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    I’d love to hear about other people’s experience with this. My old split rig is trashed, and I’m going to cut a Dynastar LZ 170 wide. With softboots I usually go with a straight sideways stance, or even slightly duckfoot. (For a couple years I patrolled on it, and it made sense to be able to ride switch easily.) I can see that with hardboots (Scarpa Laser with Intuition liners) it might make more sense to turn forward. Also, my feet are pretty big. If I ran about 45 degrees forward with both feet I’d be all on the board, and both knees would be doing the same thing at the same time. It might also keep my butt where it belongs!

    Have other people changed their stance when they switch to hardboots? I’m doing plenty of research before I commit to a stance and cut the board. I’ll probably get some hard bindings that I can later put on the voile sliders, and spend some time hiking the board and playing around with the new setup before I make the cut. Suggestions on bindings would be helpful. Looks like Bomber has a model that could be retrofitted. I also have a race deck that I’ve never used, so I’m kind of curious about the forward carving stance.

    Any experience with this would be helpful.

    Jon Dahl

    That is a loaded question. Stance angles vary so much depending on too many factors to just say do this. My personal setup on my split is 38f/30r front foot flat and rear foot has cant/lift. On other boards I ride as little as 5 degrees split or 15 degrees different, depending on what and where I’m riding. A few guys here ride duck with A/T boots. I personally don’t see how, but that shows how we all differ at a biomechanical level. I would start with a setup close to your softie setup, and carpet surf. Make a change at a time until you get rid of any hotspots in your boots. A bit of overhang is fine for now, less than a half inch at most. Go play, and repeat as needed.


    Yup, you just have to experiment. The softer flexing the hardboots you use are, the closer they will feel to regular softboots, and the closer you will be able to ride to your regular softboot stance.
    I ride Burton Driver Xs for softboots at 21″ wide, about 4-5 cm. back of center, and at around 30 degrees front and 15 degrees rear angles. With my modified Dynafit Zzero 3 C boots (modded for more flex) I ride the exact same stance as with the softs. I do not like straight across, or duck stances ’cause I like to have my body facing towards the falline for riding steeps, and I like to be able to see down the falline when I am completing a toeside turn across the slope.
    Note that my modded hardboots flex pretty similarly to my Driver Xs after the mods, this is why it is easy for me to ride the same stance with both boots (and because I am already riding a relatively high performance freeride stance with the D Xs).


    On the split board I am riding about +25f / +18r in modified Scarpa F1s. Like barrows, I made some changes that increased the forward flex. At this point my F1s have a forward flex much closer to a softboot than most hardboots. Lateral flex (side to side) is also important for the softboot “feel.” The Voile Mtn Plates I am currently using have a lot of lateral play which helps my weight shifts forward and backward on the board. I don’t really trust the Voiles strength-wise though and I am very anxiously awaiting the new Spark plate bindings with built in flex for next year.

    I ride softboots inbounds at angles of about +21f / +12r and alpine hardboots on the groomer days at about +48f / +45r. I have only slightly increased my angles for the AT boots on the split. I have never ridden duck or 0 degrees so I cannot say how the AT boots would perform at those angles. I assume lateral flex would become much more important for shifting your weight forward and back along the long axis of the board.

    For carving on groomers, I ride a stiffer boot than on the split. I do know several riders (I think Jon Dahl is one) that ride the same hardboot for carving, splitboard, and resort powder riding. That would be convenient, but doesn’t work for me.

    For any inbounds riding I need my toes and heels at the edge of the board. Any overhang and I will boot out when I hit a groomer and start carving. That is true even on my powder board if I am on a groomer heading back to the lift. On the split I find I rarely lay down a trench for a variety of reasons. The vast majority of my turns in the backcountry are skidded on some level and I am able to ride with a bit of overhang (not a lot though).

    For bindings, the Bombers might work for both purposes, though I would contact them to make sure. If it does work and you are planning to eventually mod them to fit on the slider plates you might consider buying a pair of used TD2s instead of the new TD3s. They will still be fairly expensive ($200), but they really are bomb proof. You can check the classifieds or put up a WTB on the site. As I mentioned, I am really excited to try the new Spark R&D hardboot split bindings with the built in lateral flex.

    Good luck!


    Thanks to everyone who provided input. On Baker’s opening day I did some research and decided to switch from duck to about 38/23 forward. I’ll use my softboots for now, but I can switch to hardboots with this stance, if it seems right. I like facing forward, and now that I’m not patrolling I don’t need to ride switch that frequently.

    This past weekend I cut my Dynastar LZ 170 Wide and put the kit on. I took my time and did a good job. Boy, that kit has improved greatly since my earlier split! So I’m stoked. Now, if it would just STOP RAINING AND START SNOWING!!

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