6. Set toe lift.
The initial function of toe lift is to account for the supportive forward lean of your boot, and equalize the leverage ratios from the toe side to heel side of the snowboard. Another way of looking at it is that you are trying to set the center of your knee, as viewed from the tip of the board looking toward the tail, roughly on the midline of the board width.
Failure to achieve this geometric relationship will cause the rider to ride more out of the upper body, leaning in, sitting in, rotating, etc in an attempt to bring the board to an edge and keep it there, among other things. Excess effort and movement required to put a board on one edge will interfere with the ability to move the board to the opposite edge.
If the toe is raised too high, the front leg may straighten out on heel-side turns. Should this happen, the rider would have difficulty altering the edge angle by rolling the leg out of the hip socket, and may find that they are standing primarily on the rear foot.
The second function of toe lift is to close the angled gap created between sole of the boot and the binding when the tibia is brought to a near vertical position. With the gap closed, it takes less movement by the rider to apply pressure to the tip of the board on a toe-side turn without ‘excessive’ upper body rotation.
The tertiary function of toe lift is to reduce what I consider to be the excessive amount of ramp present in most ‘stock’ hardboots. More on this in a moment, (section 7).
For the boots that I use, I have found that the amount of lift provided by the 3-degree disc of the Bomber TD1 and TD2 is very close to ideal. I have made my own specific discs for the TD1, but I believe the stock 3 is a good place to start. (For myself, with ski boots.) Unfortunately, you might now be stuck with inboard canting, but we will deal with that in section 8.
(Notice the double stack of toe and heel pads; this is to account for a leg length difference. The rear binding is ‘stock’ height). The degree reading on the level should only be used for comparison here, as the binding is mounted on the snowboard, which is sitting on a surface plate.