There are two main stances for riding a skateboard, regular or goofy. Regular is when your left foot is forward, holding most of your body weight, and your right foot is your foot used for pushing. Goofy is when your right foot is in front, and your left foot is used for pushing.
When you begin learning how to ride a board, the first thing you want to do is determine your stance. This goes for skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, and all other board sports, really.
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 jump 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.
Regular VS Goofy Stance Explained (Footedness)
Both stances, regular and goofy, are just different foot placements or footedness. This describes the leading foot that will be in the front of your board. Footedness is not only used for board sports but also for kicking a ball or jumping. It’s basically the same thing as having a dominant hand (handedness) but instead, a dominant foot.
In sports like skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding, beginners should first find their dominant foot or prefer in front.
Approximately 56 percent of skateboarders ride regular, with their left foot in front and their right foot in the back. But funnily enough, 70 percent of snowboarders ride regular. I just wanted to point out that stance can also depend on the sport.
This goes for many board sports such as snowboarding, wakeboarding, kitesurfing, and surfing. And both right and left-handed people ride boards in a regular stance.
As another little note, nothing changes if you ride regular or goofy. Neither one is better, will affect your style, or make you faster. And your stance is not really a choice, either.
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 surfer’s then adopted it, and the term stuck and has been used to describe the stance ever since.
Again, goofy means the rider’s right foot is in the front of the board, and their left foot is at the back.
Should You Ride Regular or Goofy?
So, to be frank, a regular and goofy stance is not a choice. You don’t really 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.
Left Or Right-handed, Does it Matter?
In short, no. Your handedness does not correlate with your footedness. There’s not a direct link between being left-handed or right-handed and footedness. However, it is a great place to start. If you are right-handed, try skating regular at first. Or if you’re left-handed, try goofy.
For myself, this worked, and it is how I found out that I was regular. I kick a ball with my right foot and write with my right hand. So it’s a great place to start, but you might not find your answer here.
There aren’t many facts, but a handful of small studies and surveys give us little insight.
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.
How Many Skaters Ride Goofy?
According to a study conducted by the Tampa Skatepark Database, out of 4000 skaters, 44 percent ride goofy, and 56 percent ride regular. This is massive in contrast to handedness, with only 1 out of 9 people being left-handed. This data would suggest that your dominant hand has nothing to do with your stance.
Another study showed that 3 out of 10 snowboarders ride goofy. So there is no concrete evidence proving exact numbers. However, we can assume that one-third to half of all riders are goofy with this data.
More Than One Stance
Some wild people out there can skateboard goofy but ride a surfboard or snowboard in regular stance. There are also skaters like Leandre Sander who skate the street regularly but skate a bowl in goofy.
There are not many of them, and even rarer are two-legged people. To them, footedness is not a thing. They can stand on the board regular or goofy and feel just as comfortable either way.
There are soccer players that don’t have a dominant foot, and it gives them an edge over their opponents.
Suppose you’re able to ditch footedness and ride either way; congratulations. You’re part of an elite club.
Tricks To Help You Find Your Stance
So the best piece of advice that I can give you is to hop on a board and just see what feels most natural. However, there are quite a few tips and tricks that can help you out. Don’t think about it too much. Some of these following methods work better than others; it all depends on the individual.
Anyhow, let’s go through them together in more detail so that you can finally find out which is your dominant foot. Some of these activities won’t even make you get too active. Hopefully, you’ll discover your dominant foot once and for all.
1. Kick A Ball
So this is how I figured out my stance on a skateboard by kicking a ball. Well, by leading with my foot that kicks a ball. I kick a ball with my right foot, and so I tried skateboarding regular, with my left foot in the front and my right foot in the back.
So figure out which way that you kick a ball and try this one out first. If you kick a ball with your right foot, test riding regular first. But if you kick a ball with your left foot, try riding goofy. Skateboard for 5 to 10 minutes and then try the other stance. By then, you should know which one feels most comfortable.
2. Slide On A Slippery Floor In Your Socks
Here is another tip that actually works for me. Put on some socks and try getting a running start to glide on your hardwood or tile floor. Do a short sprint, jump, and land sideways on your feet, facing the sliding direction.
Try this out a couple of times to see what feels best. If you jump leading with your left foot in front, you’re a regular stance rider. But if you jump and lead with your right foot in front, you’re most likely a goofy rider.
Keep trying this a few times, and test out both ways. You might be surprised to learn that you can slide both ways comfortably. If that’s the case, try a different method to learn your stance.
3. Fall Forward, Catching Yourself With Your Foot
This little test can easily be done inside your house. All it requires is for you to fall forward until you catch yourself with your foot.
What should happen is as you fall, you should catch yourself with one of your legs. Whichever leg catches you or extends out first should be your dominant foot. So if your right foot catches you, you’re regular, and if your left foot catches you, you’re goofy.
I tested this one myself, but it didn’t work very well for me. However, it seems like quite a few people are successful with this little trick.
4. Have Someone Push You
This is the last trick that I have to help you find your stance, and it’s one of the oldest ones that I can remember. Sometimes this will work. Sometimes it won’t. I think it really depends on the person attempting it.
What you need to do is close your eyes and have a friend push you gently. You shouldn’t completely expect the push for the best results.
Whichever foot goes out first to catch you would be your footedness. If you start overthinking this test, it won’t work as well. So move on to another one of the previous tests.
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.
Riding In Switch Stance
A switch stance is when you completely swap your stance. Your left foot should be at the back of the board, and your right should be at the front of the board for those who ride regular. For goofy skaters, it’s just the other way around. The left foot should be in the front and the right foot in the back. Stand on your board and jump, doing a 180 with your body, and you’ll be in the switch position.
Riding in switch is kind of like learning to skate all over again. It’s almost like shooting a basketball with your bad arm.
Riding In Fakie Stance
The fakie stance is when you ride backward with your back foot near the tail of the board, facing forward while using your right foot to push. It is often confused with the switch stance, but there is one difference. In fakie, you’re essentially just skateboarding in the opposite direction as usual.
In snowboarding, fakie is the same, but it can be a little bit more confusing. And often, the terms switch and fakie are used interchangeably.
The mongo stance has always been frowned upon and made fun of within the skateboarding community. That being said, quite a few pros skate in the mongo stance.
Mongo is when you push the skateboard with your front foot, and as you lift your foot used to push back onto the board, you hop your back foot near the tail and your other foot closer to the nose.
Surfers and snowboarders can’t ride mongo, but longboarders can. If possible, the mongo stance should be avoided and corrected if you catch yourself riding this way.
Many skaters say that mongo skaters aren’t as fun to watch, but the main issue is that mongo takes longer to get into position and balanced to perform tricks.
Pushing mongo isn’t very stable, and skaters that ride in mongo tend to have issues controlling their boards. However, there is a benefit to riding mongo. Those that skate mongo can ride fakie and switch like a boss. Have you caught yourself riding mongo? If so, check out these tips to stop pushing mongo.
Regular VS Goofy: Longboarding
Whether you’re riding a skateboard, cruiser, or longboard, the same principles apply despite differences between them. So finding out whether you’re regular or goofy will be the same whether you’re on a skateboard or a longboard.
It’s possible that you might discover your preferred stance easier on a longboard or cruiser because they are more stable.
Longboards are easier to maintain speed and balance, making them an ideal board to learn your stance.
Regular VS Goofy: Snowboarding
If you’re planning on learning how to snowboard, you’re definitely going to want to know whether you’re regular or goofy. On a snowboard, you don’t have the luxury of getting off your board as easily as a skateboard, making it more to learn your footedness.
I highly suggest figuring out your stance before getting on a ski lift. Then you’d be forced to learn your footedness the hard way. So pick up a skateboard and practice. Try to find out which way you like to ride. It should be the same when you snowboard.
This can help answer which stance works best for you. And if you don’t know, check out some of my other tips 1 to 4 up above.
Regular VS Goofy: Surfing
Surfing is a challenging and trying sport. So discovering whether you’re goofy or regular before getting on the water can give you a huge advantage. If you don’t already own a skateboard, borrow one to figure it out. This can save you a lot of time on the beach, and the sooner you get in the water, the sooner you can begin learning how to surf.
If you decide to learn your footedness on the beach, try jumping on and off the surfboard a few times. Whichever foot lands in front will most likely be your leading foot on the water as well.
Surfing is much different than skateboarding, though, and it requires being able to ride in both directions. But even with that, it’s still a good idea to find out your favorite stance.
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, 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.