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Board size and binding position

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

My board is a 158cm K2 brigade, I´m 173cm/5'8 and 70Kg/150lbs and the shopped matched it to me, while learning it´s more and more clear that a shorter board would have been a better fit, first season as a beginner was ok.

 

Started this season on icy hard pack and something was a bit hard on my front knee so I shorted the stance to 20, matching my length and that severly hampered my boarding. Would shifting the stance a bit further forward on the board and increasong it from 20 to say 21 inches help me regain control. Also both my boots and my bindings seems to be canted, how much is to much canting.

 

Suggestions?

post #2 of 12

Boot,

 

Have you talked to your shop? You paid for their expertise and that should not stop after the sale. What are your stance angles? When you say "shorted the stance to 20, matching my length" what do you mean by "matching my length"? Length of what? Do you know which way your boots/bindings seem to be canted? Do you know if you are bowlegged or pigeon toed without your boots? When you say "severely hampered your boarding", what specifically were your problems?

 

Canting is designed to get your feet flat on the board when your legs are in a normal width stance (i.e. hanging straight out of your hip sockets). If you are bowlegged, then you will tend to stand on the outside edges of your feet when your legs are in a normal stance width. If so, canting could be used to raise the outside edges of your feet to make them flatter. Alternatively you could use a wider than normal stance width. Too much canting/too wide a stance would make your feet not flat on the board to the other side of your foot. Canting problems are generally less severe for riders than for skiers.

 

It is unlikely that moving your stance forward is going to help you. The K2 Brigade is a directional board. This means that it is designed to be ridden with the center of the stance toward the rear of the board. You might want to shift the stance forward to make tricks or riding switch easier to do. This would help the board ride more like a traditional twin type (freestyle) board, but the flex pattern of a directional board is typically different in the tip than the tail so it will always ride differently forward vs backward. 

 

Beginners that ride with their shoulders facing forward vs being aligned with the board often feel some knee pain. It's preferred to change the shoulder alignment, but sometimes it is just easier to increase the stance angle of the front foot (e.g. from +6 to +15/+20). Your knee pain could also be coming form a too wide stance. You should spend a day experimenting with different stance settings to see if helps or hurts.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
ok, the shop is a no go.
 
Read a litlle on stance with and got the impression that 22" was way to much for my lenght, also measured the length of my lower leg, now the 22" with felt much better, until knee pain.
I had around +15/-15 and 22 inches stance when I got knee pains, Ive lowered it to +12/+9, I think I´m going to try to improve posture first, if that fails set it to +20/-6 or something and move my stance width up again. The anchor lift would probably work better with a higher front leg angle (or I´ll have to lear to ride switch in the lift). I´m trying to maintain good posture, but on bad snow it sometimes feel like I need almost all weight on the front leg to maintain grip on the ice, probably don´t have the best posture then either. It might all be that the conditions was to icy and that I pushed myself to hard.
 
The canting issue is that the footbed of my bindings are canted and so are my boots, so when trying a narrow 20inch stance it felt "wrong", to much angle. Now pigeon toes or bowlegs, low foot arch however.
 
In a narrow stance I had issues with keeping the bord still an balanced, it wanted to keep moving sideways down the fall line, initiating turns also felt sluggish and hard, took three falls on the first run just trying to work a normal toeside turn, heel side worked much better though. 
post #4 of 12

Ugh, this is getting complicated. If I have this right, your low arch will cause you to be knock kneed (that's what I was looking for vs pigeon toes). My guess is that you were canted on the insides of your boots to raise the arches/spread the knees. A too narrow stance with that setup will have you feeling very weird on the outside edges of your feet. But then if you go too wide that'll feel weird too because you'll be pushing against the canting. Combine that with too forward a stance and my guess is you will be stressing the front knee. I have no idea why you had your boots AND bindings canted. Do you?

 

Although beginner boards and stance set ups can help compensate for technique issues, when male beginners have trouble with unwanted side slips and falls on toes side turns, it is usually a technique issue (a more common problem for females is a loose boot fit in the heel so that the heel lifts away from the boot instead of helping to pull the boot up onto toe edge).  Unwanted side slips are caused by a combination of too low an edge angle and too much weight on the back foot. Check your knee position relative to your toes. If your front knee is closer to the back of the board than your toes are (or your front leg is straighter than your back leg), then your weight is too far back. Start correcting by moving the weight forward by sliding your hips toward the nose of the board/bending your front leg +  lengthening your back leg. If your edge angle is too flat, then the nose of the board will start drifting toward the fall line (down hill). If that is the case, then increase the edge angle at the nose of the board by either moving your front knee closer to /past the toe edge of the board so that the front knee slightly more than covers the toes when you look down (for a toe side traverse) or "pulling" the front knee back toward the heel edge (uncovering the toes) for a heel side traverse. That will get you to track across the slope.

 

A too narrow stance will make it hard to transmit pressure to the nose of the board and reduce the effectiveness of the moves described above. But it will make it easier to bend the board along the length and a board that is flexed more will have a shorter turning radius. A too wide stance will make it easier to to transmit pressure to the nose of the board, but only if you move your center of mass more to compensate for the wider distance between the feet. Beginners often don't move their body to stay with the board and get caught with their weight more on the back foot. A wider stance make it harder to flex the board along the length, but easier to flex the board across the width (commonly referred to as "twist") by having more leverage between the feet as one foot is more on the toe and the other more on the heel. Higher stance angles reduce the effectiveness of heel to toe movements. In a duck stance the difference is not great. In a normal stance, lateral movements start to complement heel to toe movements to accomplish edge change as stance angles increase.

 

So it is possible that changing your stance set up could "break" movements that used to work and cause side slips and falls, but it's more likely that the changes have just made what wasn't working well worse. For example, if you are falling to the inside of the turn on toe side turns, it is highly likely that the cause is a lack of arch in your back. When you get onto toe side by bending at the waist, if you go too far onto your toes you have no muscles that can reduce the toe edge angle so you fall to the inside. With a slight bit of back arch that moves the belly button over the toe edge, you can dearch your back muscles to adjust your toe edge flatter if your speed is not high enough to support a higher edge angle. If you feel less board twist working in a narrower stance, you'll be tempted to help the process by either by bending at the waist to get the board onto toe edge or by rotating your shoulders to get it onto edge. Either approach is going to reduce balance. If you start from the "sitting in a chair" position of a heel side turn, rise out of the chair to start the new turn getting tall from the waist up and then engage the new toe edge with the front foot "knee cover the toe" move and create a slight arch in the back at the same time I guarantee you won't fall to the inside of the new turn unless you try to regardless of your stance set up.

 

Hope this helps. It's a lot harder to help folks without seeing their riding.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

I  bought a pair of burton imperials very late season, but they broke when I tried them on at home, to save the last weekend of the season I exchanged them with the only available boot in my size, Nike Lunar Endor (didn´t pay anywhere close to list price). It only occured to me later that the Ride EX binding is canted with a inwards lean, so is the boot.

 

I use neutral shoes for running, pronation shoes is a no go for my knees.

Pain occurs on the front side of the knee and a little on the inside, but only on the right side of the middle on my left knee (regular stance).  It is in a way similar to what I felt when I was told to use shoes with support against overpronation, a professional runner shop later said tha advice was stupid and unnecessary.

 

Let´s just say I got suckered, learned my leasson on where and how to buy gear.

 

Had no problems on blue groomers last season but the icy reds that started this seasons felt like they worked and I felt a bit of conficdence in my improvements, getting more carve like turns when there was snow, more controll over the turn radius, but the aftermath still hurts.

 

" A too wide stance will make it easier to to transmit pressure to the nose of the board, but only if you move your center of mass more to compensate for the wider distance between the feet. Beginners often don't move their body to stay with the board and get caught with their weight more on the back foot"

Yes, spot on, I had the rear weight issue in the beginning and sometimes need to compensate for it in a turn to, but the issue now I think is that I put more weight forward than my knee can handle, all in order to get the board turning. 

 

"For example, if you are falling to the inside of the turn on toe side turns, it is highly likely that the cause is a lack of arch in your back. When you get onto toe side by bending at the waist, if you go too far onto your toes you have no muscles that can reduce the toe edge angle so you fall to the inside."

Yes

 

"Beginners that ride with their shoulders facing forward vs being aligned with the board often feel some knee pain. It's preferred to change the shoulder alignment"

Will try =) when snow is bad my balance saves me and I probably stay on my feet when my technique realy doesn´t allow it,  hunkering down and bend at the waist

 

If hop on my u-shaped balance board with boots on today a full two weeks later = knee pain, no boots is OK. 

Feels like you are spot on with the posture issue, I´m going to only board soft snow for a while, work on my posture, tweak around with the bindings and see what happens. Going to test zeroing out the cant on the bindings, tape and padding.

Maybe even a lesson or two.

 

Your advice has been very helpful and has also forced me to analyze my riding, BIG thanks.

post #6 of 12

You are most welcome. It seems you have advanced beyond beginner stage. The Brigade is designed as a beginner board. It may be time to move up. Find a local demo day and try some other boards. I need to read through your last post one more time, but my first reaction is to suggest experimenting with different blends of pivot and twist for initiating toe side turns. Pivot can be done 2 ways. The first is by scissoring the feet where you push one foot in the toe side direction and pull one foot in the other. The second is by rotating the feet (focus on grinding the front foot as if you were crushing a cigarette butt and make sure the pivot point of the rotary movement is under the arch of the foot as opposed to the heel or toe). Increasing pivot while on firmer snow should make turning easier, but I an't tell whether the second method would help or hurt you. Without video, the easiest answer is to just try it.

 

It is hard to tell from your posts how your boots are canted. If it is via custom footbeds, you may also want to try your balance board with "stock" footbeds in your boots instead of the canted footbeds. Go to the drug store and get a cheap pair of Dr. Scholls.

 

Good luck!

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

I do actualy have custom insoles but they are not canted, it´s the actual sole of the boot itself that leans inwards, walking on a flat hard surface makes it very noticable, walking on snow not so much. The boot is superb otherwise, packed out a little bit more than I thought but the canting, why?

 

I was recommended a 150cm burton ripcord by the local skishop as an improvment, but they didn´t dare to guarantee my size 10,5 boots would fit  :confused, they also hesitated that the 154 version would be a improvment over my current board :confused Most shops that carry snowboards localy market teens only, mostly pure park/freestyle boards and only one (off three) has skilled personel, unfortunatly they only stock Burton. Topping it off I´m in Sweden and the real mountains (relativly speaking) are more than 5 hours away. During season all gear is at full resort prices, plus travel time and hotel just to get to a shop that can supply demo boards. Decent slopes much closer but no one with good rent or demo gear. I could probably buy two boards over the internet for just the cost of the travel and demo, add a third and new bindings for the cost of the board at a resort. 

 

With luck it might be a mountain trip late season, the kids are improving fast enough for some challenges, so if my knee works, I´m going to look for a new board and skiis come then. Some more time to decide what type of board I want also feels good, don´t know yet if I wan´t a more nimble board or not, thinking carving would be more my style, but time will tell. 

 

Also pretty sure by by now that some sort off lessons seems like a good investment.

 

If I had a video I would happily let you see it, but I don´t.

 

 

Again many thanks!

post #8 of 12

Just my two cents, but I think you are riding too big of a board. Try a 150-152 for the day and I bet you will never ride that 158cm again. I started off riding 159 and got used to it, but once you dial in a shorter board it just goes where you want, when you want a lot quicker. Good luck.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

The 158 is probably a little long, but it will probably stay the season out, hopefully there will be a few more days this year.

 

I´m rehab training my knee (professional recommendation), but it´s been good enough for a little boarding and a few days skiing.

Skiing works good but half a days boarding is enough to wear me out, but no real pain.

 

Moved the bindings around a little, reduced stance width and angels, currently 12 -5 but I´ll try 12/-12 next time,  also reduced the footbed canting, learned to ride the button and anchor lifts in a switch position (best thing ever), switch riding has picked up decently. In a way riding switch actualy feels better, the turns seem more "right",  but I lack quite a bit in skill.... Current status, no knee pains, but left leg tires "quickly"

 

Been eying the endeavour new standard in 148/51 and guerilla in 153 they are supposed to be decent and are cheap enough for a impulse buy, burton seems to have made everything "the channel" only this year.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Update =)

 

Spent late 2015 and the entire 15-16 season on a short and soft, wide 148cm board.

Made for a smooth progress, the 158 doesn´t feel huge any more just clumsy and slow, unless the snow is bad and the speed is high.

Knee pains are gone and the legs are getting stronger, building for the upcoming season.

 

Now I´m all set to find something that can handle icy snow and a little more carving like riding.

post #11 of 12

Thanks for the progress report. It's nice to see you're not riding in pain. 

 

Are you tuning your boards? You may find that keeping your edges sharp is all you need to get acceptable performance on (cough) firm snow. A device like the ski sharp makes it easy to do yourself vs using the traditional method.

 

Have you seen the magne-traction technology?

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

No tuning, just some wax when needed. Learning to tune is on the to do list... it will end up saving me a small fortune.

 

Yes magne-traction is interesting, but there is the aspect of finding a board that fits, availability to rent and test is limited 8(

I´ve been scouting different boards and rossignol templar is one that pops up in my price and ability range, but all suggestions and advice are welcome!

 

My current board (endeavour new standard) has spoon shaped ends, so it behaves a bit different, also it´s quite soft, sometimes it feels like it just "gives" when pushed. Still it´s fun and quite nimble  fits my wight (70+kg) and is wide enough for my 10,5 sized feet.

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