How to mount snowboard bindings
You can always let your local snowboard shop mount your bindings, but it’s best to do it yourself. That allows you to experiment with different stance options, optimize on the fly and add your own special tweaks. This episode explains the steps to mount your bindings and tips we think will help your set-up.
All things related to your stance are very personal. You may experiment and adjust your stance until you find what works best for you.
You’ll need the following tools:
#2 Philips screwdriver
#3 Philips screwdriver
Teflon tape (recommended, but optional)
Bindings with base-plates and screws
Your snowboard boots
Your snowboard (duh)
Rubber gasket (optional)
Scissors and pen (only if you choose to use rubber gasket)
Step 1— Determine if you’re regular or Goofy
If you surf, skateboard or wakeboard, you already know if you’re regular or goofy. For everyone else, put on a pair of slippery socks and slide across a wood floor. Which foot do you naturally prefer to lead? It’ll feel balanced and normal if you lead with your natural leg, and weird if you put your unnatural foot in front.
Regular riders have their left foot forward (which is most people)
Goofy riders have their right foot forward
Step 2 – Determine snowboard stance width
If your stance is too narrow, you won’t have as much stability or flexibility. Too wide and you can’t rotate the board effectively. You can always go with the recommendation of the manufacture for stance width, or try to customize. While there’s no true formula, here are some guidelines:
Measure the distance from your kneecap to the floor—your stance should be at least that wide.
As a minimum, your stance should be wide enough for you to sit between your bindings.
Step 3 – Determine stance placement
Depending on the type of snowboard and riding goals, your stance will either be centered on the snowboard (as with a twin-tip park board), or set back slightly (as with all mountain and powder boards). You can follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to help you determine yours.
Step 4 – Measure and place bindings
Measure your stance width from the center of each base-plate. The base-plates should be set at 0 degrees when you place them on the board. First put your front binding on. Be sure to grab the correct binding—there is a right and left. Your bindings are contoured to each foot, just like your boots. To make it easier, the spiky plastic strap is usually on the outside.
Now put the back binding in place and measure to get a rough idea of your stance width. You’ll notice your snowboard has holes, or inserts. Line up the holes in your base plate with the insert pattern so that each hole has its very own insert.
* Bonus tip—If you plan to re-sell your snowboard, it’s a good idea to place rubber gasket between the top-sheet and bindings. You can pick this up at your nearest hardware store. Not only does it keep the graphics pristine, it also adds a little cushion under your feet. Simply trace, cut and place under each binding.
Step 5 – Teflon tape your screws
You can find Teflon tape at most hardware stores. Wrap Teflon tape around the threads of each screw. While this step isn’t mandatory, it will help the screws stay tight—and that’s a good thing.
Step 6 – Angle your stance
Drop a screw in each hole and, with your Phillips #3, screw it in just until it begins to grab. No one should ever have a 0-degree stance. At 0-degrees your feet are more likely to hang over the side and get in the way. Also, it’s very hard to get enough flexibility to work the snowboard.
Stance angle gives stability and flexibility. A duck stance is a good beginner stance. Mine is 12 and -6. Grab hold of the high back and crank your front binding 12-degrees, that’s 4 notches over. Rotate your back binding to about negative 6-degrees, or 2 clicks over. Remember, the screws should be inserted, but not tight. This will give you a nice basic stance that works well whether riding regular or switch.
Step 7 – Level your high-backs
You want your high-back to be parallel with the heel edge. This gives you more precise control over your heel-side turns by giving more pressure along the full length of the edge. You’ll thank us later.
With a #2 Phillips, loosen the screws on the sides of the bindings. Grab the high back and twist until it’s parallel with the heel edge.
Step 8 – Adjust your binding straps
Riding without adjusting your straps is like running without tying your shoes. Grab your boot and place it in the binding. Tighten the straps. If the straps look tight, without too much extra stuff hanging off, you’re all done. If not…use that handy #2 and loosen the screws on the side of each strap. Slide it forward or back so that your straps cup the boot nicely. Follow the instructions on your bindings, since each model is a little different. There’s a pretty good chance that your bindings will stretch out during the season, so a little tighter is better than too loose.
Step 9 – Check it
Try everything on to make sure things fit right and tight. Bend your knees and flop around the carpet to make sure the stance is comfortable. It’s better to adjust now than on the hill while your friends are waiting and a -25 wind chill is raging on your bare hands.