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Footedness is one's preference to put one's left or right foot forward in surfing, wakeboarding, skateboarding and snowboarding. Like handedness, footedness is a laterality phenomenon. Boardsports essentially involve the body's being oriented sideways relative to its overall motion. This requires that either the left or the right foot be placed in front. Most riders find one of these positions much easier and more natural than the other. The term is also sometimes applied to which foot a footballer uses to kick.

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Regular and goofy

Regular stance, regular foot, or simply reg refers to a skateboarder, surfer, snowboarder, or wakeboarder for whom it feels natural to ride with his or her left foot in front. This stance is called regular because it is found more commonly amongst participants of these sports. The opposite of regular stance is called goofy foot, and one prefers to lead with one's right foot.

Although it is common for a rider who practices more than one board sport to favor the same foot in the different sports, it is not unheard of for a rider to ride goofy in one sport and regular in another.

Testing for footedness

Several informal tests exist to determine whether someone is goofy or regular-footed. Often the subject is directed to imagine sliding across an icy pond and asked which foot he/she would prefer in front. Sometimes the subject is pushed gently from behind to see which foot he/she will put forward to balance himself/herself. Another test includes seeing which foot one puts out in front to climb steps. Ultimately, though, one's footedness is just an intuitive feeling; a beginner who tries both stances over a period of time will eventually know which one is right for him/her.

Other varieties in footedness

When a rider rides in other than his preferred stance, he is said to ride switch stance. "Riding switch" adds to the degree of difficulty of any move and hence often to its perceived aesthetic value. This is so particularly in trick-oriented boardsports. Many experts manage to gain some amount of ambidexterity in their stance, but this is typically not an easy process.

In skateboarding, if the foot in the middle of the board moves to the nose and the foot on the tail moves to the middle in the preferred stance, it is called "nollie stance." This is usually done to perform tricks while nollie-ing, not to ride. While doing this going backwards with tail in front it is called "fakie stance." when a rider pushes with the front foot, it is called "pushing mongo." This is an uncommon way to ride and is often mocked because the way the hip swings open lacks style.

To minimize on the dissonance between switch and regular stance, a snowboarder may adopt a "duck stance", which orients each foot outward, so a front foot will always be facing forward.

"Switch stance" in freestyle skiing is riding backward (facing top of hill).

In BMX, being goofy does not depend on whether you ride right or left foot forward. If a rider is regular and rides with their right foot forward, they will favour turning anti-clockwise in the air and grinding on the right. If a rider is regular and rides with their left foot forward, they will favour turning clockwise in the air and grinding on the left. You can be either a goofy grinder (e.g. you have your right foot forward and prefer to grind on the left), a goofy spinner (e.g. you have your right foot forward and prefer to turn clockwise), or both.

Goofy BMX riders are in the minority but there are an approximately equal number of people who ride left foot forward to those who ride right foot forward.

Competitions

Some competitions such as "etnies GvR" involve pitting regular skaters vs goofy skaters, and seeing who comes out on top at the end.[1]

See also

  • Mongo foot - a variety of footedness while pushing in skateboarding. If one is mongo footed, they push with their front foot instead of their back foot. A regular or goofy footed rider can be mongo footed.

References








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