Board Setup

Problems making turns? Riding switch? Looking to get air for the first time (on purpose)? Ask these and other questions here. If there's a more specific forum, please ask there.

Board Setup

Postby SteveH » Tue Dec 25, 2007 10:32 pm

Skiers have a well developed body of knowledge about adjusting gear to improve riding style--everything from measuring body angles to shaving boots to correct for misaligned legs. I have been able to locate very little about a systematic approach to snowboard setup. In an effort to consolidate what information there is, I will try to list some of what already exists on the forum and add a few things I recently stumbled across.

Here is the discussion on binding angles (the direction your toes point relative to the board).
http://graysontrays.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=507

There is a wealth of good information in this link contained in the above thread:
http://legacy.cs.uu.nl/daan/snow/stance.html

This thread discussed forward lean (the amount the highback pushes your calf forward).

http://www.graysontrays.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=635

I have been experimenting with repositioning my bindings to see what effect it has. On non-Burton boards, there are a series of holes that accept the binding attachment screws. You can move the bindings noseward or tailward simply by screwing them into different holes.

If you move both bindings the same number of holes in the same direction, you move your stance over the board forward or back. If you move the bindings closer together or farther apart you change your stance width.

Moving stance toward the nose or tail changes how the board rides. It is commonly suggested that you shift the bindings tailward in deep powder to help avoid submarining. Even on hardpack, the steering characteristics of the board change as your stance moves backward or forward.

My board (like most) defaults to a tailward center of gravity. That is, if you pick holes that are equally offset from the frontmost and rearmost holes, you will have more board in front than behind. I have found the steering characteristics of the board riding switch to be very different from riding natural. By shifting my bindings forward I found that riding switch the board reacted much closer to the way it feels riding natural--and made riding switch much easier. Note that this may not work on all boards as some have an asymetrical flex pattern, i.e. the nose bends differently from the tail.

As it turns out the changes I made also narrowed my stance. Someone pointed out to me that a narrow stance makes if more difficult to apply torsion to the board (twist it along it's axis) as well as narrowing your support base (although it can make it easier to initiate turns). Sure enough, widening my stance (while keeping centered on the board) felt much better.

After all of these adjustments, I took my board to the shop for a tune. When I picked it up, the extremely knowledgable and helpful tech (Mountain Wave Boards in Breck is phenomenal) asked me if he could check the side to side placement of the bindings (which I had totally ignored in my tinkering). He had noticed that they were set far toward the toeside. When I stepped on the board, my boots were clearly much further over the toeside. This could cause a host of problems including toe drag and diffcultly pressuring the heelside edge. Nothing to experiment with here, your boots should always be centered sided to side. This adjustment is made on my Salomon bindings by sliding the base plate back and forth under the attachment screws) When I got back on the hill with my newly tuned and adjusted board it showed even further improvement.

This is far from exhaustive, and may well be innaccurate due to the limits of my knowledge and experience. I hope others will chime in with ideas and information so we don't all have to figure this out by trial and error.

Steve
SteveH
 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:08 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Postby hookster » Wed Dec 26, 2007 11:27 pm

Many boards do have a reference stance which is set back (usually 1 inch to the tail) but you'll also find most freestyle/park oriented boards have a reference stance which is centered for riding switch and better swing balance for tricks, but like you're saying you can move both bindings back one set of holes and you'll have a set back stance. Up until this year's model the Burton Custom has had a set back reference stance but this year they've made it centered. I had found riding easier with a narrow stance width (20") my first couple seasons because of the easier turn initiation (I tried changing it to 22" but didn't like the way it felt) Later as I continued to improve I noticed when carving toeside that I felt like I would feel more stable with a wider stance. I went to 21" and then to 22" where I am now and feel great with. I think what the stance link article says is true, that you'll notice small changes in your stance width much more than small changes in your stance angles. One nice feature on the Rome bindings that I use on my park boards is that the boot centering is done with the heelcup and the holes on the disk run parallel with the board so you can adjust the stance width in small increments (I believe 1/4 inch) instead of having to adjust only in the one inch increments provided by the mounting holes on the board.

My number of postings now matches my age 46

I hope everyone's having a great season. I've had 6 great days on the slopes and am going back for more this weekend. I got my new jib-board
(a Ride Kink 152) Yes! it has skull graphics on the base but it's a really fun board.

http://www.ridesnowboards.com/boards/bo ... roductID=8

Here's a pic
hookster
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 7:50 pm
Location: Monterey CA.

Postby SteveH » Fri Dec 28, 2007 12:43 am

Thanks for the ideas hookster. I agree that the stance width changes are more noticeable that binding angle.

The centered stance helped my switch riding, but I think I lost some stability in carving as well as a little more difficulty initiating turns on steep hard pack. I was planning to try moving back on the board but ran out of time. I think I'll leave the setup the way it is and try moving it back midday next time I'm out to see whether I can feel the difference.

Steve
SteveH
 
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:08 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Postby hookster » Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:43 am

Yeah, when I change things up I like to ride on it awhile before I judge whether the change is good or not
hookster
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 7:50 pm
Location: Monterey CA.


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