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Has anyone changed stance direction after years with the same foot forward?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Just curious if anyone has gone years with the same foot forward and then changed?  I am not talking just riding switch, but rather reinstalling the bindings on a directional board.


The reason I ask is that I've always had this feeling that I picked the wrong foot forward and haven't had the patience to relearn. Most of the 'tests' indicate my right foot forward such as sliding on the floor, which foot forward on a bike, taking a step, being pushed from behind.  More importantly, the range of motion on turning my head to the side is much better on my right side.


My current stance is +15 / -9, and my board is directional with a designated setback.  When I practice switch it is awkward and slow to turn.  I've tried changing directions over the years, but gave up too quickly. 


I understand the important issues, such as shoulder alignment, and keeping head turned into he direction of movement, better now.  I am going to experiment with 'starting over' with my right foot forward and focus on drilling the fundamentals and see how it goes.

post #2 of 5

I haven't switched stance foots since I first started riding. When I started I kept switching around backwards, so I tried riding right forward. ... and kept switching around backwards. D'uh!


Ambidextrous means equally adept with both left and right appendages (either hands or feet). Most people that are right handed are also right footed (ride with left foot in front). Some right handed people are left foot dominant (right foot in front). In snowboarding we do ride "backwards" so it's not a big deal unless your board is "very" directional. Most directional boards do not ride backwards much differently on packed snow. For me, I can feel the directional difference riding switch but it is less of a difference than trying to ride a board that is not tuned well. Where I can feel a huge difference is pedaling with the back foot out.


Stance changes often feel awkward at first and require a "breaking in" period before they become comfortable. I recommend you start your right foot forward quest with a +9/-9 stance angle and a stance width of insides of the heels under the outside of the hips. Try pedaling around the flats first  (do a figure 8 path) and then take a run. Try changing your stance every run and at least try +12/-9, +12/-12, +15/-12, +15/-9. Pick one and then try changing your stance with one setting wider and one narrower. Don't worry about how well this works compared to your left foot forward riding. One setting will feel slightly better. That's the one you want to "break in".


One of my teaching maxims is that people have the same problems riding switch that they do riding forward. It's just that the problems riding switch are intensified. You may find that the source of your issues is a technique problem vs a stance problem. If so, you may want to work on the technique change riding right foot forward and then see what happens to your riding when you are left foot forward. Usually we work on technique changes riding weak foot forward and try to bring those changes back to our switch riding and technique "strengthening" riding switch and try to bring those changes back to our forward riding. But in "confused" cases, vice versa may work better.


I'm concerned about your comment about the range of motion for turning your head. The only motion you need is to be able to touch your chin to your shoulder (without turning your shoulder). If you that do that in both directions, you need to see a doctor.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Your teaching maxim makes a lot of sense. After practicing switch on the bunny hill (not changing the bindings, just going down the opposite way) I was riding really well normally.  As you said, everything is magnified when riding switch. 

post #4 of 5

Practice a lot and you won't even know the difference between regular and switch. At first it seems difficult but if you keep at it, it soon becomes normal and makes riding a hell of a lot more fun as it opens up a whole new world of butters and spins that you can add to make your riding more exciting.You need to be able to do any trick four different ways to be really comfortable on your board.- regular frontside and regular backside and switch frontside and switch backside.


As far as stances, when I first started riding everyone rode really forward stances and I was riding +30, +15. Now i ride +15, -12 and I'm thinking of trying +15, -15 just to check it out. I would advise you to try many different stances to see what works for you.

post #5 of 5

And I'd also advize that just because you've tried a stance once and not liked it means you should give up on it. I tried duck a couple of times before I switched for good.


A couple of days ago a rivet popped on my ratchet in the middle of a lesson. I was able to tighten the strap, but it was ugly enough that I switched to unstrapping my other foot for the rest of the lesson. Looks like I need some more practice with riding the lift switch.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Snowboarding Discussions, Gear and Instruction › Has anyone changed stance direction after years with the same foot forward?