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Thanks to Sean over at Donek - Forward Lean Adjustment


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In the stance that you ride your snowboard, what do you want your knees and ankles to be able to do?

Try standing in bare feet on a flat floor in your snowboard stance and observe how your legs move as you make snowboarding movements.

If there was no ankle movement in a boot then all the movements of your leg for shock absorption, moving your centre of mass up and down for edge weighting and unweighting, and turn initiation would have to come from your knees and hips. 

If you feel you ride more across the board, certainly 45 degrees or less, then your ankles and knees move differently than if you ride higher angles and aligned more along the board.

Aligned along the board, as you move your COM up and down to absorb shocks and to weight/unweight the board while ideally remaining roughly centered over the edge, your front lower leg moves through a much smaller angle than your rear, and will start in the at rest, uncompressed, position relatively close to vertical. Your rear leg starts off angled forward and moves through a considerable range further forward.

From that it follows that your starting position should have the front cuff near vertical when mounted in the binding, while the rear should be angled further forward. Use a spring system to adjust how much resistance there is to movement away from that starting position. Alternatively softer/harder shells and tongues can be used to produce the same effect but perhaps with less easy adjustability.

I ride at 65F, 60R and don't ride with an across board style. Others here who ride across the board may be able to give insight as to how both their legs move as they ride and turn, and what starting position and range of movement is useful/desirable.



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I'm riding 40/35, so more "across" than most. My rationale for lean is...

  1. If my front boot isn't relatively upright, I find it hard to pressure the front edge of the board. I typically have the front boot in the most upright setting I can get. I've found no boots in which I can over-do that.
  2. My rear boot I want fully leant-forward.

    If the lean isn't enough (eg Atomic Backlands with the stock levers, max lean setting), then the back of the board feels a bit odd. It's hard to explain, but I have to put some extra back-leg effort into keeping the board on the snow, something like that. I've some Iceland video of me riding garbage snow with stock levers and my board "stutters" a lot over the snow, which isn't normal.

    I use the Phantom levers to get the lean I want, which is the maximum they allow, and it's about twice as much as you can get from the stock levers.

Any boot ramp or toe/heel lift will likely affect that. I'm riding with 1° front toe lift and 3° rear heel lift on the Backlands. With other boots I've ridden Flat; it all depends.

Whatever, I'd say that's pretty much the same physics as the higher angles discussed above. Steeper angles make boards feel different, but I don't think they affect the basic "fighting stance" thing, if that makes sense.

Here you go... this is probably a bit of a "hockey stop" type turn as I'm probably doing that "one big turn" thing for the photographer, but you can see the stance in use and the back leg lean at least. I double checked the angles - the above numbers are correct. bear in mind this is a very wide shot. I think I'm breaking hard on the rear foot to chuck up spray and rotating the upper body (and front leg to some extent) to crank left on the rebound.


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13 hours ago, SunSurfer said:

@mtraczlake sure you check out the rest of his Quick Tip videos.

@SunSurferI have, and they have been a huge help! Thank you for the reminder to dig back into them. BTW - I have a Donek Voyager with Secret construction in their build queue. My last build was in 2005, I can't wait to see what they are up to these days!!!


And I really dig the responses to this thread! I'm glad it pulled a string and we are benefitting from a view into everyone's setups!


Edited by mtracz
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Because of our body mechanics if both leans were set the same … you would not be able to exert equal pressure along the heel edge for the same amount of board tilt. The back foot would require real contorting of the body to try to equalize heel edge pressure.

More forward lean on the rear can help equalize the edge pressure front to back  and this subsequently reduces chatter on your heel  edge and prevents washout on the heelside , it also can prevent spin out

So even if you’re riding lower stance  angle  in soft boots- you’ll notice if you angulate towards the heelside that your front soft boot Will engage the high back much earlier than your rear soft boot if your forward lean is equal.

When  I first started snowboarding I just assumed you wanted more front lean to help with early hillside engagement so your COM wouldn’t end up too far away from the heel  edge. But  pretty soon I noticed that spin out would occur shortly  after crossing the fall line .  More rear forward lean helps to fix that.



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On 1/24/2023 at 7:35 PM, ShortcutToMoncton said:

On this topic, then……do others typically use more front lean on the rear boot than the front? 

In soft boots on flow Nx2 bindings, I use all the forward lean they offer. Stance angles vary for me from 36/24 down to 24/12. My body likes 12* of splay. But lately my back leg/calf is feeling a bit tight. Bring some variety to Aspen tomorrow through Monday. Looking forward to seeing you sun surfer and JG! Been too long. 

Edited by slopestar
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