How to Mount and Install Snowboard Bindings
Mounting bindings onto your snowboard may seem like a daunting task, but this simple step-by-step guide will walk you through the entire process. Installing the bindings yourself has many advantages. It enables you to customize the bindings to fit comfortably and perform to your standards. Your board and bindings will be set up correctly to your riding style and you will be ready to ride in no time!
Stance - Regular or Goofy
The first step is choosing your stance, which means are you regular or goofy footed? Basically, if your left foot is forward, then you have a regular stance. If your right foot is the lead, then you are goofy footed. You need to determine your stance because the individual bindings are specifically designed for your left and right foot. There is no right or wrong choice in regards to your stance, it strictly boils down to comfort and feel.
If you have never been on a snowboard or skateboard and have no idea what stance you use, there is a little trick that may help. Have a friend stand behind you and surprise you with a gentle shove. If your left foot goes forward first to prevent the fall, you are regular. Conversely, if your right foot goes first to catch you, then you are goofy. Once again, this is by no means scientific, but it is generally fairly accurate.
Stance - Width
After you have chosen your lead foot, you now need to determine the width of your bindings on the board. The standard answer is usually slightly more than shoulder width, but other riders may prefer different widths. Sometimes having your feet shoulder-width apart causes you to stand upright on your board too often, making you lose your balance and raise your center of gravity.
Different stances also can work better for certain riding styles. For example, freestyle riders often go with a wider stance since it increases their balance and control. On the other hand, if you are into carving at high speeds or, then a narrower stance will increase power in your lower body and transmit power to your edges more efficiently. Finding a comfortable width can be a trial and error exercise, so don’t be afraid to try different widths until you find the one that works best for you.
For beginners, we recommend that you extend your width slightly past your shoulders. A slight flex in your knees will give you a lower center of gravity, and also forces you to turn with your shoulders and upper body rather than your hips. Essentially, this will prevent you from standing straight up while you ride.
The next step is deciding where you should position the bindings along the board. The rule is your bindings should never be placed forward on the board, always in the middle or the back. Once again, you will choose the setback position based upon personal comfort and predominant type of riding.
- All-Mountain - If you like to do a little bit of everything, then you should set your bindings slightly in the back. This enables you to switch among freestyle, all mountain, and backcountry/sidecountry riding depending on your mood.
- Freestyle - If you focus more on freestyle riding, your bindings should be in the middle of the board. Having your feet in the middle improves control and allows you to ride switch (backwards) more easily.
- Freeride - Moving the bindings to the back of the board helps riders float atop of the powder and traverse the soft snow more easily as it helps keep the tip of the board above the snow.
It is important to remember that a small adjustment of the binding placement can make a difference with your setup on the board. That is, if you move your bindings just a few centimeters, you will feel a difference. Once again, it does not hurt to try a few different positions until you find the one that works best.
Having the correct angle on your bindings helps prevent strain on your lower body, particularly your calves and knees. If your bindings are angled correctly, you will be able to ride for days without experiencing excess pains in your lower half.
Binding angles start at 0°, which is flat across the board, and move in increments of 3. If the angle is positive, like +6°, which means your foot is turned towards the front of the board. On the other hand, negative angles means that your feet are positioned towards the back of the board. If your hypothetical angle is +12° / +9°, that means your front foot is angled at 12°, while your back foot is 9°. Whether your ride regular or goof, your front foot is always listed first.
There are different types of general stance angles that fit certain riding styles.
- Forward Stance - This means both bindings are angled towards the front of the board, and is usually a good stance if you don’t know how you want to set up your board. Usually, the front foot is angled more severely than the back foot to promote comfort and control. This stance works best for carving turns. However, it is not as good for freestyle riding because it can be difficult to ride switch on your board.
- Duck Stance - This stance angles your front foot forward and your back foot backwards. As you can imagine, this stance works best for freestyle riding, as you can move in either direction with ease. Some riders find this stance comfortable even when freeriding, so if it feels right, it can also be used by anyone from all-mountain to more freestyle specific riders.
With the information provided, you should be ready to install your own bindings. As stated earlier, installing the bindings yourself allows you to adjust them until you find a comfortable setting. It may take a few tries, but after a few times out on the mountain you will position and angle your bindings to your liking. If you still are daunted by how to do this properly you can always swing into either Ski Bum store and we will be glad to help you out.