Should stance width be wider on a rocker board?

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Should stance width be wider on a rocker board?

Postby Rob3 » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:43 pm

I've invested some time searching the web on this topic but have not found anyone who addresses it directly.

I have two boards, one a classic Burton Custom with classic camber and the other a Gnu Carbon Credit rocker. The Custom is a directional twin and the Gnu is a true twin. I am only interested in freeride and carving. I bought the Gnu because many people told me it was easier to turn. This is my seventh season, and it's my 3rd season on the Gnu board. I'm 67.

I'm at Steamboat for a week. This is day 2. I have only my Gnu rocker with me. Yesterday was my first powder day ever. It was fun, but I noticed that my directional stability was not very good. This was still true today on packed powder groomers. So I started to wonder about edge control. I reasoned that perhaps my normal 20.5" stance width (I'm about 5'10" or 5'11") was not really allowing me to engage my leading edge very effectively since twisting the board by pedaling my front foot toward toe or heel side tended not to engage or hold the edge very positively and instead felt constantly at risk of spinning at the wrong time and catching an edge. By paying really close attention to my edges I got through a day of blues and greens without any crashes, but I still had this uneasy feeling of not being in control as much as I think I should be.

So on the afternoon of day 2 I experimented with a wider stance. I moved the front binding one insert toward the front of the board, and to keep my stance centered moved the back binding one insert toward the tail. Then I rode the same blue/green runs that I had ridden in the morning.

The wider stance was just as comfortable as my usual stance, but the foot movements required to initiate a turn were much more subtle. A couple times on the blues I felt the the toe edge engage like I never had before. This happened again on a green at relatively low speed and was so startling that I crashed and took a painful hit to my right shoulder (I ride goofy).

Nevertheless, I continued on the same runs and concentrated on more subtle torsion of the board to initiate turns and made my way down the mountain feeling more in control of the edges and riding about 10% faster. (measured by the Ski Tracks app on my Galaxy S4).

So that was my experience. Now here's the question:

None of the advice on stance width that I've found on the web considers the camber of the board. Instead it focuses on height and weight or recommends slightly wider than shoulder width. Do you think the very nature of reverse camber (rocker) technology dictates the need for a wider stance in order to effectively weight and engage the edges? Especially if you have ridden both normal camber and rocker boards, do you find it's important to widen your stance on the rocker board?

I'd value all input both theoretical and practical. Thanks!

Rob
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Re: Should stance width be wider on a rocker board?

Postby John2 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:41 pm

Sorry, I can't help you there. How did the trip work out?
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Re: Should stance width be wider on a rocker board?

Postby John2 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:24 am

I posted the question to the Facebook page, and received two responses (so far).

Response #1:

After reading the original post on the Grays site I have a couple opinions that you can take or leave. First anytime you move your feet closer to the tip or tail of the board engaging the edge with torsional flex will happen easier until your stance is so wide you can't get the gas pedal affect due to physical limitations. (being closer to the tail would cause easier engagement on switch turns. Physical limitations would mean feet too wide apart for your inseam length. Might be hard to imagine for really tall people.) My other thought on this subject is because of the two boards being different they will have different flex patterns. Maybe the second board referenced in the post has very flexible tip and tail to allow nose and tail presses. Then having a narrow stance will not get the required torsional force to the tip to engage. By widening the stance the rider was able to get the tip to engage. I am personally about 5'9" 32" inseam and I ride at 22.5 stance width. I widened to this width about 10 years ago and have loved it ever since. I tried a little wider but found my knees were not comfortable with a wider stance. There is my opinion for what it is worth I am surely not an expert on the subject and there are probably more knowledgeable folks out there who will have better comments.

Response #2:
was on a Burton Super Hero, now I'm on a Burton Joystick, both full rocker boards. I just moved my feet around between runs, which is super easy with the Burton slot, till I felt the most comfortable, which turned out to be, as always, shoulder width.
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Due to technical difficulties, the user "John" is now running as "John2." New and improved?
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