Physical Education, Winter Sports, Skateboarding, Snowboarding, Surfing
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Goofy vs. Regular Stances: What They Are and Why They Matter
What do skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding have in common? They’re all sports that don’t center around a ball. You use your legs and feet to do most of the work. While practicing them for the first time can be challenging, it’s all about finding a rhythm.
Comfort is critical whether you’re riding pavement or waves. Finding your best stance is one way to get better at these leg-intensive sports. The most popular poses are regular, goofy, and switch. What’s the difference? We’ll cover everything you need to know about the stances and how you can pick the best one for you.
What Is a Regular Stance?
Imagine you step onto a skateboard. You put your left foot at the front, leaving your right foot at the back of the board. Most skateboarders crouch slightly to gain control and use their right foot to generate power. This position is the regular stance. It’s the most common way riders operate, and it likely feels the most natural for you.
The regular stance benefits beginners because it’s closer to human nature. Native English speakers read and write from left to right, and marching band regiments typically lead with their left foot. Therefore, it’s more natural for most people to use the regular stance. However, some people thrive with other methods.
What Is a Goofy Stance?
The goofy stance is theorized to derive from the Disney character — not because you’ll look funny while boarding. In 1937, Disney released “Hawaiian Holiday,” a cartoon where Goofy used his right foot at the front instead of his left. The term became common slang among surfers throughout the early-to-mid 20th century, before eventually becoming popularized by skateboarders in the 1960s.
This method was initially recognized as unusual but isn’t indicative of skill — some of the best skaters in the world use the goofy stance. For example, check out Felipe Gustavo — the Brazilian skateboarder who has a goofy stance and placed 14th at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Does the name Tony Hawk sound familiar? The legendary skater is a household name for anybody who’s touched a skateboard. In 2020, Hawk confirmed he is goofy-footed despite attempts to use the switch stance.
What Is a Switch Stance?
The switch stance may be the hardest for the average board sport enthusiast. This strategy calls for using the method opposite to what you’d typically do. For example, suppose you tend to use your left foot to lead and your right foot to push. The switch stance means you’ll swap your body around and turn to the goofy stance. It presents a challenge for riders and puts your balance to the test.
Which Stance Should You Use?
Have you ever ridden a skateboard or a snowboard before? The thought can be intimidating to beginners, but facing that intial thrill has been shown to be beneficial to both mental and phyiscal health. Falls are likely to happen, but there are ways to practice beforehand. These three tips help you decide how you should approach your stance.
Test Each Stance
The first tip is easiest if you already have a skateboard in your house. Test the regular and goofy stances to see which feels best for you. Skating for the first time can be tricky, so use knee and elbow pads to protect yourself. Picking a comfortable stance reduces the risk of injuries.
Practice With Soccer
If you’ve watched all three seasons of “Ted Lasso,” this tip is for you. What does soccer have to do with board sports? In soccer, you kick a ball — board sports don’t have balls. But you can use a soccer ball to get a better feel for your stance.
Take a soccer ball in your backyard or the park. Kick the ball and note which foot you use. This foot is the one you should lead with on your board.
Use Your Kitchen Floor
If you don’t have a skateboard or a soccer ball, put some socks on and head to your kitchen. Get a running start and slide across the floor. What foot do you use to lead? This decision likely correlates with your goofy and regular stance selection. It also tells us how you’ll recreate the dance scene in “Risky Business.”
The slippery floor is a terrific environment to practice skateboarding. Snow and ice cause slippage, so test regular and goofy stances on laminate, tile, or hardwood flooring. These materials are the slickest in your home.
What Sports Use These Stances?
Your stance might not seem like much — but it influences your success in all board sports. Some sports are more dangerous than others, so finding your most comfortable position is essential. These three sports show why you should know the difference between regular, goofy, and switch.
The regular and goofy stances are most often associated with skateboarding. The fluid nature of the sport requires flexibility of movement and full-body control. Over the decades this has led the goofy stance which once was considered odd to now be commonplace. In fact, it’s reported that as many as 44% of skaters use the goofy stance, a far cry from the relative rarity of left-handedness.
Boarders are picky about regular and goofy stances. Each has pros and cons, and it’s up to you to discover the most comfortable position. You may use the regular stance and find kickflips to be easy. However, your buddy uses the goofy stance and readily does heelflips. Confidence is vital, so find the stance you find the most natural.
Snowboarding can seem like a dangerous sport for beginners. You could fall off the board or face environmental obstacles, like avalanches or fallen trees. These factors underscore the importance of your stance to ensure you can handle any situation.
Your stance in snowboarding is similar to that of your skateboard. The regular stance involves your left foot on the front of the snowboard and your right foot on the back. Goofy stance reverses the stance.
When snowboarding, you need balance to stay on the board. If you want to do tricks, you must have superior control and maneuverability. Choosing among regular, goofy, and switch stances is vital for your success. Professional snowboarders earn scores between zero and 100 points based on execution, landing, and progression. Every moment matters, and it starts with your stance.
Surfing is another sport that deals with natural elements. This time, you’re in the ocean with various marine life underneath your board. Most Americans surf in the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans, but you can do it in a lake or river if the waves allow it.
The same logic with skateboarding and snowboarding applies to surfing. Placing your left foot at the front means you have a regular stance, while goofy means your right foot is at the top. Pick your most comfortable position to perform tricks and stay afloat.
Your balance is critical on the surfboard. You must have terrific balance and control to catch the waves as they arrive. Some waves are easy to navigate for beginners. Though, big-wave surfers encounter waves 70 feet and above. Determining the regular and goofy stance here is essential to avoid risk of injury.
Choosing Your Favorite Stance
Board sports are some of the most fun you’ll have outside. Pick up your skateboard, snowboard or surfboard and start boarding. These sports allow for maximum creativity and freedom while riding. Mastering these sports means you’re in complete control of your movement.
Before starting, you need to know what stance to pick. The two most common ones in board sports are regular and goofy. Test each kind to see which one is the most comfortable for you. Finding your favorite stance will significantly help your development.