Length & Flex:
For giant slalom I ride a 184 cm, 204 mm waist width race board. In slalom I ride a 162 cm, 204 mm waist width board. It’s important to pick an appropriate length and flex for your size and weight. If the board is too stiff it won’t bend properly in the turn to permit a clean arc and will chatter uncontrollably on hard ice. If the board is too soft it’s deadly. Be careful in soft snow conditions as the nose can fold and catapult you over the bars and downhill onto your collarbone. Pick a good medium flex pattern that works well in soft and hard conditions, and not too long for the designated discipline. If you just want a fun all-mountain carving board pick a sidecut and length in the middle. I’ve gravitated to softer boards the past years and discovered an improved feel for harder snow and versatility in challenging courses.
As for stance, I would suggest riding as shallow of angles as possible without overhang. I ride 55 degrees in the front foot and 48 degrees in the back foot for both giant slalom and slalom on a 20.4 cm waist width race board. I’ve got big feet. The Hangle Plates I ride on my race boards have allowed me to go even shallower with my stance. I ride a 20 inch stance width. I feel that if you go too steep with your biding angles you’re athleticism is limited and your balance compromised. As a general rule of thumb if you cann’t ride pow on your alpine set-up your angles are too steep or your board is too narrow.
My front binding is positioned flat on the board and my rear binding has three degree inward canting with heel lift. This is what I ride and advocate, but I know lots of top riders that ride with toe-lift on their front foot and perform well. “Gas pedals and high heels,” as Kevin Delany used to say. It is really personal preference. Play with your stance – see what feels best!
I suggest between one to four centimeters back of center in giant slalom and between one and two and a half centimeters back of center in slalom. I ride about two centimeters back of center in giant slalom and about one in slalom. I hope this is helpful when setting up your gear. See ya out there!