edge angle that the front at the last half of a carved turn. In my avatar pic(I'm in a duckstance, soft boots,), my hips are rotated toward the nose to give me more room to drive my back knee towards the snow. This has the effect of tightening up the turn towards the finish and puts an nice exclamation point on an already solid carve turn. For heelside, rotate the hips toward the tail to do the same thing. It's important that if you do this at the start of your turn it will totally hose up your turn. This move is only for the 2nd half of the turn when your edge set is solid.

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