Illustrations by Kieron Black.
It might seem like alien jibberish at first, but over the years everyone develops their personal preferences when it comes to binding angles and stance widths (for the record, this author's is +18/-6, rear foot 1" back from the reference).
Unsurprisingly, just like many other things in snowboarding, foot placement can become a fashion choice - the 2000s saw 'wide-offs' between pro before jib kids starting standing bolt upright in rail parks circa-2011. Nowadays it's a glorious mish-mash across all of the various varieties of sliding sideways - here are some of our favourites, and what they say about the riders that rock them:
You found a style that you liked in 2002 and have doggedly stuck with it, long hair, plaid shirts, baggy pants and all. That, or you’re French, which seeing as this stance is about 20 years out of date by now means about the same thing, except you’ll be wearing matching Picture outerwear.
If it’s snowed 18 inches overnight but you’ll still be in the park, digging run ins for rails… But only the ‘legit’ ones. Your boardslides are definitely not zeached - a protractor against your VX1000 footage has confirmed that - but the fact that your feet are placed mere inches apart means you’re standing pencil straight whilst on any rail.
Positive - Positive
Even when it’s -10C, for some reason you’ll still wear nothing but a pair of streamlined shades on your head - you wouldn’t want to cover up that new bleach job would you? You’ve been up for first lifts every day of the holiday and back at the hotel by 11am, after that the lack of corduroy on the mountain takes the fun out of that speed tuck pose.
Zero - Zero
Poor you - it’s your first adventure on snow and quoting ‘insurance reasons’ your rental tech has crammed you into the first board off the rack without explaining the difference between regular and goofy stances. Hang in there through the toe numbing pain and vague sense that you’re falling down a hill backwards, it does get better!
Set Back To The Max
It ain’t about nuthin’ but the pow. Your Pataguchi outerwear has been immaculately re-waterproofed in preparation for your trip and you’re quite happy to cruise the piste on a splitboard - skins and poles in your pack - lest the heavens open after lunch and there’s a chance to ‘earn some turns’. Lifts? Where we’re going we don’t need lifts...