best snowboard binding angles for beginners

The Best Snowboard Binding Angles For Beginners

by Ben

Finding your ideal binding angles is super important. Incorrect setups can hinder your progress or lead to injury.

But what are the best snowboard binding angles for beginners? 

The best snowboard binding angles for beginners are usually +15/+0. However, some riders instead choose a duck stance, allowing for an easier transition into freestyle. Ultimately your angles vary depending on preference, ability, and riding style.

Which angles are right for you?

Stick around to find out…

What Are Binding Angles?

Before deciding the ultimate snowboard binding angles for beginners, I should explain what I’m talking about!

Let’s take it back to basics…

1. Stance

Before choosing your binding angles, you need to know whether you’re regular or goofy. Regular rider’s have their left foot forward, goofy riders have their right foot forward. You can’t really “choose” your stance, it’s whichever feels instinctively more natural. 

2. Attaching the Bindings

You’ll then want to attach your bindings to your snowboard. The starting position of “0” is essentially perpendicular to the snowboard edge (pictured below).


But nobody rides with these binding angles!


  • It’s uncomfortable! Imagine doing a squat. You will naturally want to turn your feet slightly outwards. Pointing your feet straight ahead is not how we are bio-mechanically designed. It’s bad for your knees!
  • It increases the risk of toe drag! Standing on the board perpendicularly increases the chances of your toes hanging off the edge. This can drag in the snow… causing falls!

3. How Do Snowboard Binding Angles Work?

The binding’s angle is essentially how much the binding points away from the midline.

If the binding is pointing forward – towards the nose of the board – then it’s a positive angle (+). If the binding points away, it’s negative (-). 

Most binding brands allow binding angle adjustments in 3 degree increments. 

The diagrams below should help you to visualise this more clearly.

4. Examples Of Common Snowboard Binding Angles

Duck Stance

One of the most popular binding setups is the duck foot stance.

This uses a positive angle in the front foot and a negative angle in the back. Your feet will therefore be facing slightly outwards (like a duck’s). 

duck stance for beginners

In a “mirrored duck stance” the numbers are the same for both feet.

For example: 

  •  +15/-15 (pictured above)
  • +12/-12
  • +9/-9

In a “slight duck stance” the numbers are different, but still point away from each other. 

For example: 

  • +15/-3
  • +12/-9

You can read more about the infamous duck stance here. 

Forward Stance

Another important angle set-up is the forward stance. As you may have guessed, this involves positive angles in both feet.

We’ll discuss this in more detail later, but forward stance is great for turn initiation. It’s used in snowboard racing!


Let’s take a look at the most commonly recommended snowboard binding angles for beginners… +15/+0.

Whilst this is technically a forward stance, your back foot is flat rather than strictly forward.

best beginner binding angles, +15/+0

The Best Snowboard Binding Setup For Beginners

To quickly summarise the above, your main options are: 

  1. Duck Stance 
  2. Forward Stance 

Let’s discuss the merits of each. 

1. Duck Stance

  • Versatility: duck stance is the same forwards and backwards (regular and switch). This is great when learning the falling leaf technique.
  • Comfort: some riders (myself included) find a duck stance more comfortable. It tends to place less pressure on your knees and hips.
  • Freestyle riding: duck stance is popular among freestyle riders. It helps with landing switch and spinning in either direction.
  • Better control: many rider's feel more stable with the weight evenly distributed between the feet. Other's don't. Personal preference is a big factor here.  
  • Less Power and Speed: many feel that duck stance reduces the amount of power and speed generated when riding, making it less ideal for carving or racing.
  • Slower turn initiation: forward stance is known to help turn initiation as your hips are already "open".
  • Unnatural feeling: some riders find the duck stance a little awkward, especially if you're used to riding a more traditional stance (like skateboarding or surfing).

2. Forward Stance

  • Improved control: a forward stance can provide more control and stability when carving, especially on steep and icy terrain.
  • Easier turn initiation: when turning in your normal stance, forward facing angles makes it easier to get into your turns. Your body is more "open" and you won't feel the need to kick your back leg out too much. 
  • Less likely to be stuck early on: The aforementioned falling leaf or "snowflake" technique involves riding forward and backwards on the same edge. This allows you to slide down the mountain without ever turning. Duck stance might encourage you to do this for longer, whereas forward stances are much more comfortable when turning... pushing you to progress.
  • Limited switch riding: A forward stance may not be ideal for riders who want to learn switch. As your angles are setup to ride one-way, riding switch will feel awkward.
  • Less versatile: Forward stances are better for speed, carving and hard charging. They are not great for freestyle snowboarding.
  • More strain on the back leg: Some rider's find that a forward stance puts more stress on their back legs. This is often due to twisting their knee inwards when turning.

My Thoughts on Binding Angles For Beginners

As you can see, there are pros and cons to both schools of thought. This makes it tricky to decide. Having taught hundreds of new snowboarders over the years, my personal recommendations are as follows:

1. Focused on learning to turn and controlling your speed?

Then +15/+0 is a perfect place to start. If you do start to lean towards freestyle riding later on, you can always gradually add more negative angle to that back foot. 

If you really want, you could go for a more forward stance such as +15/+3. Much more than that and you’re starting to limit your switch potential. 

2. Planning to progress into freestyle snowboarding?

Choose a slight duck stance such as +15/-3 or +15/-6. This offers some of the benefits of forward stance without making switch riding too awkward. 

3. Experienced wakeboarder or skateboarder? 

Then you might get away with slightly more aggressive duck stances. Try +15/-9. As wakeboarding is somewhat similar to snowboarding, highly experienced wakeboarder’s can use their familiar mirrored duck stance.

4. Don't know whether you're regular or goofy?

If you have absolutely no idea which stance you are, a gentle mirrored duck stance makes sense initially. Go for something like +12/-12. 

Once you discover whether regular or goofy feels more natural, you can adjust your binding settings accordingly. 

Things To Avoid When Choosing Binding Angles

Aggressive Forward Stances: Professional snowboard racers use some insane forward stances. So much so that they often look like they’re skiing. Don’t venture higher than +18/+6 as a beginner!

Duck Stances Equal To Over 30 degrees: If you decide a duck stance is for you, avoid angles that add up to more than 30. +15/-15 is the acceptable limit!

For example, +18/-18 is likely to put significant external strain on most rider’s knees. If you want +18 on your front foot, reduce your back foot to at least -12. 


1. A typical starting point for beginners is 15 degrees on the front binding, 0 degrees on the back.

2. An alternative is a slight duck stance, such as +15/-3 or +15/-6.

3. As a beginner, a duck stance will help you descend using "falling leaf". But this can limit your progress if you delay learning to link turns.

4. You can adjust your binding stance in 3-degree increments. This may not sound like much, but a slight change can make a massive difference to your comfort and performance.

5. Most riders adjust their binding angles as they progress and develop. Your pefect setup will come with time!

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