How to find your Basic Stance on the snowboard?

So what is your basic stance on a snowboard?

Our basic stance is the fundamental standing position on a snowboard that enables us to perform certain body and weight transfer movements with the smallest amount of snow friction possible.

In other words, If you want to progress your snowboarding progression in a timely manner and not create bad habits, then I suggest you learn and understand these correct snowboard stances that will ALWAYS look after you until you become the Jedi master snowboarder…

Basic Stance on a snowboard

So…let’s break it down, I have created a list for you as a guide so as you progress through the sport, you will be able to come back and keep referring to this post to make sure you are on the right path.

  1. The Basic Stance
  2. The intermediate Basic stance
  3. The Advanced Basic stance
  4.  The craving Basic stance
  5.  The switch riding basic stance

Although most snowboard instructors teach a simple basic stance for general snowboarding, I am going to give you the inside information on how your snowboard stance changes as you naturally become a better snowboard with time, Terrain and experience.

NOTE: If you are a beginner snowboarder, I highly recommend sticking to the Standard beginner basic stance until you have at least 20- 30 days snowboarding under your feet…

Put it this way, you are not considered an Advanced snowboarded until you have at least 100 days of solid riding.

Let’s start with how to determine you what is your most comfortable stance….Natural or Goofy!

How to find out if you have a Natural or Goofy stance on a Snowboard?

So what is a Natural Stance on a snowboard?

Snowboard stance goofy or regular

Your Natural stance is when you are riding your snowboard with your Left foot forward first…In other words. (It is closest to the nose of your snowboard.)
The opposite is a Goofy Stance on a snowboard:

When you ride goofy on a snowboard, it means you have your Right foot forward and facing first down the hill (it is closest to the nose of the snowboard)
Neither of them have a advantage or disadvantage over the other, it ultimately comes down to what feels more natural for you…by figuring this out, it should make it easier when learning the basics of how to snowboard.

So now that you understand the difference between Goofy and Natural on a snowboard, the next question should be…

How do you know?

Secret 1:
One way to figure out if you have Natural or goofy snowboard stance is to draw (imagine) a line in the snow, sand or where ever you might be when reading this and pretend that there is a cliff over the other side of the line.

Standing with both feet together and about a foot away from the line, I want you to take a step forward towards the line (without thinking about it) and have a look over the cliff.
Generally what you will find is that your more predominant foot will always lead, this should be a good indication of what foot you should have forward first on a snowboard.

Secret 2:
The other way to find out what the best riding stance is for you is to basically go and kick a ball, this is another good indication of your more dominant foot.
Now that you know how to find out what stance you are on the board, it’s time to learn your Basic stance and the correct way to stand when riding.

NOTE: If there is one piece of advice I can give it is this, ALWAYS remember you basic stance when snowboarding, it is your foundation for progressing through the different learning curves fast and with the least amount of risk to serious injury.
If you master this fundamental basic stance, you will progress fast and find it easy to become one of the 3% of snowboarders who can actually ride the mountain.

The Basic Stance 

1. Keep your knees relaxed, slightly bent and directly over your feet. When riding keep them soft so they easily flex with the ever changing terrain

2. Keep your hips soft and relaxed. They should be directly over your knees and feet as if there is a straight line connecting the three points.

3. Have a straight back and have your arms and shoulders loose and relaxed. Your hands will hang comfortably by your sides.

4. When riding keep your head up and look directly ahead of you. By avoiding looking down and keeping your eyes focused further in front of you, you will find it easier to stay well balanced and in control.

NOTE: For a good snowboard stance you should only turn your head to face the direction you are riding in. A common mistake is to turn from the hips and let your torso completely face forwards. This should be avoided as it will throw you off balance and make turning harder.

This is also a bad Habit and the main culprit of Counter rotation movements that make your snowboarding One hundred times harder.

Now that you know the most common basic stance, Always remember it!

As you develop different skills and confidence, Start playing around with the different stances and weight distribution I have outlined below.

Let’s begin…

1) Basic stance for beginner Snowboarders: (regular stance or Goofy snowboard stance)

Standing still position:
– Ankles, knees and hip slightly flexed
– Weight forward over the front foot
– Straight back and in alignment with your snowboard
– Arms relaxed and by the side
– Head looking up and where you want to travel.

So ultimately this is how you stand on a snowboard when riding down the mountain, it is important to remember that when you first start to learn snowboarding, it is important to keep weight over the front foot.
By doing this you should always have steering and control over the snowboard (unless your basic stance is wrong?)

NOTE: For beginner snowboarders, you should always use this stance!

2) Basic stance for intermediate Snowboarders:

– Ankles, knees and hip slightly flexed
– Weight is generally Centred but slightly forward both (maybe 60% on front foot)
– Straight back and in alignment with your snowboard
– Arms relaxed and by the side

Not many Instructors talk about this because it’s easier just to tell someone keep the weight forward and over the nose, I’m guessing it’s because so many people have basic stance issues that telling them to alter their stance will make things even worse!

As you become more confident within you snowboarding abilities, you can start playing around with where your weight is over the snowboard. At this stage of your riding experience, you should be able to keep your weight centred but still be able to get good board performance through the nose of your snowboard.
In other words, keep the weight forward but centre your hips more towards an even balanced stance when riding.

Intermediate snowboarding lessons

3) Basic stance for advanced snowboarders:

– Ankles, knees and hip slightly flexed
– Weight Can be Forward, Centred or on the back foot? (For Advanced Riders only)
– Straight back and in alignment with your snowboard
– Arms relaxed and by the side
– Head looking up and where you want to travel.

Ok, so by now you should have at least 100 days riding under your belt and be fairly confident when riding down blue and black trails on the mountain.

The reason I say your weight can be forward, Centred or back is because as you become an advanced snowboarder you start learning about different ways to apply pressure and release pressure from your snowboard edge without using the standard basic stance when you first started learning.

For example, the basic stance beginners/ Intermediate snowboarders would use are perfect for Up-unweighted turns, it’s easy to stay in alignment with your board and have pretty good snowboard control and board performance.

As you progress through the sport into an advanced level (technically) you start learning about different types of edge pressure techniques, Down-unweighted turns, Terrain Un weighted turns etc.

These turn styles are next level and to be honest, most pros don’t even really know how to ride at this dynamic level…

4) Basic stance for carving on a snowboard:

– Ankles, knees and hip slightly flexed
– Weight Centred evenly on both feet
– Straight back and in alignment with your snowboard
– Arms relaxed and by the side
– Head looking up and where you want to travel.

Your basic stance when carving on a snowboard has to be strong and centred, if not, you will never have good edge pressure or control.
Quick recap: Have even weight on both feet, body in alignment with snowboard and when changing edges, be assertive!
NOTE: Even if you have all of these issues perfect, if you timing is wrong, you still won’t be able to carve at a dynamic level

Grab our Carving Execution Plan Training here

5) Basic stance for Powder on a snowboard:

– Ankles, knees and hip slightly flexed
– Hip Centred and 70% of your weight on the back foot.
– Straight back and in alignment with your snowboard
– Arms relaxed and by the side
– Head looking up and where you want to travel.

NOTE: Adjust binding setup so you are positioned closest to the tail of your snowboard.
The idea with your snowboarding stance when riding powder is to keep the nose of your snowboard up and floating, as soon as your nose digs into the powder, your chances of falling and face planting go up tenfold!
Try not to have all your weight on the back foot, I find it easier with a 70-30 ratio…I do this so my legs don’t burn out!

PRO TIP: Start learning how to ride switch and give your legs the ultimate rest by changing from natural to goofy when your legs get tired!
See how to ride switch here…

6) Basic stance for riding switch on a snowboard

– Ankles, knees and hip slightly flexed
– Weight forward over the front foot
– Straight back and in alignment with your snowboard
– Arms relaxed and by the side
– Head looking up and where you want to travel.

If you are learning switch for the first time, KEEP YOUR WEIGHT FORWARD!

Remember, it’s exactly the same as when you first learnt how to snowboard…

NOTE: If you want the Exact formula I have uses to teach thousands of like minded people how to ride switch, Click here!

Really focus on a strong basic stance when riding switch, along with weight over the front foot. Without your weight forward, you will lose steering and balance!

That’s pretty much it for basic stance, I hope you found what you are looking for…

Please leave any questions and make sure you check out All of our Snowboarding Execution plans if you really want to shortcut your learning curve when progression to an advanced snowboard level


Logan is the founder of Online Snowboard coach and has been coaching people how to snowboard for over 12 years...

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