Within wakeboarding we have been seeing a huge tendency to ride skinny stance, and this has not been so visible within kiteboarding yet. The wide stance used to look cool but if you think about it, it does not make that much sense. Remember all those knee injuries in the past from the pro riders in wakeboarding & kiteboarding? Well, we don’t really see them as much now… and this mainly due to most pro wakeboarders riding skinny stance. Here you can see our 6 reasons why you might want to go skinny with some photos from Pro rider Annelous Lammerts who can show us perfectly:
- First to avoid injury. With skinnier stance you will have less chance to tweak your knee. As we said before, in wake boarding knee injuries used to be way more common when riders were using a wide stance. This has changed a lot now. As you can see on the picture, with a wide stance you will twist your knee way easier than with a skinny one.
2. Riding wide stance is not natural… so you shouldn’t kiteboard or wake board like that either. It is going use your knee way more, and make you more susceptible to a knee injury.
3. It does not look good to have max stance! Maybe in the past, but for sure not anymore. Of course, this is just our opinion, but skinny stance is definitely a winner for style points.
4. Your riding is going to get better, you have a better division of balance on both feet on your board. Not all the weight has to be on one leg only, so it is going be easier to edge strongly and get a better pop! It is also going give you more tip nose & tail surface which is giving you more speed when spinning as well.
5. It’s going to make it easier to grab the board and those grabs will look better for sure. Topside pop will be easier as well if you intended to reach that level.
6. Landings might feel a little bit unbalanced at first, but do not loose motivation as they will get better. But don’t forget the most important thing is to exaggerate the knee bending upon landing.
So how should I set up my skinny stance?
You should adopt a natural squating position. Do a squat and try to get that position on your board as well.
If you have inserts holes, you will be more limited. Starting with the middle one is always a good idea, but if it still feels a little wide, don’t be afraid of using the skinnier holes. If you have track system (rail insert) then you can find the better stance for yourself, the sweet spot it is probably between the skinny stance and the middle stance.
What about the angle then ? Well this is a personal question. Everyone else is going tell you I ride like that it is great, or you should try like that… But you should find the sweet spot yourself. Once again the natural angle of your feet when you squat is a really good start.
As not all the brands are using the same measuring system, try to remember your preferred angle and drop a little mark on your board when removing your bindings so you can always get it right next time. So get your screwdriver and give it a try. It might feel a little weird at the beginning of the first session but then you will probably enjoy it even more.
Don’t forget to spread the word to your friends, you might save their knees! 😉