What Is A Duck Stance In Snowboarding? Quack!

by Ben

I’ll be the first to admit that snowboarding stances can be confusing at times. Working out if you’re regular or goofy is only the first step! You then need to decide your chosen binding angles…

It’s at this stage that you may have heard the term “duck stance”. But what is a duck stance in snowboarding?

A duck stance in snowboarding is when the front binding is angled towards the nose of the board (positively) and the rear binding is angled towards the tail of the board (negatively). A mirrored duck stance is when both binding angles are the same number. 

Let’s take a look at my (very crudely drawn) diagram and a few examples. 

Types Of Duck Stance In Snowboarding

There are only a few minor variations between duck stances. Here are the types of duck stance in snowboarding:

  • Mirrored Duck Stance: Bindings face outwards towards the nose and tail respectively, but with identical binding angles. Common examples are +12/-12 and +15/-15. These are perfect for switch riding and freestyle. 
  • Slight Duck Stance: Asymmetrical angles, for example +15/-9. Very common, slightly easier for freeride and carving.  

For reference, by default most rental shops will either use a slight duck stance of +15/-3 or the classic beginner setup of +15/0 (neutral). 

Tip: It’s generally advisable to avoid a difference of more than 30 degrees between binding angles. For example, don’t go higher than +15/-15. Higher angles than this can cause undue stress on your knees.

Snowboarding Duck Stance: A Diagram

You’ll be pleased to hear that my snowboarding skills are marginally better than my art skills. Nonetheless, I tried my best to sketch a rough diagram of a snowboarding duck stance. 

what is a duck stance in snowboarding

Try and imagine that the front and back feet on the diagram are identically angled outwards. By contrast, in the diagram below the back foot is only marginally away from neutral (0) at -3. But as the rear foot is still pointing outwards, it still counts as a ducks stance. 

Other binding angles: I’ve saved you from another of my diagrams, but some riders actually ride with positive angles on both feet. Both feet are therefore facing forwards towards the nose of the board.

This helps with driving hard into carves and is often used by snowboard racers. The downside to this is that switch riding becomes particularly tricky, which is limiting for freestyle riders. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully I’ve now solved the mystery of the duck foot! If you have any questions then just drop me a comment below. 

Ultimately, finding your perfect binding angles just takes some trial and error. Don’t obsess too much about it at first. You’ll understand what riding style and board setup you prefer once you have a season under your belt. 

Happy riding!

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