Are you looking at your new snowboard setup and wondering if there is too much toe or heel overhang?… Don’t worry, you are not alone!
Almost every snowboarder has at some point questioned the amount of toe or heel overhang on their snowboard. It´s not something often discussed but it is an important factor to consider when dialling in your bindings, and setting up the perfect ride.
Today you are in luck! We have made a simple and easy guide to toe and heel overhang. Let’s strap in and read on…
How Much Is Too Much Toe Or Heel Overhang On A Snowboard?
There is no exact science to this, but a general rule is that 1 – 3cm of toe or heel overhang is perfect. With up to 4cm being on the limit but still acceptable.
This might not seem obvious, but a little toe and heel overhang is a good thing! It gives more control when switching between carves and allows more pressure on your rails during turns. This is especially important in hard snow and icy conditions when rail contact is an important factor. Many powder riders opt for wider boards that give more float but not as much control on hard pistes or in snowparks.
Many new snowboarders get caught up in the issue of overhang. When you picture a snowboarder, you generally think of their feet having no overhang over the rails of their snowboard. This is a common misconception and often leads to snowboarders purchasing a board that is too wide. Although too much overhang can be an issue, in most cases, you would have to be quite deep into a carve before your toes or heels start to drag on the ground.
If your toes or heels hang out further than 4cm you might find that they will drag when deep in turns or in soft snow. This can cause issues with manoeuvrability and can lead to crashes. It can also cause comfort issues with your bindings as the straps will not fit correctly with your boots.
The pics below illustrate the perfect setup concerning the toe and heel overhang. Note that the toe and heel overhang are perfectly balanced. This helps with even edge control and quickly moving from rail to rail.
The Perfect Snowboard Toe Overhang
The Perfect Snowboard Heel Overhang
Here’s What Not To Do!
The Perfect Snowboard Binding Position
How To Setup Toe And Heel Overhang Perfectly On Your Snowboard
Most modern snowboards generally have size guides online that will help you choose the perfect board for your foot size, height and weight. Following these guides when buying a new board is an absolute must and makes setup a piece of cake, whilst also removing the stress of wondering if you have made the right choice.
For those buying 2nd hand snowboards or models without information readily available, follow this guide for the perfect setup.
1. Ensure Your Boots Are the Right Size
Start by ensuring your snowboard boots are right for both your feet and your board. Firstly check the size guide for the board and if you don’t have a guide handy then you can try this method..
Place your boot in the centre of your snowboard and look at the overhang of your heels and toes. In a perfect world, the overhang should be between 2 or 3cm on each side. If the bindings on your board sit quite high (like the ones pictured above) you can add 1 or 2 cm to this.
2. Ensure Your Bindings Are the Right Size
Like snowboards, bindings come in sizing specific to your body’s dimensions. Snowboard boots tend to be quite different so binding companies build their bindings to be as adjustable as possible, allowing them to fit as many sizes and shapes as possible.
Choosing the correct size for snowboard bindings is crucial as they serve as the link between you and the snowboard, transmitting muscle energy to control the board’s movements. Optimal sizing is essential for two key aspects:
- Fitting your boots: Your boots must fit snuggly in the binding. With the foot straps centred over your foot and enough strap on the ratchet to ensure a solid hold on your foot. There are many adjustments available on bindings to help with your foot position and comfort. I advise playing with these and adapting if you feel discomfort or lack of control.
- Matching your board: Bindings should also correspond to the appropriate size of your snowboard. The bindings can have a small amount of overhang (max 1cm) on the toe and heel edge of the board.
3. Position The Bindings
Place your bindings on the board, aligning them with the reference stance or the recommended markings on the board for stance width and positioning. To find the best stance for you click here Ensure the binding are the right size and in the right place then tighten onto your board.
4. Assess Comfort and Control
- Strap into your bindings and stand on a flat surface. (a rug or carpet is best to ensure that you do not damage the board or floor)
- Check for comfort: Ensure there are no pressure points or discomfort caused by excessive hang. Carefully rock back and forth focussing on the balance points.
- Test control: Move your weight around and simulate the movements you’d make while snowboarding. Ensure you feel balanced and in control.
5. Evaluate Toe Hang
Check the toe hang by slightly leaning forward into a snowboard stance against a wall or solid object. There should be enough hang to provide control without the boots dragging or catching excessively on the snow. Most snowboard turns even at speed only go to around 60 degrees so don’t worry too much about going right into a plank.
6. Evaluate Heel Hang
Lean slightly back against a wall, a friend or a solid object to check the heel hang. Similarly, ensure there’s enough hang for control without the heel hanging too much and hindering your ability to engage the heel edge. Hell hang is usually much less of an issue than toe hang.
7. Make Adjustments
Getting the perfect fit sometimes takes a bit of adjustment.
If the toe hang feels a bit excessive but the heel has some room, adjust the hiback (backplate) of the binding back one notch until you have a nice, centred position. Do the opposite for heel hang.
If you can´t adjust the binding within an acceptable range, it might be worth buying a better-suited board. That said, if it´s a used board, adjust as best you can and give it a try. With snowboarding things don’t always need to be perfect and if you can make it work then go shred!
Always remember to double-check all screws before hitting the snow! loose bolts cause hospital trips…Trust me
8. Test Ride and Fine-Tune
Take your snowboard for a test ride to evaluate how the adjustments feel on the slopes. Paying attention to toe and heel drag through a variety of turns and snow conditions. If you have an option, try a friend’s board to look for differences in ride and fine-tune what you are looking for.
Ensure that the snowboard that you are testing is in good condition, is freshly waxed and has serviced edges! These factors can hinder the snowboard performance and trick you into thinking there is something wrong with your setup.
9. Seek Professional Help if Needed
If you are still unsure about the toe or heel overhang, take your board and boots to your local snowboard shop and get a professional opinion.
Remember, finding the perfect toe and heel hang involves some trial and error. Focus on achieving a setup that feels comfortable, offers control, and suits your riding style to enjoy your time on the snowboard.
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