We get a lot of people coming into the shop who have just bought a board bringing it in for a service, or basically anytime they need to take their bindings off. Who have no idea how to set their board up or have had a friend do it and in some cases mess their snowboard up. This will help walk you through how to set your board up with your bindings to get a good stance and also how to sort out your bindings for a perfect fit with your boot.
Regular or Goofy
There really is no benefit between regular or goofy despite what the name might suggest. Regular is left foot forwards Goofy is right foot forwards. You want to lead with your dominant leg although again its different for everyone I know a guy who wakeboards goofy and snowboards regular. When I was first starting out one of my friends got me face away from him and pushed me, I put my right leg forward first to stop myself stacking it so we worked out I was goofy and its worked out pretty well. A lot of people when learning will try and chop and change. It’s best to just stick with it.
Setting up boards is super easy and not remotely scary when looking at your board there will be three different ways in which you can stick your bindings to your snowboard.
Most boards will look like this with the binding holes set up in parallel rows. For this configuration, you should be able to use the standard base plate provided with your Snowboard bindings.
Burton of course want to be different and have their own set up known as the 3D where the holes are set up in an almost diamond configuration.
Regular plates from your Snowboard bindings do not fit on these Burton Snowboards so its advisable to try to get the plates for Burton Snowboards from your local dealer. For example, if you have some Union bindings for a Burton snowboard and do not have the correct Base Plates for the bindings in the box, ask the shop you got them from and they should be able to source you some from the binding manufacturer. They look like this:
The last and newest binding system is the Burton EST Channel or Rail system, there are loads of different names, all the same thing. Invented by Forum and now used by Burton it’s aimed at giving you the maximum amount of stance options with the best possible flex. Your board will look like this with two grooves going down the centre of the board.
If you just bought one of these boards but still have your old bindings, not to worry as all the main binding companies will have their own conversion kits like these from Union bindings.
These will help you put your regular bindings on to an EST board with total ease. If you get your bindings from a shop you should be able to get these free otherwise your looking at £20 for a set. Making sure you have the right hardware is important as you don’t really want to come undone half way down the mountain or push the wrong screws though the bottom of the snowboard.
Setting up your stance is super easy. Put both feet near the centre of the board and move them outwards until you feel comfy, remember that you will need to be in a bending knee position like you were snowboarding and hopefully you’ll be doing it all day, so you want make sure your comfy and you feel like you could hold this position for a short while. Once you found the sweet spot get your bindings on the board as close as possible to those positions.
When it comes to what angles to put your bindings, everyone’s different. I like mine straight duck -15 +15 which is great if you have a twin tip board and want to try going switch. A buddy of mine rides with both of his facing forward. There is no right or wrong stance it is whatever works best for you and helps you have the most fun. If you set them up and you’re aching in a specific point after a few runs like a real deep burning on the outside or inside of your legs play around with them. Its not set in stone and super easy to change just undo the screws enough to let the binding rotate around the disk. Most hills will have a bench with screw drivers tied to it for this very purpose. Or if your riding in a dome, go to the board hire desk they usually have an ultimate set of tools.
We get a lot of people coming to get their boards serviced where you can tell they have been doing their bindings too tight. Its easy to see when servicing because when you look at the bottom of the board you can see where the screws have been pulled up and created dimples on the underside of the board. You definitely do not need your screws this tight. Sure you want them tight enough so they don’t come off but that’s it, any more than that and you risk damaging your board by pulling an insert.
Once the bindings are on, its important to make sure they are set up just right for your boot. If your bindings have a toe cap then you want this to be covering the toe obviously. Make sure its centred and when tightening it again do not over tighten it as the way that the ratchets work they will need to tighten slightly in order to come undone. The straps are there to hold your foot down not cut the circulation off to your feet. Same with the ankle strap make sure it’s over where it needs to go. If you buy your stuff from a shop they should offer to help you do this but if you do end up changing your boots it’s easy to make the adjustments necessary. Lastly the high back, this is the bit at the rear of the binding that will support your calf. You want this running along the back of your boot, so adjust as necessary. It’s usually connected via two screws at the sides and a clip at the very back to adjust the angle. More angle will force you to bend your knees more which will help your riding as it will get you in the proper stance.
Have fun playing with your board and go shred!
S2AS Team Rider Ian Mosby