In the arena of board sports, the discourse around "goofy" and "regular" stances, indicating right foot forward versus left foot forward, respectively, has prevailed for a long time. The advent of snowboarding brought an influx of new factors to contemplate besides foot orientation.
This guide will serve as a comprehensive source for snowboarding enthusiasts and newbies alike, shedding light on the importance of correct stances.
A "stance" in boardsports implies the positioning of your feet on the board while standing sideways, with one foot leading. Due to this lateral arrangement, balance is a significant factor, and most riders naturally opt for a stance that offers maximal stability. However, snowboarding introduces a few more critical considerations.
In snowboarding, a stance is determined by four primary components: footedness, width, angle, and setback. These parameters collectively contribute to a rider's optimal comfort and control on the board. Stance is largely subjective, and we encourage riders to adjust their stances based on individual comfort and style.
Goofy vs. Regular
Footedness in snowboarding refers to which foot is forward when descending a slope. The two types of footedness are "regular", with your left foot in front, and "goofy", with your right foot leading. It's crucial to remember that neither is right or wrong, and it largely depends on the individual rider's comfort.
Generally, the dominant foot is at the back to facilitate power and control, while the front foot aids in balance. Interestingly, there appears to be a correlation between handedness and footedness, resulting in more people choosing a regular stance than goofy. However, there are no hard and fast rules about this.
"Switch" in snowboarding implies riding with the opposite foot forward compared to your regular stance. For instance, if you typically ride with your right foot leading (goofy), and you reverse to lead with your left foot, you are riding "switch".
There are several practical tests you can perform to determine your dominant foot: the slide test, the push test, and the stair test.
The width of your stance refers to the distance between your feet (and bindings) on the snowboard. The standard recommendation for beginners is slightly wider than shoulder-width for optimal balance and responsiveness. However, this can be adjusted based on individual preference.
The binding angle is the third critical component of your stance. The angle settings are denoted by pairs of numbers that refer to the angle of the bindings, where zero signifies that the binding is perfectly perpendicular to the snowboard edges. A positive number implies that the binding is angled towards the nose, and a negative number suggests it is angled towards the tail.
The final component, the setback, refers to the positioning of the stance on the board. While some boards have a centered stance, others recommend a stance slightly closer to the tail (setback) for enhanced flotation in powder snow and carving performance.
In conclusion, establishing your snowboard stance is an iterative process that requires trial and error to find what works best for you. From deciding between goofy and regular to fine-tuning your binding angles, the perfect stance is highly personal and can vary based on conditions and riding style. Remember, there is no universally perfect stance; the best stance is one that provides you the most comfort and control.