When you are first learning how to wakeboard, figuring out how to stand on the board is one of the first steps you should take. How you position your feet on the board, referred to as your stance, matters when it comes to comfort level and the way you’ll learn to perform tricks. We want to help you figure out how to determine which of your feet is the dominant one and where they should be placed on your wakeboard as you’re getting started.
Regular vs Goofy Footing
In wakeboarding, you may have heard you are “regular” or “goofy.” Those words are not referring to your personality—they are talking about how you stand on your board! When wakeboarding, you stand perpendicularly on your board, with one foot in front and the other in the back. Riders who stand with their left foot in the front and their right foot in the back are known as regular. The stance is called “regular” because it is the most common position for wakeboarders. If you stand with your right foot in the front and left foot in the back, your stance is referred to as goofy. The goofy stance is called this since significantly less people stand this way on a wakeboard.
How to Determine Your Dominant Foot
You may be wondering how you figure out which foot is your dominant foot and why it matters. There are a couple of different ways you can see which foot is dominant. It is important for your dominant foot to be in the back because it helps create balance on the board and initiating turns during tricks. Here are some ways you can figure out your dominant foot:
The Pants Leg Test
In many cases, people tend to balance on their dominant foot when putting on pants. When you stand to put your pants on, take notice which foot you lift to slide into your pants first and which one you balance on. Whichever foot you slide into your pants first will go in the front binding on your wakeboard, while the other foot you balance on is considered dominant and should be in the rear binding of the wakeboard.
Kicking a Soccer Ball
With this test, you’ll need a soccer ball. You can place the ball on the ground in front of you or hold the ball out in front of you with both hands. Pretend like you are trying to score a goal and kick the ball. The foot you use to kick the ball is your dominant foot.
The Falling Test
For this test to determine if you are regular or goofy footed, you will need a partner. Ask someone you trust to do this exercise with you. Close your eyes and stand with your feet together. Your partner will gently push you forward. The foot you step out with first to catch yourself from falling is typically your dominant foot, meaning it should be the foot you would put in the rear of your wakeboard.
The Stairs Test
For this test, you should stand at the bottom of a staircase. Ask someone upstairs to call out go unexpectedly, and the foot you use to step up onto the stairs first would be your dominant foot.
Practice on the Water
If you’re unsure about these tests, you can always try out both stances on your wakeboard. By trying out regular stance and goofy stance, you will be able to see which stance is more comfortable while you’re out on the water.
Once you’ve found your preferred stance, you might want to practice the stance that feels unnatural as well. There are some beginner wakeboard tricks will require you to ride in your unnatural stance during part of the trick, such as a Surface 180. Doing so is referred to as riding in switch stance. Getting comfortable with riding in your unnatural stance is a building block for these tricks and will help you progress in your wakeboarding abilities.
Now you know what it means when someone asks you if you are regular or goofy! You also have a variety of options to help you decide where you should place your feet when you’re starting out. For even more wakeboarding tips, check out our beginner’s guide to getting up on a wakeboard.