Sunday, August 19, 2012

Longboard Helps: Regular or Goofy

One of the things I have been doing to prepare for this trip is physical training. I'll post on most of this later, but what I want to talk about today is footedness.

Whenever someone rides on a board, be it surfboard, snowboard, wakeboard, skateboard, or longboard they are standing sideways. One foot goes in front of the other. Regular stance is where your left foot is in the front and the right foot is in the back, usually your right foot is what you will push with. Goofy is just the reverse of that. Just like 90% of the world is right handed, most people ride regular stance.

Boarding stances. Courtesy of silverfishlongboarding.com
It is a little tricky to find out what "footedness" you are. One test you could do is to get a soccer ball, set it on the ground, step back a few paces, and then kick it like you're scoring the winning goal of the World Cup! Whichever foot you kick with is probably your pushing foot when you longboard.

If you still can't tell which foot should go forward, stop reading this now and go get a friend to read this paragraph, I will wait.....Hello new friend. What I need you to do is to walk behind your confused compadre and push them hard enough to make them stumble but not hurt them. Whichever foot they put forward to catch themselves is the one that they push with when they ride. Congratulate them on being regular or goofy stance and apologize for shoving them, tell them I apologize too for asking you to shove them. Tell them they can keep reading if they so desire.

Regular pushing
Myself, I ride regular. Ever since I was introduced to longboarding eight years ago and snowboarding seven years ago regular has just been what works best for me. Whenever I try to ride goofy stance I get somewhat nervous of falling down. I can do it, but it feels really awkward. On a long distance trip this poses somewhat of a problem for me. I don't want to push with only one foot. If I do the quadriceps on my left leg and the hamstrings on my right will be out of proportion with the opposite leg. Also, if I can't find a way to push with both feet I probably have only half the endurance that is possible to me.

Riding Mongo
I could just stand regular stance and alternate pushing with my front foot (known as riding mongo), then pushing with my back,. I've been practicing this and like this solution a lot more than trying to ride goofy. I have found, however, that this poses the problem of steering while standing on one foot. My left foot is usually directly over or directly behind the front trucks making it easy to just lean a bit and steer the board. When I push with my front foot, my back foot stays on the board a couple inches in front of the back trucks, right on the bouncy flex of my Sector 9 board. I don't feel as stable. To be shamefully honest I have not practiced this much in my life and I wasn't too good to start of with. After a few embarrassing mishaps and crashes I have gotten pretty good at it.


If one can increase their boarding endurance 100% by learning how to push with both feet, there has to be more solutions to help us skate further. I will be looking into that...

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