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Stance width


John K
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I have always run 18" stance width, 3*,3*cants, 60*57* angles on my proton.

I am playing around with wider boards and with the lower angles the canting seems less important. The problem is then I find my stance feels way too wide. Can anyone tell me the pros and cons of a slightly wider or narrower stance? I am thinking moving from 18" to 17"

Also for those that have moved from a 19cm width to a 21-22cm width boards, what changes did you make to your angles, canting, and stance width?

thanks!

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Nice thread, but it really addresses the topic of board width and angles.

What I am more interested in is "stance width" I would guess that most of us ride between 17" and 20" depending on the length of our legs and assistance from canting. Does anyone ride at a 16" stance width? If I ride 17" without cants is that somehow equal to 18" with 3* front and back?

I am curious if people have moved to a wider or narrower width and what they feel are the pros and cons.

Thanks again !

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I feel more stable with a wider stance, most people do. A narrow stance really doesn't do all that much except that you can push your board into tighter radii with less work. A wider stance also makes it easier to drift turn the board, since you have more of a radius for putting torque on your board.

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Actually as you reduce your stance angles, canting becomes more important. Canting and lifting simply helps you achieve a setup that works with your body, making carving more comfortable, stable, and giving you greater range of motion. Additionally, it allows you to use a wider stance comfortably. Wider is better, because it increases balance, but if you go too wide, you can be limiting your mobility. I have a 30" (76.2cm) inseam and I use a 19.25" (about 49cm) stance width.

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A wider stance with canting is the equivalent of a narrower stance without. I usually ride 60-60 with no canting and a 18" stance. Last winter, I tried a 20' stance with same angles and 7 degrees front and rear (with 2 Burton cants). The feeling was quite similar (knees approximately same distance appart), but it felt a little wide for a 166 cm board and it did not feel as agressive as the flat stance. I tried others things, but kept coming back to my old stance. So now I prefer to work my technique more than my stance.

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Hi John

One possible indicator that your stance is too wide is your thighs will really burn out quickly. A narrow stance may cause you to feel like you are always falling backwards.

Here are two tips I picked up from forum members that should help you to get a good guess-ta-mation for a comfortable stance width for your body type:

1) Decimal 6 x your leg inseam=stance width

2) Your height divided by 3.5=stance width

Check out this thread regarding stance width as well.

http://www.extremecarving.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1025&start=0

You mentioned you are playing around with wider boards and lower angles, so another thing to consider with regards to the amount of cant you may or may not need. Try this ... Roll up two towels and put them under the tip and tail of your board when setting up your binding stance width etc. (in the house). The towels simulate the natural canting a board gives as it bends when you are carving a turn on the snow. The bending board combines with the natural medial/lateral flex in your boot/binding interface, when using lower angles. Board flex and lateral movement work together as you carve a turn, this may affect your need for cants.

Rob

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Hi John

Don’t believe anything you have heard from that crew:D

As far as moving to a wider board and lower angles, I have been riding this way forever, so I really didn’t make any changes because of the wider board.

I ride without any cants or lifts, flat front and back. I have been riding this way since trying and liking the Extreme sites recommendations.

Getting new bindings and boots, both stiffer, and using a flat set up did affected my stance width; less medial/lateral movement. I tried a VERY wide stance at first, burning legs, trial and error and the .6 and 3.5 tips eventually helped me to find my personal sweet spot for width.

You also stated that your stance angles are 60 and 57. You might want to experiment with a larger (ie - 5 to 8 degree) range between your preferred angles. You may like the feeling of support, on a wider board with moderate angles, when pushing off the rear foot to rotating your upper body. No givens here though, just something to try.

Hope this helps a bit

Rob

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Hi D-Sub

This refers to a couple of tips I picked up from reading the Bomber and the EC sites.

They seem to be a good way to get a close approximation for a stance width for a given body type. Start here then finish up with trial and error on the mountain.

1) Decimal 6 x your leg inseam=stance width

2) Your height divided by 3.5=stance width

Look back two posts, in this thread, for a link as well.

Rob

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something i haven't thought of in my own riding. i haven't even measured.

but, i have seen changes in my stance width, canting, binding angles.... and this is what i believe (which means it is probably wrong. but it makes sense to me).

stance width, coupled with binding angles and canting, is a matter of biomechanics, riding style/needs, and comfort. as in, if you ever need to be able to twist the board (a lot) in order to slide a little through a turn or initiate at lower speeds, then a wider stance, often wiht lower binding angles, may enable you to produce the greatest effective input from your legs. if you are blessed with areas that allow you to rail your turns all the time and you are able to forego using a lot of torsional flex (which is fun) most of the time, then a narrower stance, with higher edge angles, seems to be ideal for this.

think of stance width as indicating where you are actually controlling the board. narrower stances lend themselves to reliance on the board decambering due to the force exerted on it, pretty much in the center of the board. wider stances move your control out towards the tip and tail a bit more (well duh statement) which in turn offers greater leverage in twisting the board.

you could also view this as achieving differently shaped bases for riding. wide stances with lower binding angles can provide a more square stance while narrow stances at higher binding angles, with the knees close together offers a triangular shape. depending on need, the apex of each shape suggests the amount of stability offered in varying conditions.

canting can simply make this all feel more comfortable. yeah, snowboarders ride sideways, btu that doesn't excuse us all from having proper body alignment. and canting is one effective way to achieve "good" alignment of somewhat important body parts such as knees, ankles, hips.... even on the freestyle end of things there are people coming up with ways to offer canting. yeah, they're techy geeks, but what motivates their research aside from interest and free time, is a desire to achieve better body alignment in an effort to ride better and experience less stress on joints. afterall, if we're all busy hurling ourselves downhill quickly (or hucking off things), thus experiencing tremendous forces, aren't we already exposing our bodies to enough stress?

so really, find something that feels "comfy" to you. be ready to play with all aspects of the set up. see how it affects it. one other thing that i just realized is that, how much you opt to face forward will also affect all of this.

but yeah, everyone is different, and usually, everyone's setup varies a bit to suit their needs and desires. personally i have been riding boards of varying widths for the past 7 years. oops. whenever i setup a different board i start by aligning my toes and heels with the edges of the board while putting in a 6-12 degree difference between my two feet. one excellent point to consider, that was made on the other thread that you were referred to (i think), is that toe and heel alignment doesn't matter as much on an alpine setup as in softboots due to the static contact point of the binding. personally for me, i still align myself toe/heel because i need to slide and i find that this offers me the greatest "feel" for edge control while doing this. so my binding angles naturally vary due to this. also, the difference between the angles increases as the angles drop and the stance gets wider. it makes me feel more stable. also, as i widen my stance, i have to use canting.

so again, play with it and do not ever set yourself up for extreme discomfort. arguably the stance should feel natural.

and hey, i am curious what all you folks out there think. as in, how off am i? i enjoy the food for thought offered up in these threads and do wish to continue learning more seeing as how i am supposedly a source of information. and um, i don't completely ascribe to what AASI teaches for carving when it comes to hard boots. besides, i don't want to discourage the one student that i get every year.

happy riding to all you folks west of the mississippi. not that i'm envious or anything

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Stance width and canting should be looked at as different issues, you should set stance width based on comfort in combination with how your board works (a short board with a wide stance doesn't carve well, and a long board with a narrow stance is hard to control). Canting should be used to keep you body aligned ie put your hard boots on stand like you are on your board and bend your knees like you would when riding. Your feet don't stay flat. You want to cant your bindings so that when you bend you knees you will be standing in a natural positon with no imput going into your board, this gives you freedom to do what you want on top of your board without having to fight what your boady naturally wants to do.

Personally I'm 5' 10" and ride with a stance width of about 19.5". I couldn't imangine riding a stance as narrow at 17" without feeling like I was trying to walk on a tight rope.

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Hi Philfell

I think you make a very good point when you suggested that ‘your feet don’t stay flat’ when in a natural position, pondering this kind of stuff keeps me up nights:)

If you have a moment, try this.

Stand on your board, with moderate angles, and rotate your upper body so that your chest and hips are square to the tip of the your board as is done in a heel side push-pull turn. Indeed the back foot will tip off of the board. This would suggest that I need a 2 or 3 degree cant.

Next, stand on your board and rotate your shoulders until they are at least parallel with the tip and tail of the board, to simulate a toe side push-pull turn. Now my back boot is flat on the board, which would suggest I need to ride zero or flat on the board.

I have indeed tried both with and without cants with the stance width I prefer, the way this manifests itself on snow is a bent rear bail (standard bindings). Last year the TD2’s bent, the year before my TD1’s bent, in years past the bails of cheaper bindings would break.

In order to rotate your upper body, with low stance angles and hard boots, so that the shoulders are square to the nose of your board (like a racer) the hips, knees and ankles need to be able to move. This is where the leverage of a very stiff hard boot (medially and laterally) and softer metal bail equals bending.

As a side note, with a cant the bail bends towards the tail of the board, without a cant the bail bends in the opposite direction.

But ....

I am also a real slalom board fan. In the past I spent quite a bit of time on a Prior 161, riding 57F, 54R, 6 degree toe lift (no cant) back, 3 degree toe lift front (no cant). Very comfortable. Riding this way I did NOT ever bend or break a bail.

Perhaps we are talking apples and oranges with regards to canting because of the different techniques? This is why I think you and Bob give EXCELLENT advice, but maybe it doesn’t hold true for each technique.

As I press submit I am hoping not to start the style/flame thing going. I much prefer to hear other peoples ideas and beliefs on this very interesting topic as I learn each day I read the posts here.

Cheers

Rob

Check out this thread for more info on this topic.

http://www.extremecarving.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=916&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

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First of all, I want to say that alpinegirl (6 posts - must be new) seems to really know her shiz. It is refreshing to see a well thought out post that uses logic and not just "I do it this way and it feels good, so it must be right." - that seems to make it onto a lot of forums. Thanks alpinegirl.

(Of course there are other posts that are very well articulated, (Bob) but I am pointing this one out)

Philfell - (your posts have been good, too) What you said is good - but I disagree that a short board with a wide stance does not carve well. I am guessing that you mean that because your feet are not closer to the center you cannot decamber the board. Is that what you were referring to? (Assuming yes) Then the board does not carve well (as in the board's own performance) but the rider can make the board carve well - specifically with hard boots. This however forces the rider to bend the board with their own feet/legs/hips. That is why I was so glad that F2 came out with a longer SL board - my 63 was not long enough - my bindings were as wide as they would go. (I am 5' 18" ;) 225lb.) My point is, I think that we agree, but maybe a better way to say it would be "a short board with a wide stance takes more rider input for carving" ---?

RCrobar - I know that you do not want to start anything - and honestly, I do not either. The face the nose thing has been argued to death. The fact that your back foot tips off the board when you face the nose does not seem to be a reason to add a cant, it seems like a reason to find a "neutral" stance, or as Philfell put it, a natural stance and not face the nose. When you say "like a racer" I don't know if you mean a ski racer or what, but most SB racers are not really facing the nose anymore.(bad habit from the old ski days) You are right, though - some TECHNIQUES (specifically slalom) will look more like a face the nose stance.

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Hi Phil

Thanks for your thoughts, more to ponder.

Finding a neutral position has been a bit of a quest. When a cant is used, the heel side turn feels great, I guess you could say a perfect body position. The cant, however, makes the toe side feel like I’m fighting to move my knee to a spot that feels right.

I guess what I was getting at is that the natural position for heel side and toe side is not the same, because of the rotation and the lower stance angles.

Higher stance angles and a static upper body seems to make the natural/neutral position more symmetrical for heel and toe side.

My “like a racer” analogy is simply a poor choice of words. All I was really trying to do was create a mental picture of the upper body (shoulders and hips) facing forward at the end of the rotation. I was trying to illustrate how mellow angles and the twisting upper body leverages the bails on a heel side but not a toe side. I wasn’t trying to comment on race technique in any way, I am not qualified to do so.

I also appreciate your comments on keeping the peace, as I am only trying to improve .... oh yeah and have fun!

Rob

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Time to chime in.....

I think the fundamental issue people are trying to argue is "right v. wrong" which isn't really true.

Stance width and Cant can be talked about in the same sentence (I just did), but are two totally different animals. In a perject world, they serve two different purposes. But, when people start monkeying with their set-up to extremes, one must be used to compensate for the other. Ex: too wide of a stance would warrant one to cant for comfort purposes.

So, what effect does each have on the board? Why.....b/c I do all my rider analysis from the board up. If the board is reacting well, I don't care what is going on upstairs.

Pretend you're a board.

Width - Wider stance makes a board stiffer because there is less area on the ends of the board to flex. We can argue this point, but if you consider the board is not going to flex underneath the binding (I sure hope we can agree on that) there are 3 area where the board will flex....fore, aft and b/w the bindings. To that end, a narrow stance make a board softer. Go too wide and you're out of balance.....Go too narrow and you're out of balance. You need to find YOUR sweet spot. In addition, you can change your width to radically change the ride of the board. You might think a board sucks, when you simply aren't setting it up to get the best out of your riding.

Cant - Too much of a good thing is bad, very bad. Cants in skiing serve an entirely different issue that in snowboarding. In skiing, it's all about alignment and having a flat ski. In snowboarding.....cant and be coupled with lift, which makes the issue even more difficult to swallow. For definition purposes, lift is toe-heal rise/drop and cant is lateral movement. Once a boot is put into a "0" location, then you must look at where it moves in order to pressure, steer, angulation and edge the board. The biggest factor in cant is your lower leg alignment. Typically, people who pronate/subinate have all sort of cuff alignment/insole insoles that make the issue even more complicated. So....you can now cant the boot or cant the binding!

So, using the set-up and the best shredder on the hill isn't going to translate to a best set-up for you. It's just like buying golf clubs.....

As our friend Phil mentions, a large factor is where the boot is applying leveraged pressure both weighted and unweighted. Some would argue that canting is bad because it limits the amount you can "pinch" the board for tighter turns. Other use cant simply because it's more comfortable. Now we have a similiar issue to the age-old question of forward lean. Which again, is personal preference.....

Okay...it's hypocritical. There no common reason why people can't cant or do cant or might cant. Some do it for performance benefit based upon their own body issues....some do it to make them more comfy. Luckily, most bindings are adjustable enough to determine this for yourself.

But, I'd always start canting FLAT and then make the necessary adjustments. Otherwise you're tyring to cure a problem which may not exist.

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after reading advice from threads and articles last season. I decided to experiment with stance width for myself. Altered my setup which was working fine by the way. Went almost as wide as wide can go just to feel the max. I'm 6'1" with long legs.

Even without riding I could see adjustments in toe/heel lift and canting were going to be necessary.

The boots from heel to cuff had to be aimed to match hip width in a neutral position. With the aid of a pair of styrofoam pool noodles inserted to the heels of the boots I tweaked my Cateks to center myself and be comfortable over the board. Very happy with this setup from first run. That was February of last season and I rode that width til the snow was gone.

From board to board I also kept the same setup. have only tried it on my coilers 184,186 and a 172AM. and my ultraprime168 same angles,lift,cant and width

this did not work on my nitroGT177

Beyond greater balance I found the wide stance gave more feeling through a carve. By that I mean more of a separation of feeling between the initiation and completion of a carve. I can also feel the board flex between my feet. I don't think I'm forcing this dynamic flex just floating neutrally with it. Not sure what I'm saying makes sense. maybe someone else will put it in words and I'll agree.

my point is to try different widths but to keep the body alignment along with balance fore/aft and laterally in mind when you do. Try it and if you don't like it try again. Even if you try something you don't like you can take solace in knowing you won't try that again.

experiment and have fun. there is no singular formula that will work for all people on all boards. far too many variables

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Hi Kent

Sold.

The posts of the other forum members had me reevaluating my thoughts with regards to cants, Kent’s post sealed the deal. When you look at different boards, different body types, boot cants, binding cants, forward boot lean, different leg shapes and riding styles, I agree that canting is not related to a given technique. Find the neutral position as Philfell stated, regardless of style.

I do believe that the rotation (low angles) vs static upper body (high angles) techniques require a very different range of motion for the lower body. The rotation style seems to put much more demand laterally on the boots/bindings/bails, hence my bail bending issue. My error was trying to use cants to solve my boot-binding ‘range of motion’ problem.

Thanks again for your thoughts.

Rob

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To the other Phil, you're right when I said a wide stance on a short board will make the board so it won't carve well. Of course you can still carve the board. I was trying to make a relative point that each board has a sweet spot where your position on the board make for a balance between ease of control while still maintaining a board you can rail anywhere. Personally when I raced Sl, I had a slightly wider stance than on my G.S. set up, because I wanted to be able to put the board anywhere I wanted to in a turn and not be overly commited. I could still carve most of the course, but not as easy as I could with a narrower stance.

To RCrobar your thoughts about canting are right on if you ride with the fundamentals that you describe. As most people here know I don't advocate that way of rideing, but many do. I prefer to drive my board with imput from the core muscles of my body, the hips and legs, and not my shoulders. Your ideas are well thought out for the type of riding you do.

To Kent, I feel like such a moron not mentioning lift in my original post. I usually talk about cant and lift as one, because I use them in combination to seek proper alignment. But as you mentioned they are in fact different, but can be used either seperate or together. I'm surprised that no one else pointed that out. Thanks.

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Hi Philfell

I too am aware that my posts do not hide my preference for the rotational style of turning. I also hope that my posts reflect the deep respect that I have for both riding styles.

For me it is not a matter of advocating one style vs another. This could infer a ‘right vs wrong’ approach which, like canting, has too many variables involved to make such a blanket statement true.

I prefer to understand the common ground in the two styles, as I sincerely believe that the two styles are very close first cousins with many similarities.

An example of the similarities between the static vs rotating techniques could be your statement regarding ‘using the hips and legs (core muscles) to drive your turn.’ In fact the rotational style also uses the core muscles to drive a turn.

What do baseball, tennis, golf, ice hockey and snowboarding have in common? A baseball player swinging a bat, a tennis player doing a forehand ground stroke, a golfer swinging his driver or an ice hockey player taking a wrist/snap shot all use the same motion to generate power. Each sport uses the core muscles, legs and hips, combined with a rotational hip snap. These very different sports all share the same basic biomechanics.

Now compare the static vs rotational styles, again both use the core muscles. The main difference being that the rotation style utilizes the legs and hips in conjunction with the torso and a hip snap in the same way baseball, tennis, golf and ice hockey have. For snowboarding think of the rotation as a hip, leg, torso core muscle rotation with the shoulders being used as well.

The more I visit this forum the more I realize the learning and understanding never stops. Ideally we will learn about all styles, regardless of which one a person prefers.

Thanks

Rob

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hey all,

I like this thread. I checked out Coiler Bruce's canting article, and I'm bow legged, so the article says run one binding flat, one with negative canting. My legs are also tire sorta quickly. Which leg do you all recommend I negatively cant?

Also, I have 1 Burton Universal cant- basically a plastic piece of junk, but it's good while I learn. Anyway, seems like you cannot have just lift or cant (which goes up to 7 degrees i think) with this thing- can someone verify that?

Did Burton make other cants besides the universal cant? If no, do I have any other moderately priced options? (I'll get the real deal on my next board)

thx,

Barry

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If you only have one cant/lift device, I'd say negatively cant the rear leg. Ideally a bowlegged person would do both, but doing the rear leg will enable you to keep your rear knee under you in a toeside.

The Burton universal disc should be able to give you pure lift or pure cant or mostly lift and a tiny bit of cant, or many combinations. (but when it breaks, get some Bombers!)

-Jack

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