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Boardsports such as skateboarding, surfing, wakeboarding and snowboarding 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. Footedness refers to this preference. The term is also sometimes applied to which foot a soccer player prefers to kick with. Like handedness, footedness is a laterality phenomenon.

Regular and goofyEdit

Regular stance, regular foot or simply reg refers to a skateboarder, surfer, snowboarder or wakeboarder for whom it feels natural to ride with his left foot in front. It is called regular because it is more common to favor this stance. The opposite of regular stance is called goofy, where one prefers to lead with his 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 to encounter a rider who might ride goofy in one sport and regular in another.

Testing for footednessEdit

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 or she would prefer in front. Sometimes the subject is pushed gently from behind to see which foot he or she will put forward to balance himself. Another test includes seeing which foot one steps up to climb steps with first. 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 or her.

Other varieties in footednessEdit

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, fakie refers to performing a trick riding backwards, although the performer is not necessarily facing backwards when travelling. When one is both fakie and switch, it is called Nollie (skateboarding trick) [1] (eg. nollie kickflip, nollie boardslide). While nollie is technically riding backwards switch, it is not often seen as this as it merely consists of a rider moving the feet forward from their usual stance so that one foot is on the nose, the other towards the middle, and the rider is still open stanced, with their shoulder still facing forward.

In boardsports other than skateboarding, fakie is often used interchangeably with switch stance.

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, regular is when the front foot is in the left, and back foot in the right. Goofy is when the front foot is in the right, and back foot is in the left. If one is goofy he may have to switch his chain and sprocket from the right side to the left side to prevent damage from occurring while grinding. Regular stance riders generally spin to the right and grind on the left, and goofy stanced generally grind on the right and spin to the left. However some people spin opposite or grind opposite of their stance. This does not effect one's riding though, just his direction. Aaron Ross, for example, is goofy stanced but grinds on the left, and Allistar Whitton is vice versa.

See alsoEdit

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