There are two main types of skateboard stances: regular and goofy. Most people ride regular, with their right foot forward, but there are plenty of left-handed riders out there. No matter which stance you choose, it’s important to find a comfortable riding position.
Regular riders will find a comfortable position just like goofy riders will – just go with your preferred stance. Whichever way you ride, you’ll be able to enjoy the sport of skateboarding just the same.
A goofy stance on a skateboard is when your right foot is in the front of the board and your left foot is at the back. Goofy skateboarders push with their left foot instead of their right. The stance is the same no matter which board sport; skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding etc.
If you look up “why is it called goofy stance” or a similar keyphrase in Google, you’ll find out that the term comes from Walt Disney’s Goofy character. Goofy was seen riding a wave on a surfboard with his right foot forward in an old movie. The surfers then adopted it, and the term stuck and has been used to describe the stance ever since.
A regular stance on a skateboard is when your left foot is in the front of the board and your right foot is at the back. Most people are naturally regular-footed, so this is probably the stance that you will be most comfortable with. If you’re unsure which foot to put in front, try both stances out and see which feels more natural for you.
There is no right or wrong stance; it’s all about what feels comfortable for you. Some people are able to skate equally well in both regular and goofy stance, while others may find that one stance works better for them than the other. Experiment and see what works best for you!
Is It Better to Ride Goofy or Regular?
So, to be frank, a regular and goofy stance is not a choice. You don’t have the option to choose your footedness and force it. It will come completely naturally. Even if neither way feels natural at first, one way will feel better, and that will be your proper stance. No matter what, your body has a preference in stance, and you’ll have to find out if that is goofy or regular.
Practice riding both ways for a little bit and see what is most comfortable. To be honest, that’s the best advice I can give. However, later we will discover some tips and tricks.
If no one can slowly push and guide you, try riding down a slow decline like a wheelchair ramp. You may not have great balance, so if you can find a mellow slope with handrails, you’re in luck.
How Many Skaters Ride Goofy?
It’s estimated that around 30% of riders are goofy. However, a study conducted by the Skatepark of Tampa Database found that nearly half (44%) of 4000 skateboarders were goofy, and the other half (56%) were regular.
It’s hard to tell exactly how many skateboarders ride goofy without asking every skater. However, we can safely assume that it’s somewhere between 30 to 50 percent. Although goofy stances are less common, plenty of professional skaters actually ride with a goofy stance.
Professional Goofy Skateboarders
With so many skateboarders riding goofy it’s inevitable for some pros to ride goofy. Some of the most notable professional skaters that ride goofy include:
- Nyjah Huston
- Chris Haslam
- Shane O’Neil
- Eric Koston
- Paul “P-Rod” Rodriguez
- Justin Figueroa
- Dennis Busenitz
Another thing to note is that most (if not all) professional skateboarders can ride switch pretty well. Switch is when you ride in the opposite stance from your preferred stance. For instance, skaters with a regular stance would switch to goofy and vice versa.
Many professional skateboarders are able to land big tricks both ways, which is a testament to their skill and practice. While it may be easier for some people to ride in their natural stance, all skaters have the ability to learn how to ride in both stances with enough time and effort.
Which Foot Should Go in Front?
There isn’t an exact science to discovering which foot should be in front, but there are some tricks to help you learn if you ride regular or goofy.
For most people, it will click right away, while others can find it more challenging. To find out if you’re a regular or goofy stance, you need to determine your dominant foot, the one that should be in front. Try riding both ways for a short amount of time to find out which feels more natural. Try turning and jumping off and on the board a few times and see what feels the most natural.
There are a few misconceptions about finding your skateboarding stance. For starters, your dominant foot doesn’t always determine your stance. You’ll only truly know when you find out which way you feel most stable when you ride and continue practicing.
Does it Matter if You’re Left or Right Handed?
No, it does not. Many people think that if you’re left-handed, you should ride goofy and if you’re right-handed, you should ride regular. However, this isn’t typically the case. Actually, close to 80% of the population are right-handed whereas footedness is closer to 50/50.
It all comes down to balance and comfort. If it’s more comfortable for you to push with your left foot while having your right foot in front, then you’re most likely a goofy rider. The same goes for being a regular rider but with your left foot in front.
There are some exceptions to this rule such as when people are ambidextrous (able to use both hands equally well). In this case, it’s more likely that they will be able to ride both ways with equal comfort.
Does Your Dominant Foot Determine Your Stance?
Most of the time, your dominant foot will determine your stance, but not always. If you’re still not sure how to get on the board, try keeping the foot that you kick a ball within the back of the board. This goes for every board sport as well.
There are exceptions, of course. Make sure you try riding both ways. You might be surprised to find out that you kick a ball with your right foot, but your left foot is dominant when skateboarding. So try both regular and goofy and give them both a fair chance by riding both ways for at least five to ten minutes each. But if one way feels completely natural, that is most likely your preferred stance.
Tips & Tricks to Find Your Skateboard Stance
There are a few activities you can do to help find your stance. It may not be as easy as it sounds, but with some practice, you’ll get there.
- Try riding both ways and see which feels more natural.
- Find a hill and ride down it. See which is more stable.
- Try different surfaces. Some people may feel more comfortable on a carpet than others.
- Have someone slowly push you from behind and see which way you naturally want to go.
- Place the board in front of you and jump onto it. Land in the middle and see which feels better.
- Place one foot in front of the other on the board and see which feels more comfortable.
There is no right or wrong way to find your stance. It’s all about what feels the most natural and stable for you. So don’t be afraid to experiment and try different things until you find what works best for you!
Other Skateboard Stances
Aside from goofy and regular, there are a few other stances in skateboarding. Once you graduate from being a beginner skater, there are a few other stances that you can incorporate with your goofy or regular footing.
To impress your friends, you can do tricks in stances like fakie and switch. These will both open up a plethora of trick variations. For every trick, there is an equal trick in fakie or switch. So once you learn to ride switch, there are now switch ollies, kickflips, pop shuvits, and every other trick under the sun to learn in your new mastered stance.
- Switch: This is when you skate with your non-dominant foot in the front. So, if you are right-footed, your left foot will be in the front of the board. Switching your stance occasionally can help you to learn new tricks and improve your balance.
- Fakie: Riding fakie means skating backwards. So, if you are a regular skater, this would mean that your left foot is in the front instead of your right. Fakie ollies are a popular trick.
- Mongo: Mongo is when you push with your back foot instead of your front foot. So, if you are a regular skater, this would mean that you push with your right foot instead of your left.
Another term to familiarize yourself with is stance width. Stance width is how far your feet are apart on the deck. A wider stance is more stable but makes it harder to do certain tricks. A narrower stance gives you more maneuverability but isn’t as stable.
Other Factors to Consider
Aside from your dominant foot, there are other factors to consider when you’re finding your stance. Your height and weight will play a role in how you stand on the board. A taller person can get away with a wider stance, while a shorter person may need a narrower stance. Heavier people will want a wider stance for stability, while lighter people may want a narrower stance for maneuverability.
The size of your feet will also play a role in finding your stance. If you have large feet, you may feel more comfortable with a wider stance. If you have small feet, you may prefer a narrower stance.
The width of the deck is another factor to consider. A wider deck will require a wider stance, while a narrower deck may allow for a narrower stance.
Finally, the type of skating you’ll be doing will also play a role in finding your stance. If you’re planning on doing more tricks, you may want a narrower stance for maneuverability. If you’re planning on mostly cruising around, you may want a wider stance for stability.
There are quite a few ways to help determine if you are a regular or goofy rider. There are some tips and tricks that may help, but the best way to find out your stance is just to give it a try, ride it, and keep going until it feels natural.
Stance does not really matter much, and there is no preference involved. Regular is not better than goofy, and vice versa. Neither looks better when skateboarding either.
Good luck with learning to ride a skateboard. Since you’re here, you’re probably starting out for the first time. The best advice that I can give you is to take it slow, don’t feel pressured, and make sure to always wear good protective gear.