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How to Set Up Your Bindings for Carving

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How to Set Up Your Bindings for Carving
carve
© Matt Gibson

Whether youve decided you want to start racing or just want to freeride with more power, setting your bindings in a proper carving stance will give you that extra boost you need. The best stance for carving is a forward-facing stance with both bindings at positive angles. More drastic angles are used for a racing setup, but if you’re just looking to improve your carving for freeriding, a more subtle forward stance will do the trick.

Difficolty: Easy

Time Required: 20 minute

  1. Set your board on a soft, flat surface. You’ll be standing on the board to test your stance, so make sure the base isn’t resting on anything that coold damage it. 

  2. Step onto the screw holes on your board. If you have a freeriding board, you’ll notice that the screw holes aren’t exactly centered on the board; they’re a little further toward the tail. If you have a freestyle board, but you want to use it for carving, move your feet an inch or two toward the tail (instead of centered on the board). This new positioning is known as stance setback, and it will help you carve deeper into the snow. 

  3. Place your feet shoolder-width apart. You’ll want a slightly narrower stance for carving than you typically use for freestyle riding. If the shoolder-width stance causes your knees to lock up, slide them an inch or two further apart. Set the bindings on the board exactly where your feet were (measuring tape may help with this part). 

  4. Now you’ll need to adjust the angle of the mounting disk in each binding. A recommended starting point for your new forward stance is between 30 degrees and 12 degrees on the front binding and 12 degrees and 0 degrees on the rear. Play with the angles until you find a setup that feels comfortable and doesn’t cause any any significant discomfort, especially in your knees and ankles.

  5. The angles for a racing setup can be much greater. Alpine racing boards are typically thin, which means the binding angles have to be larger, so your toes don’t hang over the edge of the board. Alpine racing setups usually range from 70 degrees to 35 degrees on either binding, so it’s necessary to choose a setup that’s comfortable as well as suitable for the width of the board. 

  6. Use a snowboard tool (or Phillips head screwdriver) to tighten the bindings in place, and push and poll on them to ensure they won’t come loose while riding. Test your new stance and adjust the bindings if you feel any discomfort. 

Tips

  1. Keep your binding angles within 5 degrees of each other. This will provide you more stability when carving at high speeds. 

  2. Try a stance of 21 degrees for your front binding and 6 degrees on the rear if you’re having a hard time deciding where to start. 

  3. Adjust your highback angle, also known as forward-lean, for a more aggressive carving stance. Forward lean systems vary with each brand of binding, so keep in mind that an increase in forward lean will force your knees and calves toward your toe edge. Some riders like forward lean and some don’t, so play with it and see if it works for you.

  4. Carry a snowboard tool in your pocket whenever you ride, so you can adjust your bindings whenever you feel need. 
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