amazing how many people are afraid to mess with their binding setups.
They probably get scared off by skiers, because skiers are always
told they shouldn't adjust their own bindings. Snowboarders,
on the other hand, can adjust their bindings all they want.
Don't be afraid to mess around with stuff, that's what adjustments
are for. The perfect setup for your board is what works for
you. The most important things are your comfort and range
of motion. However you have your bindings set you should be
able to easily go from standing tall to crouched down next to the
board. Your body has to be able to move up and down, otherwise
you are limited in how much you can move the board around, not to
mention soaking up bumps with your legs (you do ride with your knees
While there is no one setup that works for every person, there
are some general tips that make getting your stance right easier.
Also, different conditions want different setups. For instance,
in powder you want to be back on the board. If you get a big
dump, spend five minutes before you hit the hill and move your bindings
back to the rearmost set of inserts. On the other hand, for
hardpack you want to be more centered or even forward on the board.
First, getting your freeride setup ready to carve: Most people
seem to run their boards with mellow stance angles, for example
12° front and -6° rear, like this
This stance is good for doing tricks and landing jumps,
but not great for ripping big turns. The biggest thing you
have to watch out for is toe drag. If you get the board leaned
over, your toes will lever the edge out of the snow and you will
fall. Unfortunately it's hard to tell when this is happening,
as it feels like the board hit a patch of ice, and instead of realizing
the problem is toe drag you'll be cursing the crappy snow.
To eliminate toe drag you need to rotate your bindings so that no
part of the binding or the boot sticks out over the edge, like this
The angles you'll need for this vary with the width
of your board and the size of your boots, but a typical setup is
24° front and 15° rear. On a freeride board there
should be some separation between the angles, 5-10 degrees is about
right. Since neither foot should overhang, this will mean
that your front foot actually under hangs by a small amount.
This is normal, don't worry about it.
After that, you should, if possible, adjust your bindings
for their best performance. Most importantly is high back
angle. You should run enough that your knees want to be bent
when you're standing still on the board. However, THE REAR
HIGHBACK SHOULD HAVE MORE LEAN THAN THE FRONT. This is important. Don't
get carried away with high backs to the point you're uncomfortable
(comfort is important remember.) Next, adjust the other stuff.
Different bindings have different adjustments, so this may no apply
to what you have. Most bindings have more than one set of
holes to mount the heel strap. If it's not there already,
you should attach it at the top-most set of holes. Some high
backs can be rotated around the heel of your boot (if this doesn't
make sense to you your bindings probably don't do it.) Your
bindings may have other adjustments, the best idea is to adjust
so you're comfortable. When you go to carve in softboots,
it helps to have the bindings tight. If this causes problems
with circulation in your toes don't forget to loosen the straps
on your front foot before you get on the lift
If you have step-ins most of these adjustments don't
apply. However we don't really like softboot step-ins, so
we don't care
This is just a starting point, keep adjusting until
you get a setup that works well for you, and don't be afraid to