Where should you place your feet on a skateboard?
It’s a simple question and after, “Which skateboard should I buy?” it’s probably the first one you will ask.
So, what’s the answer? What is the right skateboarding stance?
What is the Right Way to Stand on a Skateboard?
There are two stances in skateboarding: regular stance and goofy stance.
A regular stance is when you place your left foot forward and your right foot back. It means you are right foot dominant.
A goofy-footed stance is when you place your right foot forward and your left foot back. It means you are left foot dominant.
Whether you are regular or goofy will depend on whichever foot is dominant. If you have any experience snowboarding, surfing, playing kickball/soccer, or even kicking a football, you’ll know which foot is dominant and can assume the right position. If not, you’ll find the answer in the next section.
Your feet should be positioned on the bolts of the skateboard deck.
There are four bolts on either side of the skateboard. These are used to secure the trucks to the deck.
Your feet should be roughly shoulder-width apart, and there is no “exact” foot position, as it depends on your size and the size of the skateboard. As long as you have your feet on the truck bolts and you feel comfortable, you’ll be okay.
Try to keep your weight centered and your knees bent. You should also point your head in the direction you’re facing and refrain from moving it too much.
As soon as you place too much weight forward, back, or to either side, you risk losing your balance.
When you first learn how to skateboard, you should spend some time working on your foot placement and balance, making sure you remain on flat ground and don’t try anything too complicated until you’re ready.
How Do I Find My Dominant Foot?
To determine whether you need a regular or goofy stance, you’ll need to know your dominant foot.
If you have ever played soccer or kickball, or you have some experience with board sports, you’ll have a good idea already. If not, try the following methods:
Grab a Skateboard and Assume a Comfortable Position
Whether you ride goofy or regular, the board remains the same. It’s only your stance that changes. The best thing you can do, therefore, is to grab a skateboard and adopt a natural stance.
Do you feel more comfortable with your left foot forward or your right foot forward?
Bend your knees and pretend you’re riding and switch things around to see if the other stance is more comfortable or not.
Run and Slide
It’s time for some Risky Business!
Remove your shoes, run along a hard surface, and skid. You will typically place your dominant foot in front of you. Essentially, the foot position that you adopt during a slide is the opposite of the one you should assume when standing on a skateboard.
The Push Test
Stand upright and ask someone to gently push you from behind. The leg that you use to brace yourself and prevent the fall will be your dominant one. You should try this a few times, as there may be some variations. If you’re on your own, just lean forward until you are about to fall and pay attention to the leg you use to brace yourself.
Kick a Ball
If you have a soccer ball or basketball to hand, pick it up, hold it in both of your hands, and then drop-kick it. You will naturally lean more toward one foot than the other—that is your dominant foot.
You can try the same trick by placing the ball on the ground, but if you have never played soccer and don’t have a lot of experience with sports in general, you’re more likely to just punt it with your closest foot.
Try this a few times to make sure you keep using the same foot. If you find that you keep switching your feet, just focus on the one that feels right and offers the most control. You’ll probably find that you keep slicing the ball or missing it entirely with one foot but can consistently hit it with the other.
Of course, it’s possible to have equal control with both feet and there are a handful of soccer greats who have achieved this feat. But that comes with skill and practice, and when they first start out, they nearly always favor the left foot or right foot.
Is the Goofy Stance Rare?
Goofy stances are certainly less common than regular stances, but they are not as rare as you might think.
A study on snowboarders found that roughly 30% of boarders were goofy. We’d expect a similar ratio for skateboarders, but previous studies have found that goofy stance riders constitute about 40 to 45% of riders.
It’s often assumed that left-handers are always goofy footers, and that does seem to be the case more often than not. However, left-handed people account for just 10 to 12% of the population, so it doesn’t add up.
The problem is that we don’t really have any studies that are large enough to draw concrete conclusions regarding skateboarding stance preference. The only thing we can say for sure is that goofy riders are less common, but not exactly rare.
Famous Goofy Stance Riders
There have been many great goofy-footed skateboarders over the years, including some of the best skaters the sport has ever seen:
- Tony Hawk
- Nyjah Huston
- Rob Dyrdek
- Daewon Song
- Bam Margera
- Eric Koston
- Mark Gonzales
- Paul Rodriguez
Famous Regular Stance Riders
Regular stances are slightly more common, but the rider lists are fairly evenly balanced. Here are some top skateboarders who ride regular:
- Rodney Mullen
- Andrew Reynolds
- Danny Way
- Chris Cole
- Ryan Sheckler
- Ed Templeton
- Bucky Lasek
Regular and Goofy Stance: Which is Better?
There is no “better” option here. The skateboards are the same and you don’t gain or lose anything by adopting one stance over the other. It’s all about choosing the stance that is most comfortable for you.