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jmsnowboarder View Drop Down
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  Quote jmsnowboarder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Stance Width
    Posted: Jan/05/2013 at 9:47pm
Today i was out at a friends house, and we had an arguement about stance width. Basically I am a jump guy, and he is a jibs guy. He has a small width stance, but i have a stance as wide as i can get. The more i thought about it, the more i realized that we might actually be opposite of what we should be.

Any thoughts? And how big are your guys' stances?
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  Quote humblerooster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/05/2013 at 10:25pm
I like all park, Jumps, Rails, Boxes. And I have my stance as wide as I can go. I ride a 151 and the biggest width feels great.
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  Quote SLUSHIE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/05/2013 at 11:33pm
The best stance is whatever feels good to you.

I put my stance at the reference points on my board and it felt normal so that's where I kept it.
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  Quote dvdngu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/05/2013 at 11:43pm
i think its preference. I was told to start at around shoulder width or at the reference points and as you get better, move it to what feels most comfortable for you.
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  Quote spenser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/06/2013 at 12:15am
rode 24-25" for a while because I thought things felt more stable when my legs were further apart.  in retrospect, I remember I  felt a little hindered movement-wise, with certain grabs for example.

after getting into cruiser skateboarding (zigzaggers, etc.) and also seeing the trend toward narrower stances again and what it seemed to do for so many people, and how natural it looks, I gave it a try and it worked.

in retrospect again, I was riding softer boots back then and they didn't hold my feet quite as well as my current ones, so I think I was compensating for that lesser support with a wider stance.. maybe.  with stiffer boots, I feel stable and locked in, and the narrower stance (went down to 23" two years ago, and have been riding 21" for the last two years) feels much more natural and relaxed.  carving has never felt better, and the grabby tweakage factor has as increased at least 1000%.  I also started using forward lean a few years ago on a thick pow day.  it did wonders for my response and overall control, so that gave me even more support.

lately I've been over thinking as usual about my stance, what works, what seems to not work at times, so on and so forth.  it probably doesn't really matter.  I just like to snowslide, and realistically I just enjoy trying out different things, rather than having the exact same feel every day.  I suppose I wish it were like cruiser skateboards, though, in that I like what I like and have been riding the exact same style for probably 5 years and still love it.
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  Quote mj2delmenico Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/06/2013 at 1:43am
I had a wide stance and when I was taking a course to become a casual instructor my own instructor made me take my stance in closer. She trains professional snowboarders so I respected her opinion and have kept my stance at that width
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  Quote LaNieve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/06/2013 at 1:46am
I think theoretically, youre right. Like if youre jibbing, you might feel more comfortable with wide stance because you can control the direction of the board with less effort. When youre ollieing to get onto a rail etc wide stance would make it easier to get the board popping.

If youre hitting jumps, you probably wouldnt want to have your stance too wide because it could throw you off balance when landing etc...

But like the other peeps have said, its probably also largely affected by preference, riding style and the rider's physique...
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  Quote sdwc96 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/06/2013 at 4:28am
Like spenser i too had a wider width because it was recommended to me. But i felt limited in my movement. Especially since my knees were already forced out it made absorbing landings a little more difficult. I dialed it in 2" and it just feels so much more comfortable. Whenever i recommend a stance to someone i go off their shoulder width and play around from there until they find something comfy and natural.
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  Quote Lux Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/06/2013 at 5:16am
I find that stance width is largely preferential. My stance width is wide (60+ cm) from years of sports and physical activity that have conditioned me to lower my centre of gravity with my feet further apart... Wushu has been my single biggest influence on that.

There has always been debate over stance width: too narrow and you will be flailing your upper torso in an attempt to torque your body to turn; too wide and you'll be in a constantly stressed posture and easily fatigued. People with stance too narrow often stand very upright and have pain in their knees and ankles from shocks because the joints can't articulate to absorb it. Riders with very wide stance can get joint pain in their lower back, knees, and calves since their posture is pulled downward in a crouch-like position for extended periods. You have to find your own preference in between that is, above all, comfortable on your body.

I, too, was taught to ride narrow stances and I did so for many years and I always felt prone to toppling over until more recently when I stretched my feet apart and never looked back.
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  Quote mbesp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/06/2013 at 5:37am
I rode without thinking about it for a long time. My stance was always pretty narrow. The first time I thought about it I realized I wasn't getting much for knee bend so I widened the stance way out just to try. It did help but wasn't comfortable so I moved it in a little and have stuck with that since.    Really, like has already been said, stance has to be decided by what works for you.   try some new stuff out if you think your stance isn't working and you'll know if it is better or worse.
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  Quote haiv143 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/06/2013 at 6:11am
I never thought about this. I've always set my bindings at the reference point or couple of inches wider than my shoulders and it felt natural to me. Also I don't go in the park so that my have explained it. Carving, linking turns, and riding powder seems effortless. I might try experimenting with my stance now that I have EST bindings since it's just a bit easier to do.
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  Quote chillman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/06/2013 at 6:33am

Before I cared I rode a very narrow stance. My buddies persuaded me to widen it out. I am not at 22" and feel comfortable with it.

There isn't a right answer, narrower will allow you to spin faster but it will be harder to stop your spins and vice versa, tis all personal preference.  

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  Quote spenser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/06/2013 at 6:47am
Originally posted by LaNieve

I think theoretically, youre right. Like if youre jibbing, you might feel more comfortable with wide stance because you can control the direction of the board with less effort. When youre ollieing to get onto a rail etc wide stance would make it easier to get the board popping.

If youre hitting jumps, you probably wouldnt want to have your stance too wide because it could throw you off balance when landing etc...

But like the other peeps have said, its probably also largely affected by preference, riding style and the rider's physique...
not trying to be "that guy," but this is the exact opposite of what most would agree with.  the reason people are so wild at jibbing now is because of narrower stances.  I am a huge advocate for preference, but you can pretty much say that one with certainty, and you can tell, in comparison, those who are still rocking wide stances almost always tend to seem more restricted and awkward, at least in my opinion.  all those maneuvers are easier without a wider stance... presses, ollies, etc.  I think a lot of it is just the ease of moving your legs around and tweaking stuff that comes with less width, similar to skateboarding.  and for jumps, it depends, but many would say a wider stance helps you stomp landings easier.  that one is really up in the air though.
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  Quote Blur510 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/06/2013 at 8:56am
Originally posted by SLUSHIE

The best stance is whatever feels good to you.

I put my stance at the reference points on my board and it felt normal so that's where I kept it.

that is exactly where mine is set, on all my boards. 153-156 boards. 
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  Quote 2zz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/06/2013 at 9:20am
Yup you guys are. But is also preference. Theoretically, is better to jump with longer legs (narrower stance). Wider stance will help with jibs for better control and feel of tip/tail.
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  Quote Angry Midget Yo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/06/2013 at 10:25am
I tried a wide stance but it didn't feel too good and was hard to move so I went back down, but maybe I just needed to play around with my angles too.  LOL
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  Quote fj5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/06/2013 at 10:43am
I'm 5'8" and ride 154/155/157 and my stance is roughly 23-24"... usually one notch less than the widest on my 4 hole boards.  I started much narrower as it makes for much easier turning but as I progressed, I found I much preferred the lower ride and gives me much better stability for jumps and stomping landings.  These days I find my knees are starting to feel it more so I'd love to get some bindings with canting (cantbeds).

FWIW, Seb Touts is 5'7" with a 25" stance.  He's like one of if not the best in the world at slope style.

EDIT:  Forgot to say that as you go wider, turning does get noticeably harder.  But with practice, you can adjust fairly quickly.
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  Quote jhoang6 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/06/2013 at 10:53am
I've got an in seam of 30" and I ride at a width of about 23-23.5"  still playing around with the stance, but I don't go out nearly enough in a season to compare stances.. So far with my current stance carving is comfortable but I'm still trying to load my tail and having trouble with it.  Some were telling me to go for a wider stance so I might bump it out a notch. Also considering changing the angles 
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  Quote spenser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/06/2013 at 12:46pm
Originally posted by 2zz

Yup you guys are. But is also preference. Theoretically, is better to jump with longer legs (narrower stance). Wider stance will help with jibs for better control and feel of tip/tail.
I guess we just disagree on this.  a narrower stance allows you to manipulate the board easier, not only because of the mellow feel on your legs, but because when your tips are longer, you can bring out more of the board's flex if that makes sense.. a longer portion can bend more than a shorter portion.  it's also easier to hold a press without a wide stance, as well as snapping quick ollies like a skateboard, etc.  it's interesting to me to hear people say they think a wider stance makes all that easier, because it's super apparent to me personally that I have a much easier time with it when my stance is mellow, and you also have all the current crazy jibbers as evidence.  just a few years ago when many of the same pros were riding wider stances, you can see the restriction it put on them, as good as they still were.. and with stances coming in a bit, it's like it unlocks cheat codes or something.

anyway, I don't mean to imply that anyone is "wrong," since it's not a matter of right or wrong, but rather simple preference.. it's just interesting to hear these differences I guess
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  Quote LaNieve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/06/2013 at 1:33pm
Originally posted by spenser



Originally posted by 2zz

Yup you guys are. But is also preference. Theoretically, is better to jump with longer legs (narrower stance). Wider stance will help with jibs for better control and feel of tip/tail.

I guess we just disagree on this.  a narrower stance allows you to manipulate the board easier, not only because of the mellow feel on your legs, but because when your tips are longer, you can bring out more of the board's flex if that makes sense.. a longer portion can bend more than a shorter portion.  it's also easier to hold a press without a wide stance, as well as snapping quick ollies like a skateboard, etc.  it's interesting to me to hear people say they think a wider stance makes all that easier, because it's super apparent to me personally that I have a much easier time with it when my stance is mellow, and you also have all the current crazy jibbers as evidence.  just a few years ago when many of the same pros were riding wider stances, you can see the restriction it put on them, as good as they still were.. and with stances coming in a bit, it's like it unlocks cheat codes or something.
anyway, I don't mean to imply that anyone is "wrong," since it's not a matter of right or wrong, but rather simple preference.. it's just interesting to hear these differences I guess



I can definitely see where youre coming from Spenser
I think youre focusing on the use of narrow stance making it easy to make most of the pop in the tail and nose, which makes sense
I think we who think wider stance is better for jibbing may be focusing more on the bending of the board between the bindings, like when youre ollieing onto a rail or a box

From my knowledge, there are two different ways of ollieing-
1- shifting your body weight towards the back and pressing the tail while lifting the nose and then using the pop of the tail to lift off the ground
2- keeping your body perpendicular to the angle of the slope and lifting your front leg while pushing your back leg down onto the ground- similar to ollieing on a skateboard

Different people use different methods.. If you ollie'd like #1, your stance width would be more practical, while if you did it like #2, it would be easier with a wider stance.
I dont think anyones wrong, just all different, everyone to their own

I like these healthy discussions, you learn so much more about different styles and possibilities you can experiment with
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  Quote steezemisterr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/06/2013 at 5:35pm
I keep my stance pretty wide. The second widest my board can go. I like it because I have a lot of board to work with for jibs to keep balance but its not too wide to make it uncomfortable on jumps. I also have the wedgie foot beds on my bindings which supposedly make wider stances more comfortable. Ive only ridden them twice though so im not sure just how much it helps yet.
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  Quote 2zz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/07/2013 at 2:21pm
I like this thread. Appreciate all the inputs here. 

^spenser
I'm definitely going to try narrower stance next couple...maybe few times to see how it rides and get a feel of what you're talking about. Just curious and I might like it. 

I think it might also have to do with using different muscle groups as well.
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  Quote shwazy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/07/2013 at 2:37pm
hmmm...I have been under the impression that wider stances helps with buttering and presses. I have been using around 24 for the last couple of years but brought it to 23 over just this last weekend. I am really going to play with to extremes on my next trip and see how things play out.
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  Quote spenser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/07/2013 at 3:02pm
I don't know why people think that, if you think about it.  it's more like skate-position with a less wide stance (still not as narrow as when you're skating, though).. allows you to move around easier, and like I said, it's definitely easier to manipulate your board's flex without a wide stance, especially with presses.
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  Quote Lux Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/07/2013 at 3:25pm
Originally posted by spenser

I don't know why people think that, if you think about it.  it's more like skate-position with a less wide stance (still not as narrow as when you're skating, though).. allows you to move around easier, and like I said, it's definitely easier to manipulate your board's flex without a wide stance, especially with presses.
I'll have to respectfully disagree with that, at least where my riding is concerned. A wide stance helps substantially with balance, which is crucial for more exaggerated presses. And I'm not talking about some vanilla buttering, I'm talking about my nose or tail 2 feet off the ground while moving downhill. I'm at 60 cm now, and I'm about to move them further apart tonight if it can improve balance in those awkward positions. I used to ride narrow stances because they were very comfortable to ride all day in that relaxed posture and, from what I noticed, was excellent for control for high speed and carving.

But we could at least agree on one thing: average/default stance width will work for at least 80% of riders out there. The rest will need to tailor it wider, like myself, or narrower, like you, for optimal comfort. And to reach either conclusion, every rider will need to experiment extensively by trial and error.
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  Quote shwazy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/07/2013 at 5:47pm
Originally posted by spenser

I don't know why people think that, if you think about it.  it's more like skate-position with a less wide stance (still not as narrow as when you're skating, though).. allows you to move around easier, and like I said, it's definitely easier to manipulate your board's flex without a wide stance, especially with presses.

except a skateboard doesn't change its flex pattern throughout the deck, right?  As you move closer to the nose and tail the board softens.  As I spread my feet out they get closer and closer to the softer part of the board naturally putting my weight over it. I don't know that was my thinking...
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  Quote spenser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/07/2013 at 10:33pm
the board its self may be softer toward the tips, but it's this same concept.. how much can you bend a 1ft piece of 2x4? not much at all.  how much can you bend a 20ft 2x4?  some.  that's extreme and maybe a stupid example, but the same concept applies.  an inch or so won't do too much, but I absolutely 100% notice a difference from when I was riding 24 or 25 and now riding 21, sometimes 20.5, on the same boards.  the board has the same flex and doesn't ride softer or anything, but you can bend the nose and tail a little more outside the foot since they are slightly longer.  I might be inclined to tell myself I'm overthinking it or imagining it, but I can't help but notice the difference physically

to each his own though.  some are gonna like a wider stance for certain things, and others the opposite.
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  Quote woodhomie1996 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/08/2013 at 3:42am
I was riding 24 but I am short so that didnt last that long
I am riding 22.5 and love !18, -9 and 2 nothches of forward lean and roated highbacks couldnt be happier
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  Quote sleeepili Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/08/2013 at 11:03am
i feel like it depends on your weight to height ratio too. a 5'5" guy that is 200 lbs is going to have a different stance than a 6'2" guy that's 200 lbs, even if their shoulder distances are the same.

the taller rider has a higher center of gravity, meaning it would take him more finesse (i.e. body weight manipulation) to get the center of gravity where it wants he wants it to go. For that reason, it may be better for the taller rider to have a wider stance than the shorter rider so he has better leverage to drive his weight back and forth

anyone agree/disagree or have further comments?
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  Quote spenser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/08/2013 at 11:07am
definitely agree 100%.  that said, I think we are all just talking narrower vs wider and not specific widths applied to anyone regardless of their stats.  for example, the point of the numbers I mentioned was to give a frame of reference for how much my stance changed, rather than "this specific width will work for you too"
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  Quote rurchan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/09/2013 at 3:21pm
i'm assuming height and weight plays a pretty big role in the approximation of how your stance should be, but also what feels natural or ok for you. Everyone has different leg lengths which will cause everyone to have different stance widths
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  Quote exastronaut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/09/2013 at 5:19pm
Originally posted by sleeepili

i feel like it depends on your weight to height ratio too. a 5'5" guy that is 200 lbs is going to have a different stance than a 6'2" guy that's 200 lbs, even if their shoulder distances are the same.

the taller rider has a higher center of gravity, meaning it would take him more finesse (i.e. body weight manipulation) to get the center of gravity where it wants he wants it to go. For that reason, it may be better for the taller rider to have a wider stance than the shorter rider so he has better leverage to drive his weight back and forth

anyone agree/disagree or have further comments?
As a guy who is a little bit over 6'2" and 200 lbs, I agree. I adjusted my stance on back-to-back days this weekend.

Yes, I know it's personal preference, but here's what I noticed: I was running my stance at 24", which is on the wider end of the spectrum, but not that wide for me. I spent the whole day in the trees, and I felt really stiff and just off of my game. I couldn't totally get in the flow. I chalked it up to it being a while since my last day on the mountain. 

The next day I moved my stance out to 25.5". I wanted to go wider in the hopes that it would help me get lower. I still rode the trees all day, and VT trees are tight. I figured that I would be giving up quick turn response for running a stance that wide. The truth is, I found it much easier to get low, and that made everything else easier. I had a pretty kick-ass day.

So in my (sort of) side-by-side test, a wider stance made turn initiation easier. Yes, it may technically be more effort to turn a board with a wider stance, but it's also a lot easier to turn with a lower center of gravity. Think of a sports car- low to the ground with the wheels far out to the corners. For me, wider is faster because it's more stable. 
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  Quote rurchan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/10/2013 at 1:21pm
Thanks for the info exastronaut. I'm about to try some demo boards & wondered what stance measurements I should try out
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