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I know the first rule of 'boarding is ride what feels the best to you but I am hoping to get more technical than that!

Background - I have been riding since 1989 and would consider myself to be a pretty solid all-mountain rider (not park or tricks). Most on my time is spent carving, in the moguls or in steep tree areas. For the fist 25 years I always rode with my binding set in the forward/alpine position at approx +21/+9 or something like that, mostly because that is just how everyone rode and also because my size 13 boots required lots of angle to avoid overhang. Now I ride wide boards so I can get away with shallower angles and last season I experiment with duck stance, spending half the season at +19/-6 and to my surprise after a couple of runs it didn't feel much different than my old forward stance! How can that be?!?!?!

My real question is what technical pros and cons are there for the different binding angles? Anatomically a lot of things change when feet and legs are pointed in different directions and at different widths but my brain can't figure out what the results will be?!?! I have read that duck stance allows you to get lower on the board. True or false? I have read that forward stance allows the body to lean over more to carve hard at speed. True or false? I have read that duck makes it easier to turn sarply on very steep sections or in tight trees. True or False? Forward stance puts the heels further apart while duck puts them closer together but then the toes are wider apart .....does any of this lead to better or worse performance while on that edge?

Since I can comfortably ride forward or duck my goal is to understand the technical differences for which position gives advantages for all-mountain riding without having to waste the next year of my life experimenting ;)
 

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Forward stance or directional stance is mostly to make toeside and heelside turns an equal effort, assuming the board is wide enough. This is in a big part decided by the angle of your front foot, which you only changed from 21 to 19, so that's why it felt similar. The perks to a duck stance when riding switch is obvious, and the angle and width between your feet make it easier to absorb an impact and manipulate the board, but too wide make it awkward and tiresome to stretch out or do traverses. Alpine boards are usually narrow, so the angles are partly to get your feet within the board, and partly because hardboots have stiff sides, so you need to balance your turns from the knee up (which doesn't bend sideways). With soft boots we can start at the ankles.
 

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I have studied this profusely and the number 1 draw back for duck stance is that it limits your ability to rotate your body into a good position for heel side turns.
The way our leg bone sits in the socket of our hip is fundamental to our personal snowboarding experience.
 

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I learnt with a forward stance on a camber board. After 3 years I bought a flat to rocker board for powder and found I could manage toeside turns on steeps easier with a negative rear foot and also had more stability in chunder. Then I learnt to carve properly riding about 21/-6 but kept wanting to face further forwards so ended up riding 27/-6. However, I'm 61 and my season is 45 days in 55, so I ended up over rotating and straining my rear knee and had to go to a forward stance again for carving.
I'll now be riding 27/6 (will try 30/9) on my Rome Blur for carving and 21/-6 on my other boards off piste and messing about. I think on familiar boards it is easy to swap stance angles from one day to the next.

ps. Avatar was prob 21/-6 a few years ago.
 

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The reasons to ride duck are if you're doing a lot of freestyle or riding switch long enough where it's uncomfortable with the double positive angles. For me it doesn't take very long to have foot pain if my front foot (whichever that is) is pointed at less than 12 degrees, so I'm ducked out all the time because I don't think I ever do a run without riding switch for some of it. If that weren't true double positive all the way baby.
 

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Lots of good stuff here already. I like to play with binding angles too. I've found that I like to keep a similar amount of splay between my feet, roughly 18 degrees- I might play with more. If I'm feeling more front foot foreward for carving, the back foot moves up the same amount. This way, I can change anywhere from -3/15 to 6/24 and the only thing that moves is my hips in relation to the fall line. The stance feels the same aside from rotation. I really like 0/18 for trees, and 6/24 for carving.

Double positive angles change how the rear knee drives turns. Ducked was really killing my knee because I like to flex my rear knee forward. If I liked riding switch more than I like laying down carves, I'd be ducked out for sure.
 

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The way our leg bone sits in the socket of our hip is fundamental to our personal snowboarding experience.
This is crucial I think and also what leads back to the what feels good for you approach. My hip mobility is not great and stretching can only do so much. The angle of your hip bone meeting your thigh bone cant be changed. I learned with forward stance then duck came around but I left it alone because I liked my normal stance and had no reason to change. A few years ago I tried a negative back foot +24/-6 and it allows me to get lower. Getting the centre of gravity down closer to the edge is giving me more power through the turn, particularly heelside, than a forward stance did. It also means I can absorb bumps and flat landings with less stress on the back knee. I can't drive my back knee towards the nose of the board at the end of a turn as much but I can still do it. Biggest downside is actually for grabs, now I can't easily grab a tuck-kneed indy. I have to go stinkbug or even worse tindy! Overall the slight negative back foot angle puts a lot less stress on my body for all mountain riding. Totally worht it once you start to think about longevity and shredding til a ripe old age.
 

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This is crucial I think and also what leads back to the what feels good for you approach. My hip mobility is not great and stretching can only do so much. The angle of your hip bone meeting your thigh bone cant be changed. I learned with forward stance then duck came around but I left it alone because I liked my normal stance and had no reason to change. A few years ago I tried a negative back foot +24/-6 and it allows me to get lower. Getting the centre of gravity down closer to the edge is giving me more power through the turn, particularly heelside, than a forward stance did. It also means I can absorb bumps and flat landings with less stress on the back knee. I can't drive my back knee towards the nose of the board at the end of a turn as much but I can still do it. Biggest downside is actually for grabs, now I can't easily grab a tuck-kneed indy. I have to go stinkbug or even worse tindy! Overall the slight negative back foot angle puts a lot less stress on my body for all mountain riding. Totally worht it once you start to think about longevity and shredding til a ripe old age.
I hear ya bro. Im 41 and had knee surgery 3 times on my back knee which had grown weak and moved in an improper way for 25 years. I stopped watching tv 5 years ago and since have fixed every ailment I ever had just by thinking about my problems from a new angle.
 

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for me, my back foot rotated forward worked well for certain types of riding, but I started getting debilitating tightness in a ligament or tendon running along the back of my knee. It got serious and I backed-off the angle and it feels much better now. The trade-off is I get drag from my toe-cap buckle on the rear binding now during hard toeside turns. This caused me to go to a wider board for my daily driver. problem is mostly fixed.
 

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for me, my back foot rotated forward worked well for certain types of riding, but I started getting debilitating tightness in a ligament or tendon running along the back of my knee. It got serious and I backed-off the angle and it feels much better now. The trade-off is I get drag from my toe-cap buckle on the rear binding now during hard toeside turns. This caused me to go to a wider board for my daily driver. problem is mostly fixed.
Deagol what are daily riding these days? you still have that donek?
 

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I have read that duck stance allows you to get lower on the board. True or false?
Not sure about the rest, but this one I would rate false. On toeside turns I get low enough to more or less sit on the cuff of my rear boot. On heelside turns I get low enough (if necessary) to grab the toeside edge.
Edited to add: I ride +/+ angles.
 

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Not sure about the rest, but this one I would rate false. On toeside turns I get low enough to more or less sit on the cuff of my rear boot. On heelside turns I get low enough (if necessary) to grab the toeside edge.
I think it depends on board angles and boot stiffness. Strapped in is not the same was standing barefoot on the floor. If you just stand on the floor barefoot it's going to be easier to get low because you can flex your ankles. On a board you either have to counter the displacement of center mass with bending at the hips or putting the board on edge. Putting the board on toe side edge is about the same as flexing your ankles forward. You can do it on the kitchen floor by bending your knees and getting up on the balls of your feet. It's the same mechanics.

From my perspective the binding angle is about where you want your knees to naturally go when you turn and where and how you use your weight and stance through the turns.

My feeling is that the duck stance makes for a more stable platform across the edge on a toe side turn since your toes and momentum will cover more of the sidecut.

Personally I feel like the more duck I ride the more I'm standing on a board that travels down the mountain. When I'm in a positive stance it feels more like I'm riding the mountain and the board just happens to be on my feet.

In populated resorts with a lot of people I like to ride slightly duck because I feel more agile and in control at lower speeds.

I'm not an advanced rider so this whole perspective might change eventually.
 

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Lots of good stuff here already. I like to play with binding angles too. I've found that I like to keep a similar amount of splay between my feet, roughly 18 degrees- I might play with more. If I'm feeling more front foot foreward for carving, the back foot moves up the same amount. This way, I can change anywhere from -3/15 to 6/24 and the only thing that moves is my hips in relation to the fall line. The stance feels the same aside from rotation. I really like 0/18 for trees, and 6/24 for carving.

Double positive angles change how the rear knee drives turns. Ducked was really killing my knee because I like to flex my rear knee forward. If I liked riding switch more than I like laying down carves, I'd be ducked out for sure.
This dude gets it!!! It's all about your comfortable and functional splay! I found that out about 3 decades ago. Mine usually is 21°, but I can go down to 18° on some setups. My go to angles are usually 27/6, but depending on board and bindings I can go 24/3 to 30/9. I can go 30/12 sometimes on carving only days on a couple of my boards.
 

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Deagol what are daily riding these days? you still have that donek?
Yes, I do still have the Donek and I wished I had gotten it wider. I didn't know at the time I ordered it what I know now about width. The Donek is not my daily driver, though. I use it when I know I will be confined to groomers all day. I still get toe drag on this board. I am a convert to the Ryan Knapton philosophy of wide boards (but obviously can't ride like that).

My work-around for the Donek was to get a second set of toe-caps/buckles/ratchet straps and use the replacement left toe cap setup on my right binding/back foot binding (left-sided toe caps are on both bindings). It looks a little weird but it decreases the rear binding toe buckle's exposure to the slope when the board is tilted up on the toeside edge. I still get drag, but at least the buckle isn't getting caught on the snow and ripped backwards. It's now just the cap itself sometimes.

My daily driver is a Never Summer Chairman wide (this is such a versatile board). Toe drag can still happen, but it's mitigated quite a bit by the wider board. I may actually be getting a little bit of heel drag though since I mount the bindings as close to the heelside as possible to reduce the toe-side exposure. I fell on my but the other day on heelside inexplicably and wondered if it was heel drag. Either that or I am getting to old for this stuff. I am actually old enough where I think I get a little worse every year..

:confused:
 

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Yes, I do still have the Donek and I wished I had gotten it wider. I didn't know at the time I ordered it what I know now about width. The Donek is not my daily driver, though. I use it when I know I will be confined to groomers all day. I still get toe drag on this board. I am a convert to the Ryan Knapton philosophy of wide boards (but obviously can't ride like that).

My work-around for the Donek was to get a second set of toe-caps/buckles/ratchet straps and use the replacement left toe cap setup on my right binding/back foot binding (left-sided toe caps are on both bindings). It looks a little weird but it decreases the rear binding toe buckle's exposure to the slope when the board is tilted up on the toeside edge. I still get drag, but at least the buckle isn't getting caught on the snow and ripped backwards. It's now just the cap itself sometimes.

My daily driver is a Never Summer Chairman wide (this is such a versatile board). Toe drag can still happen, but it's mitigated quite a bit by the wider board. I may actually be getting a little bit of heel drag though since I mount the bindings as close to the heelside as possible to reduce the toe-side exposure. I fell on my but the other day on heelside inexplicably and wondered if it was heel drag. Either that or I am getting to old for this stuff. I am actually old enough where I think I get a little worse every year..

:confused:
Right on dude, wide boards are where its at! my skinniest board is my park twin and that right about 26 and my daily driver is 27.1 with my size 8's you can just go nuts carving heel and toe as low as you want. I had a 29cm waisted Donek before but I didnt understand how much stiffer the width makes the board, sold it for a crazy loss, live and learn!
 
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