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Topic ClosedBinding Angles (Park Riders Must Read)

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Ruberduky9 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Binding Angles (Park Riders Must Read)
    Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 8:10am
I have been a certified snowboard Instructor over the last few years in Northern, CA and every year at the beginning of the season we have our knees and ankles scanned for insurance purposes. After they do this they always give us a copy of a study done that explains that having a difference in binding angles of 30 or more degrees increases your chance of a knee injury during a fall by 300%. That already drastic angle different puts a huge amount of stress on the ligaments and tendons found in the knee and that coupled with a wider stance puts a huge amount of stress on the ligaments and tendons of your knee making them much more susceptible to injury. I know for a fact many par riders ride with huge wide stances and ridiculous angles on their bindings like plus 20-negative 20. That type of angle does not help your riding what so ever and can lead to injuries.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 8:19am
So like 19/-19 would be ok?
 
 
Jesus.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 8:27am
Interesting. I think a huge factor in it though has got to be the individuals body and how flexible they are. Flexibility is a huge factor in injuries relating to muscles, joints, ligaments, etc. I myself am very flexible and standing 6' 4" tall. I rock a stance between 25.5 and 26 inches with binding angles or 21/-21 and feel very comfortable. Not stretched out by any means and the angles feel very natural. Personally i feel more uncomfortable with a narrower stance and angles. I find if i reduce my angles i feel more pressure in in my knees and hips and that is not a feeling i want when riding.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 8:42am
Thats crazy that you guys have MRI scans as just a check up before every season. I just got an MRI and it cost me a pretty penny, you guys must have great insurance! Now when we talk about injuries in a park, if you just simply lose it on a jump/jib, i don't think it matters what the width or degree of your stance is, you're just gonna eat it. But if we're talking about absorption of landings, i agree with scorer099, a wider stance will definitely allow my legs to absorb an over shot jump better than a narrower stance. But i do see some ridiculously wide stances on the slopes and I can imagine the un-needed stress its causing on the knee. But honestly, i don't think 20/-20 is too detrimental to the knee, I would imagine the wider stance to be more of a potential threat. Any doctors/physical therapists want to chime in?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 8:42am
I dont really think +/- 20/20  is that bad... 30 maybe, but not the low 20's

and like JR said, height will factor in for those who are much taller, they can get away with a bigger stance. The sport itself is not very knee friendly to begin with though. It's pretty easy to damage your knees even with a tiny stance and low angles.

interesting that they scan you for insurance reasons though. What hills do they do this at?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 8:46am
I recently just changed my stance to +15, but that's cause I already had bad knees to begin with. Also, the wider your stance, the narrower the angles should be.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 8:56am
Yeah I too prefer +15 for my bindings. Feels a lot more comfortable to ride anyways and isn't such a leg workout, allowing me to ride much longer.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 8:58am
anything over 15 makes my legs cramp and I am 6ft.  I find it really uncomfortable for anything over that.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 8:59am
We don't all receive MRI's for our knee scans, I work at Dodge Ridge in Pinecrest, CA. They hook our knees up individually to a machine that flexes our knee in all directions almost to the point of hurting us and its testing the strength and flex or the ligaments in our knee. They take down these numbers because if they already know for example that my left knee is at 50% then if I injury it they will only repair it up to 50% not 100%, kind of an easy way out for insurance.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 9:01am
Any difference of 30 degrees or more is what the study says, you can certainly ride whatever you want but I'm just letting you guys know.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 10:01am
I graduated with a degree in exercise science, and although this doesn't make me an orthopedic surgeon or an expert by any means, I believe that what the study is trying to explain is that the human knee is meant to bend and function in one direction only, by spreading the stress (more or less) evenly throughout all the ligaments in your knee.  When your bindings are placed at a wider angle it has a tendency to put more of the stress of supporting knee movement on fewer tendons, and that means more work is being done by those tendons. 

I'm guessing that the study probably isn't commenting on what may or may not be comfortable or feel better to individual riders, its just saying that the more the angle you have on your bindings, the less evenly distributed the strain on your ligaments is, and the more likely your chance of injury to those same ligaments that are bearing more of the stress. 

It makes perfect sense if you think about it.  Any of you ever seen someone dislocate a knee, or tear an MCL or ACL?  It almost ALWAYS happens when strain is put on the side of a knee, forcing it to bend while putting all the strain on either the inside or outside of the knee.  The same principle applies if your bindings angle is set really wide because the duck stance tends to force your knees to bend slightly sideways, instead of straight front to back.  The sideways motion will put more strain on your ligaments, which over time or in a crash will be more likely to cause injury.

The point is that the more extreme your angle, the more pressure you force your ligaments to deal with.  If you are more comfortable with a really wide-angle stance all it means is that you probably have more flexible ligaments and knees than other people, and in the long run, you might be more likely to have a knee injury as a result. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 10:12am
Originally posted by jeffalmonte89

I recently just changed my stance to +15, but that's cause I already had bad knees to begin with. Also, the wider your stance, the narrower the angles should be.

Based on what, exactly? I find that once you pass shoulder width, it's actually more ergonomic to rotate your angles out. That's based on comfort more than anything, so I'm not sure if there's a "medical" reason you say that. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 10:52am
Originally posted by jeffalmonte89

I recently just changed my stance to +15, but that's cause I already had bad knees to begin with. Also, the wider your stance, the narrower the angles should be.


This makes no sense once so ever. Stand up out of your chair and stand feet together with feet straight forward (0,0 for our purposes). Now start spreading your stance wider trying to keep your feet at 0,0. Once you get to a certain point with feet at 0,0 you start feeling pressure in your knees and hip flexors. Now start over and as you widen let your feet and legs naturally rotate outwards relieving stress from your knees and hips. Now once you rotate your feet too much you'll start feeling the pressure on your knees again. This is the nature of the human body. If any claim relating to stance width and angles could be make it should be the wider your stance the wider your angles should be because that is the nature of human body. The REAL claim relating the two should be pick your stance width and angles based on what feels best to each individual without putting added pressure on one's body.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 10:59am
Everyone should man their stance out like me.  I'm at 25 inches &   +18/-18 - it's probably why i crush the park so hard. 

JUST HUCK IT.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 11:01am
Originally posted by mattaleao



JUST HUCK IT.





I'm just here to look cool...

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 11:09am
Originally posted by Scorer099

Originally posted by jeffalmonte89

I recently just changed my stance to +15, but that's cause I already had bad knees to begin with. Also, the wider your stance, the narrower the angles should be.


This makes no sense once so ever. Stand up out of your chair and stand feet together with feet straight forward (0,0 for our purposes). Now start spreading your stance wider trying to keep your feet at 0,0. Once you get to a certain point with feet at 0,0 you start feeling pressure in your knees and hip flexors. Now start over and as you widen let your feet and legs naturally rotate outwards relieving stress from your knees and hips. Now once you rotate your feet too much you'll start feeling the pressure on your knees again. This is the nature of the human body. If any claim relating to stance width and angles could be make it should be the wider your stance the wider your angles should be because that is the nature of human body. The REAL claim relating the two should be pick your stance width and angles based on what feels best to each individual without putting added pressure on one's body.

Pretty much what I wanted to say. I was just too lazy to type that much... 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 11:10am
geez... I'm still trying to choose what bindings to buy! Not even thought of changing angles yet... All I know is I used to play basketball til I found my real hobby so my knees are already screwed!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 11:48am
Completely and utterly disagree..... every person has a natural position you feet like to sit...... some people stand and walk pigeon toed and some stand and walk super ducked out (if you are naturally pigeon toed you might have issues at anything over 10degrees different) ..... There is no medical reasoning behind that study and I would be surprised if it's real..... if you can get a link to the research post it up I would love to read it.  I could see there being issues with really wide stances and injuries, but binding angles come on......... 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 12:26pm
i ride 39/-39
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 12:29pm
Originally posted by spenser

i ride 39/-39

Shit, you AK riders are so effing progressive.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 12:53pm
That's totally duck feet Spenser.  Personally, the most I have ever done has been 15.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 1:01pm
I ride 15/-12
Gnu B Pro 152 BTX w/ Union Milan bindings
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 2:23pm
im kidding, i ride 18/-12 normally, or 24/-6 on my pow boards
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 2:44pm
Originally posted by spenser

im kidding, i ride 18/-12 normally, or 24/-6 on my pow boards
you weren't really kidding. It's OK if pigeon toe is your preference.

Originally posted by Jerry

SUPER LONG POST REMOVED ^ see above
do you think that riding over many years would not strength those areas??? is that possible with tendons?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 2:45pm
y you guys so extreme? l'm just at 5/-5. just my normal stance more or less l would say
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 7:16pm
I personally ride +15/-9, im thinking of switching to 15/-12 or 18/-12. I still have problem adjusting the stance. From my knee cap to my feet is about 21 inches, I set my stance at around 21. Does that sound right?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 7:19pm
Originally posted by ShredbettyZoe

Originally posted by spenser

im kidding, i ride 18/-12 normally, or 24/-6 on my pow boards
you weren't really kidding. It's OK if pigeon toe is your preference.

39/-39 isnt pigeon toed, its still duck.. just extreme duck

[insert demotivational of duck riding shark holding tommy gun smoking meth]
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 7:20pm
Originally posted by keljai

y you guys so extreme? l'm just at 5/-5. just my normal stance more or less l would say
its all preference.  on average though 5/-5 is very mellow, almost straight.  also, unless you have burton EST bindings on a burton ICS board, you dont have 5 degree angles.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 7:24pm
Originally posted by spenser

Originally posted by keljai

y you guys so extreme? l'm just at 5/-5. just my normal stance more or less l would say
its all preference.  on average though 5/-5 is very mellow, almost straight.  also, unless you have burton EST bindings on a burton ICS board, you dont have 5 degree angles.


I'll bet he is actually at 15/-15.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 8:27pm
Damn I never thought of that. My knees are pretty bad, so I'll keep that in mind. Thanks
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 10:40pm
Definitely a great thread. I can't even tell you exactly what kind of stance I have because I adjust it slightly every once in a while. My board is in another house but atm I think it's something around +10-20 and -10-15.
My normal stance when I was only riding pow was +15-20 +0-5. But I didn't feel comfortable. I think a slight duck stance is perfect. No +30 - 30 but for every average rider at least a +10 -10 should do the job. At least as a basis.
There is no sense in an extreme duckstance because you can't rotate that great. But looking at the stance race-board-riders have...I don't think that this is natural neither.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 11:15pm
wow, nvr know insurance company would do that.

I've nvr go > 30degree diff. 15/-15 for park, 18/-6 for All mt ride.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/04/2010 at 11:36pm
Do you think the cant beds on the new rome 390 bosses would have any effect (even if small) on impact, strain ect?
Just a thought...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 3:28am
Can the OP give us a link to this study or post it? I am at +15/-15 which is common and right at the claimed 30 degree limit. I would like to see a plot of knee injury increase vs. angle difference. Is it much better to drop to +12/-12 or +15/-12?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 4:03am
is there any way to get your mounts measured and properly set for free?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 12:36pm
My knees hurt more at 15, -15. I'm naturally more duckfooted, but appreciate the info and thanks for the post!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 12:54pm
i ride 12/-12 and im very comfortable with my stance, although i really want to experiment
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 12:57pm
I ride 90/-90 goofy.  Now wrap your mind around that one.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 1:29pm
i could see y 30 could cause injury! thats banged out to super duck footed. luckily the max ill angle my bindings is 18ish.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 1:41pm
wow and i thought over 20 was alot. i ride +- 12
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 1:43pm
i ride 18, -15. is that bad?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 1:45pm
Yes, anything more than 30 degrees puts a huge amount of stress on your knees.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 1:47pm
My resort orientation for the coming Winter is November 20th. They will be doing our knee exams then and hopefully reviewing that study with us again. I will see if I can get a copy of it or if it is posted online anywhere for everyone too see.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 1:49pm
The study is given to us by the snowboard resort i work at, which is Dodge Ridge and was sponsored by the PSIA so I assure you that it is real.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 4:16pm
Originally posted by Ruberduky9

Yes, anything more than 30 degrees puts a huge amount of stress on your knees.

Not everyone........ come on man don't spread lies...... also just because they are doing a study doesn't mean it is true.......

Hey, I am doing a study about growing money on trees.... must be true...... oh wait hypothesis rejected. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 5:34pm
Here's about the closest thing I could find to a study on binding angles:

The Effect Of Binding Stance Position Upon Foot And Ankle Joint Motion During 

Snowboarding. 

 

Greg Woolman, Dip Pod, Dip Sports Med, MHSc, Peter McNair, Ph D,  

School of Physiotherapy, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand 

 

Author contact sportspod@xtra.co.nz 

 

Introduction 

The effect of snowboarding stance position upon the kinematics of the foot and ankle are largely unknown 

despite the significant stance variations available. Stance set-up would seem more of an art than a science 

and is based upon the type of snowboarding a rider prefers as well as their own anatomical variables. Earlier 

research has already highlighted excessive values of foot eversion and external ankle rotation during 

snowboarding.  Three different stance positions were compared with the hypothesis that a neutral stance 

position would cause more foot eversion and ankle external rotation than more open stance positions.  

 

Methods 

Eleven experienced snowboarders performed a series of linked turns on an indoor slalom course. Each subject 

performed two trials using 3 different stance positions – neutral (0°, 0°), alpine (21°, 6°), and duck (18°, 18°) 

angles of the front and back feet respectively. New identical boots were provided for each subject. A Polhemus 

Patriot® system was used to measure ankle joint motion in 3-D of the front foot. This system was made portable 

with the transmitter mounted to the snowboard and each rider wearing a backpack containing a battery, 

motion capture unit, and laptop computer. ANOVA was used to explore the effects of boot type on the 

variables measured.   

 

Results 

The mean ranges of motion for various foot and ankle angles across subjects and turns are shown in Table 1.  

With the exception of foot eversion statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) were recorded for all other 

variables. The greatest differences were highlighted for the alpine stance (21°, 6°) with this position recording 

higher values for ankle external rotation, ankle eversion, and ankle flexion compared to either neutral or duck 

stance positions. Alpine stance recorded more than twice the amount of external rotation than the other 

stance positions. 

 

Table 1: Foot and Ankle Ranges of Motion (means) 

 

Stance 

position 

   Ankle 

Flexion  

Std 

Error 

Ankle 

Extension  

Std 

Error 

Ankle 

Eversion  

Std 

Error 

Ankle 

Inversion  

Std 

Error 

Neutral 14.70 º  .652 -5.90 º .751 -9.10 º .472 2.44 º .627 

Alpine 17.61 º .652 -2.89 º .751 -12.12 º .472 -0.21 º .627 

Duck 15.84 º .652 -3.90 º .751 -10.17 º .472 1.94 º .627 

 

Stance 

position 

Ankle 

Int Rot  

Std 

Error 

Ankle 

Ext Rot  

Std 

Error 

Foot 

Inversion  

Std 

Error 

Foot 

Eversion 

Std 

Error 

Neutral 5.06 º .541 -5.60 º .539 -1.74 º .317 -8.96 º .431 

Alpine 1.32 ° .541 -11.58 º .539 -2.33 º .317 -9.42 º .431 

Duck 5.60 º .541 -5.60 º .539 -1.86 º .317 -9.51 º .431 

 

Conclusions 

There are statistically significant differences between stance positions. The results support our earlier findings on 

foot and ankle motion during snowboarding, however were contrary to our hypothesis that the neutral stance 

position would allow more ankle external rotation. Compared to the neutral and duck stance positions the 

slalom stance (with the front foot angled more toward the tip of the board) does allow for more rotational 

motion particularly external ankle rotation.  Ankle flexion angles for the front foot were lower than expected 

however foot eversion was greater than expected for all three conditions despite not being statistically 

significant. It would appear that the foot maintained this pronated position throughout all of the trials. When 

considering flexion, eversion, and external rotation movements that have been implicated in ankle injuries in 

snowboarding, it would appear that the more commonly adopted slalom stance position may in fact 

predispose to ankle injuries. Further research is required in testing stance positions during more extreme 

snowboarding. 



(chart formatting is screwed up in copy/paste. Oh well)
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fostpaint View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 5:42pm
Meh, crappy formatting. Original, along with an assload more studies for winter sports nerds or future medical professionals, can be found here:


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 6:26pm
I will post the information when I get it the first week of work this season, or find out where I can get a copy online.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 6:27pm
Thank you Jerry, very well put.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/05/2010 at 6:50pm
i think the study result seems pretty reasonable but, why not talk about more realistic angles that cause problems,
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