Goofy, goofy stance or goofy foot all refer to a skateboarder, snowboarder, surfer, or wakeboarder riding with his or her left foot in back, toward the tail of the board. Goofy stance gets this name because most people put their left foot forward, which is called a regular stance.
There is no right or wrong way to stand on a skateboard (or snowboard, surfboard, or any other board), but most people feel more comfortable riding a skateboard regular, instead of goofy. The dominant foot is often back because it is better able to control the board. Beginners should go with the stance that feels best.
Some new skaters try to force themselves into a goofy stance because it’s more unusual and has a cool name—and that may work for them—but don’t try to force yourself to change. Just like writing with your right or left hand, it’s important to go with what comes naturally to you.
Knowing Your Stance
In order to ride a board of any variety more easily, it’s important for beginners to understand which stance they can use to the greatest effect — they’ll pick up skateboarding much quicker once they do.
The important goal of a boarder’s stance in riding successfully is to place the rider’s dominant foot at the back of the board in order to provide more precision in movement. The dominant foot will, therefore, do most of the power steering, while the less dominant foot provides direction and balance in the front of the board.
In order to determine your own preferred stance, try standing with your eyes closed with equal weight distributed to both of your feet, then have someone attempt to push you over and see which foot you instinctively put out to stop yourself from falling. This foot will likely be the front foot on your snowboard, as it centers your balance most.
Another way to figure out whether you should use a goofy stance is to walk up a staircase. Notice which foot you used to step up onto the first step. That foot should likely be your back foot on the board. If it’s your left foot, you should try a goofy stance.
Goofy Vs. Regular
Why exactly left-foot-forward earned the label of the “regular way” to ride a board isn’t known, although it could be because right-foot dominance is more common. Regardless, it led to the creation of the term “goofy stance” to describe when a boarder leads with his or her right leg instead.
The only marked difference is in the position of the foot, with neither regular nor goofy providing any added benefit for every rider. Truly, the way you position your stance on the board is entirely up to your own internal balance and the power of your left versus your right leg.
If you’re just starting out in any board sport but have been finding it difficult to achieve control or forward motion of your board, you may have been using the wrong stance from the very beginning. If having your left foot forward feels unnatural, chances are you’re just a naturally goofy rider and should switch to steering with your right foot and providing precision with your left.