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It can be really exciting when you find a sport you love! You’ve been renting snowboards for seasons, and you’re finally ready to take the plunge. You scouted out all of the best boards and finally, you found the best all mountain snowboard . In your excitement, you forgot to figure out how to put bindings on a snowboard, and now you’re frustrated because you just want to hit the snow!!
If that sounds like you, then you’ve found the right article. There’s nothing more exhilarating than surfing down the steep slope of a perfectly groomed mountain, wind rushing to meet you, as you skillfully dodge any obstacles in your path! The last thing you want to do is be stuck for hours trying to figure out how to install your snowboard bindings, or worse – rushing the job and ending up super uncomfortable and unable to control your board on the snow.
This article will walk you through installing your bindings. It will lay out everything you need to think about and prepare and take you through the process step by step. By the end, you'll know exactly how to mount your bindings and be ready to hit the slopes!
How to Put Bindings on a Snowboard
The first thing you need to know when it comes to putting bindings on a snowboard is that it takes preparation. You need some basic tools and preparation work before you can start. Even if you did get a professional to install your bindings on your best snowboard, it’s a helpful skill to have. You never know when you need to make micro-adjustments on the mountain if your binding loosens up while you ride.
What You’ll Need to Mount Your Snowboard Bindings
The good news is that you won't need many tools. A Phillips head screwdriver and a wrench will do it.
You will need to know your preferred stance and lead foot before mounting, and you may want to have your boots on hand for any fine-tuning to fit them precisely to your boots.
Tools for Mounting Bindings
The good news is that a #3 Phillips head screwdriver and a wrench are all you will need for most of the boards on the market. Use the wrench to fit the bindings to your boots after installation. A multi-tool is a good thing to have in a pocket when you're on the mountain because you can use it for quick adjustments once you're on the mountain. They’re compact and have tons of helpful tools.
Snowboard Binding / Board Compatibility
One major thing to consider is that all of the base plates on bindings feature discs or bolts. This is how they attach to the snowboard’s binding interface. A lot of bindings will come with several base plates, so they are compatible with a lot of different snowboard brands.
Most snowboards have 2 by 4 or 4 by 4 bolt mounting patterns.
A few of them have a 3D diamond pattern; this pattern is used with Burton’s line of boards, which feature The Channel system and require EST bindings.
Other manufacturers sell some bindings that can be adapted for the Channel System with the purchase of additional compatible discs.
In 2 by 4 mounts, the top row of binding screws will each be 2 cm apart. There will be 4 cm in between the 2 rows of screws, which usually each feature around 6 screws for different sizing options.
IN 4 by 4 mounts, there are only 6 screws per side, with 4 cm in between each screw and 4 cm between the 2 rows of screws.
Burton 3D bindings have 3 rows of screws in a diamond pattern, with 2 screws on top and bottom rows, and 4 screws in the center row, with larger gaps between the 2 outliers and the 2 center screws than the gap between the center screws.
Channel bindings have a long slit looking slide that adjusts.
Steps for Mounting Snowboard Bindings
Here are some easy steps to install your bindings in the duck stance at a standard width. If you want to change your angles from duck width, you can still follow the steps, but change your angles.
Front Binding with Discs
Pick up the front binding. If you're regular, then this is the left binding. If you're goofy, this is the right. Position the binding at your desired angle. Place the binding with the disk over the center screw holes at the front of the board. You want to position your binding to leave the same amount of board between the front boot tow and the boot heel.
Turn the first screw in loosely. Insert the rest of the screws loosely. Make sure the binding is where you want it then tighten the screws. Don't overtighten them. Put a boot in the binding to fine-tune.
Front Binding on Burtons
With a screwdriver, remove the Channel plug from the front Channel of your snowboard. Slide The Channel inserts through the opening and reinsert the plug. Pick up your front binding and put it over the Channel inserts. Add the screws and secure them loosely, so your bindings can slide, then move the binding along The Channel to your desired stance.
Pivot the binding to set the stance angle at 15 degrees (or wherever you feel comfortable). Use the stance indicator window to get your angle correct. Then, move the binding so that the same amount of board shows in front of the boot and behind the boot heel. Tighten the screws one turn at a time until they’re all equal.
Mounting the Back Binding
The back binding uses the same steps as the front binding, but the angle will be set at 0 to -6 degrees instead of 15 degrees so that you are pointing backward.
Fit the Bindings to Your Boots
There are a lot of different binding sizes, just like with shoes. You need the right size bindings to match your boots and feet.
Once you find the right size, you can make some small adjustments so that your bindings will be tighter or looser against your feet. Remove the bolts by the ankle straps, at the base of the bindings, with a wrench. Then, adjust the straps inward or outward to your preferred comfort level, and repl
When you are installing bindings, you will want to have your bots on hand. Even if you don’t plan to make these small adjustments to your straps, you need to make a safety check. You will need to make sure your straps are tightened enough to prevent your boots from moving. The idea is to get your straps as tight as possible without hurting your feet or constricting your blood flow.
Determine Your Lead Foot
Stand still on the ground and then fall forward (or have someone you trust give you a gentle push). The foot that you instinctively use to catch yourself is your lead foot This is how you can determine which foot will be at the front of your board. If your left foot goes forward, you have a regular stance. If your right foot goes forward, your stance is goofy. This isn’t an insult; it’s what the stance is named so you will need to find compatible bindings fro a goofy stance.
Find Your Left and Right Binding
The easiest way to tell the difference between your left binding and your right binding is by looking for the direction of the curve. It works just like a shoe. The straps will also indicate which binding you have. Straps start on the inside and buckle on the outside of your foot, so just line the bindings up so that the buckles are on the outside!
Establish Your Stance Width and Offset
Stance width and offsets don’t necessarily have a standard option that makes installation easy. This is down to each person individually. Here are some guidelines to help you find your comfortable stance width and offset.
Almost all the boards on the market will have some markings on them to indicate where the center mount screw holes are for your bindings. Start with the center mount and see how comfortable it rides for you. You will generally want your feet to be shoulder-width apart or around 1/3 of your height.
If you need to adjust it, there are a lot of different possible variants for stance width. The binding position and foot angle can all be adjusted. Once you’re comfortable with riding, you can play around until your feet feel well balanced underneath you.
If you’ve got a big board, or you feel a lot of pressure being placed on your quads, you can shorten your stance to make your ride more comfortable. Measure the length of your shinbone, and fine-tune your stance. The length of your shinbone, from your heel to just below your knee, is a good starting point for your best stance.
Most snowboards will have a recommended mounting position indicated on the board. It's usually pretty close to the center of the board. The center position will give you some all-around control and allow for the easiest turn initiation and control. Once you get more experienced and develop your own riding style, you can play with this.
You may prefer to offset (or setback) the bindings to the tail of your snowboard. The offset stance will be more aggressive in turns and float better in powder, but it requires a lot more skill and strength to maneuver. Alpine and forward stances are also popular among some riders.
On a powder day, moving your bindings back towards your rear foot will allow your nose to tilt upwards a little bit. This will help you float on the powder without needing to lean as far back.
Choose Your Binding Angles
Snowboard bindings are also adjustable. You can position them to angle your feet forward, backward, or anywhere in between. If you’re a beginner, then you should start with the duck stance for snowboard mountings. This stance angles the feet slightly away from each other, with heels pointing center and toes pointing outward.
A lot of snowboarders will position the front binding at a 15-degree angle and the rear binding somewhere between -6 and 0 degrees for the angle. This position is ideal for beginners because it forces proper technique. It will distribute your weight appropriately so you can focus on improving your skills.
A lot of riders will never adjust the angle of their stance ride to ride, so this is also the best default position. Once you master your technique, you can start experimenting with different angles until you find the best one for your comfort level and skill.
Further read: how to wax a snowboard guide.