How do you mount your bindings onto your snowboard? Relax, it's easy to do and requires just a few basic tools. It also helps you to understand how your board works so you don't have to feel so dependent on a shop.

This article and the above video give you the basics of snowboard binding installation for most setups.

First Things First

Tools and Supplies

It's simple. For most boards you need only a #3 Phillips screwdriver to mount the bindings and a wrench to fit the bindings to your boots. For quick adjustments on the mountain, you can use a multitool. They're compact and come with other handy tools like Allen keys, flathead screwdrivers and wrenches.

Determine Your Lead Foot

To find out which foot will be at the front of your board, stand still and then let yourself fall forward or have someone push you (be nice!). The foot that you stick out in front to catch yourself with is considered your lead foot. If your left foot goes forward, your stance is "regular." If your right foot goes forward, your stance is "goofy."

Find Your Left and Right Binding

Yes, there's a left and right. You can tell the difference by the direction of the curve, just like with a shoe. Still not sure? Note that the strap starts on the inside and buckles on the outside.

Establish Your Stance Width

The 4 center-mount screw holes are marked with arrows on most boards. You should probably start with a center mount and see how it rides. If you later feel like a narrower or wider stance would be more comfortable, you can easily remount your bindings using the other holes.

Mount the Bindings

Front Binding

  1. Pick up the front binding and the circular base plate and position the binding at a 15° angle, pointed forward. To do this, look at the marks on the base plate. Each mark is 3 degrees and the 15° mark is identified with the number 15.
  2. Line up the number 15 on the base plate with the tick mark on the binding over the 4 center screw holes.
  3. Turn the first screw in loosely.
  4. Going diagonally across, insert the second screw and then the third and the fourth. With the screws still loose, center them and tighten. Do not overtighten.

Back Binding

  1. Position the back binding at -6° (pointed backward). Negative 6 is not marked on the base plate, so count out 2 counterclockwise markings (remember, each is 3 degrees).
  2. Line up that marking with the tick mark on the binding. Loosely insert the screws as described above for the front binding, center and tighten.

Note: The screws should always be centered in the holes in the binding. Sometimes, if the board is too wide, you may have to push the binding forward so you can engage your toe. If you get your board fitted properly, this will not be necessary.

Fit the Bindings to Your Boots

Bindings come in different sizes, so make sure you get the right one for your foot. There are some micro-adjustments within sizes to make the binding fit tighter or more loosely. Using a wrench, you can remove the bolts at the base of the ankle straps, move the strap inward or outward, and replace the bolts.

Snowboard Stance Variations

There are lots of variations in stance width and foot angle. Once you get comfortable riding, you may want to play around with these options until you feel well-balanced.

Example: If you're riding a bigger board or if you feel too much pressure on your quads, you may need to shorten your stance. A great way to find your stance width is by measuring the length of your shinbone. This distance, from just below knee to your heel, is a good starting point for the width of your stance.

The +15° and -6° stance is called "duck stance." It's the best position for learning to ride because it forces you to learn correct technique and distribute your weight properly. Most riders don't like to adjust the angle of their stance each time they go out and ride, so "duck stance" is a good default position. If your technique is solid, you can try experimenting with the angles. Some riders like to turn the back foot farther inward.

Contributors: Erica Horn, REI Seattle snowboard shop tech; Susan Schnier, snow sports writer.