If you ever played Tony Hawk's Pro Skater - you definitely are familiar with the terms 'goofy' and 'regular'. You can skate in either of these stances, whichever is preferable for you.
Today we'll tackle all the ins and outs of these two stances, and whichever is preferable for you. So without further ado, let's get started.
[After this article, check out some of the best skateboarding accessories.]
What Is The Normal Skateboard Stance?
The normal skateboard stance involves your left foot at the front of the board, with the right foot at the back. You'll also want to crouch slightly, keeping your weight evenly distributed.
To turn, you need to lean to one side or the other. This is called a carving turn, and you'll find that it's very useful for slowing down, as well as heading downhill.
What Is Goofy Skateboard Stance?
Weirdly, the name of this stance is derived from an old Goofy cartoon, where he was seen riding with his left foot in the back of the board, and his right foot in the front. Surfers adopted it from this cartoon, and the name has stuck ever since.
Skateboarders now use the term, and frequently skate this way. While the majority of skaters (about 75%) skate with the normal stance, about 25% skate goofy on the regular.
There is really no way to tell which stance is better for you. Some skaters will just automatically go into a goofy stance, while some will prefer regular.
[Check out the best kids skateboards, if you need a gift for your little one.]
What Is Switch Stance?
Swapping your stance around, will bring you to the switch stance. This means your left foot at the back of the board, with the right foot in the front (assuming you always have the normal stance to begin with).
What About Skateboard Stance Width?
You will want to keep your feet far enough apart, that you can easily maintain your balance. This means putting your feet under the wheels in the front of the board, as well as on top of the wheels in the back.
How To Determine If You Are Regular Or Goofy Footed
There's really no way to determine if you are going to be a goofy or regular skater. You just need to hop on a board, and find out.
Have someone help spot you, if need be. Don't do anything crazy, just ride around on flat ground, and see what happens.
[To stay safe, grab the best skateboard helmet.]
How Many Skaters Ride Goofy?
Many more than you might think. A rough estimate puts it at about 25% of all skateboarders using goofy, while nearly 80% use the regular stance.
There is no way to tell for sure what the real number might be, but most people definitely do not skate in the goofy stance. Ultimately though, you have to just choose the stance that feels best for you.
What About Mongo Stance?
It has never been very popular to skate mongo, that's for sure. This type of riding involves pushing off your front foot, instead of pushing off of your back foot.
It does look a little strange, but many pros actually use this technique. Interestingly, snowboarders and surfers cannot use the mongo technique, either. The main downfall of mongo, however, is that it's much harder to balance, and stay on your board.
You're much more likely to crash and burn on your board, if you use the mongo technique. However, one advantage of skating mongo, is that you can ride switch and fakie very easily.
Does It Matter If You're Left Handed Or Right Handed?
Weirdly, it doesn't matter if you're left or right handed. This will not correlate with your stance, whatsoever.
Some goofy skaters will be left handed, and others will be right handed. Most skaters (around 75%) adopt the normal stance, while about 25% will use the goofy approach.
[This list of the best electric skateboards will show you exactly what to ride.]
How To Easily Find Your Stance
There are a number of easy ways to help you find your stance. While you can simply hop on a board and experiment, there are a few tricks and tips that may be very helpful.
In a weird trick that sounds crazy, but actually works - you can slide on your floor in your socks. See what foot feels more natural being forward, and what foot feels more natural being in the back.
If this doesn't work for you, you may try another method. One popular trick is to try kicking a soccer ball.
Whatever foot feels more natural, try skating with that foot forward. This won't always work, but most times it does.
Another weird trick is to have your friend push you. Unexpected, is best.
Whatever foot you catch yourself with, is often what foot will be best for you to skate with. This is another trick that isn't a fail safe, but it may just work for you.
A different trick involves a simple fall forward, whatever foot catches you, may be the one for you. For example, if your right foot catches you, you will probably be a person who utilizes a regular stance.
Goofy Stance On A Surfboard
You can use the goofy stance on a surfboard, not just a skateboard. You can test for a goofy stance or a regular stance, by jumping on and off the board on dry land.
Surfing is, of course, the original basis for skateboarding. Surfing is generally considered harder than skateboarding, because you have no control over the waves.
You also will have to position yourself at the exact right point of the wave. After this, you need to spring up, at exactly the right moment.
Thus, it's important to determine if regular stance or goofy stance is best for you. Surfing can only be done during the right time of year, however - whereas skateboarding can be done year-round.
[See some gnarly hoodies, to complete your skate ensemble.]
Riding Switch Stance
Switch stance is essentially swapping your stance - adjusting from your normal stance. If you normally have your left foot at the front of the board, with your right foot at the back - the opposite will be true for riding switch.
In switch, your left foot will now be at at the back of the board, with your right foot at the front of the board. Once you've mastered regular skateboarding, riding switch is almost like starting all over again from the beginning.
Riding Fakie Stance
Fakie stance is most easily described as skating backwards. For example, if you go up the half pipe ramp, and then come down without turning - you'll now be riding in fakie.
It definitely takes a little getting used to, but most experienced riders can do it. Tony Hawk would ride fakie sometimes, amongst many other professional skateboarders.
Switch stances means switching your stance - this is different from riding fakie. Fakie can easily be remembered as riding backwards - if you have trouble remembering what term means what, use this mnemonic device as guidance.
10 Best Skateboards (And Accessories)
This awesome board has tons of five star reviews, and is also very affordable. Beleev has been making top quality skating products for many years, so this board will not disappoint.
This is a perfect board for beginners, both kids and adults. While you can certainly spend more, reviewers are unanimous that this is a great solution for any small beginners out there.
We love the checkered patterns and fun graphics on these stylish boards. The double kick concave design is perfect for advanced riders who want to perfect their tricks with a trendy design.
The 95A PU wheels will ensure a super smooth ride, even on rough surfaces. It's also very well-reviewed, making this another solid recommendation.
This is a super sturdy board that comes in a minimalistic graphic design. It will give you a smooth and speedy ride no matter where you take it.
Not necessarily the best choice for advanced riders, but a great option that is perfect for small beginners. We love the huge amount of good reviews as well, which makes this another solid choice for any newbie.
This skateboard by ChromeWheels is a great choice for all levels of riders. It has 8 layers of maplewood, making it super sturdy but flexible enough to do tricks.
With all the features of a high quality board, you can't go wrong with this choice. It can also be used just for cruising, but will hold up for learning stunts at the skatepark too.
This gift set from SKITCH comes with a 22 in mini cruiser board, skateboard backpack, skate tool and tote, so it makes the perfect gift for kids of all ages who have been dreaming of their first skateboard. Notably, the mini cruiser is fully adjustable so you can adjust speeds depending on the age and skill level of the rider.
Kids will love the backpack accessory and thanks to the high quality lightweight material, it will be easy to carry around. The designers seem extremely passionate about their brand, so you can have confidence that you are getting a great product.
JMB is another top brand that offers great helmets at an affordable price. This skateboard helmet comes in a variety of bright colors and is suitable for kids and adults.
If you are just getting into skating, this helmet is an excellent choice as it offers great protection and the straps make it easy to adjust. You won't be disappointed with comfort and protection this helmet offers.
Having the proper safety gear is essential for beginning to learn how to skateboard or while trying to master new tricks. We love the quality of these knee pads and elbow pads that are made of high grade durable fabrics.
These pads are designed to be easy to put on and adjust, so you will still be comfortable. The EVA foam padding and polycarbonate full-coverage caps for superior protection that won’t restrict movement.
These skater trainers (or 'stoppers') are very helpful in learning tricks and improving your technique. While you can get by without them - we wouldn't really recommend it.
From ollies to kickflips, you will be improving your skills in no time if you add these trainers to your wheels. They really work and are great for anyone.
Triple Eight is a trusted brand that manufactures some of the best quality safety gear on the market. We think this helmet has great style and comes in six matte colors.
Two layers of removable pads give you the perfect fit and the best protection, while still being low profile. This helmet comes at a great price and is made to protect you from all types of impacts.
This awesome ramp set will allow you to hone your skills in your very own backyard. Two durable ramps with a connector are easy to assmble in minutes.
We would have killed to have something like this when we were kids - so we're glad kids these days can skate on something like this. Don’t forget your knee pads and elbow pads!
Other Factors To Consider
Riding regular may be most common, but it doesn’t mean it’s the only way. Right hand people are the majority of the population, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of left hand dominant people out there.
No matter what your dominant foot is, you should choose a natural stance, that feels right for you. There are lots of goofy riders out there, and they do just fine with a different lead foot.
Regular riders will find a comfortable riding position, just like goofy riders will - just go with your preferred stance. It is funny to us that Disney would be the reason behind the naming of the goofy stance - but there are stranger stories out there.
Regular vs goofy is an age old question, but riding stance isn’t the end all, be all, of skateboarding. You can perform skateboarding tricks either way, and board sports will always require a tutorial on stance.
If you want to test what stance is better for you, get a running start, then hop on a (fake) board on the sand. Try this a couple of times, and no matter if you lead with your left leg or right leg - you’ll have your answer.
[See our list of the best beanies, if you want to look rad while you skate.]
The Bottom Line On Goofy Versus Regular Stance
There you have it - all the facts about skating goofy or regular stance. Whatever you wanted to know, we hope we covered it.
[Check out the best Vans, for some great skate shoes.]
The simple switch of having a different foot in front can actually make a big difference for some people, so be sure you find the right stance for you. There really isn't a choice between stances, it's more that you find the stance that feels most comfortable for you.