A common question new riders ask is: How do I tell if I’m Goofy or Regular?
Now you’ve probably heard this term before: it’s one of the most fundamental things you have to decide before you even begin to learn how to snowboard. In essence, Regular and goofy are terms used to describe how one would stand on a snowboard. Regular means that the left foot is placed forward, while Goofy means that the right foot is placed forward. Your front foot will be facing downhill always.
Goofy vs Regular
Fun fact: 70% of the world’s snowboarders are regular, and only 30% are goofy. Much like your writing hand, the right foot is also controlled by the left side of the brain. This side of the brain is better at spatial control, which is why most people are regular riders on a snowboard.
Do take note that riding goofy isn’t a bad thing! Many of the world’s best snowboarders are goofy, especially the pipe riders. The term Goofy is popularly used due to a cartoon snippet, where Disney character Goofy is seen surfing with his right foot forward.
So, there isn’t really a difference between Regular and Goofy; its just the way your body prefers and learns better. So, it’s important to determine which you are before you start learning so you don’t end up making things difficult for yourself.
As you can imagine, this leads into a few ways to determine whether you are a regular or goofy rider without actually riding on a snowboard.
Before you get on a snowboard, ideally you’ll know what kind of rider you are. Be careful: as much as you feel that you are either Regular or Goofy, you may be wrong. While its usually the same, just because you surf or skateboard in one way doesn’t mean you’ll snowboard the same way, for example.
There are many simple ways to test what kind of rider you are; most of which can be done in the comfort of your own home. Still, even the best of methods may not be accurate all the time – ultimately the best test is when you actually get on a snowboard.
First and easiest: slide across your floor. The best way to achieve this would be to put on a pair of socks, and find a nice slippery wood floor to slide across. This simulates your body’s natural instinct when riding down a slope, and usually is a good indication of the stance you would ride in.
Try not to fall when you do this.
From personal experience however, this method is not very reliable. It isn’t as much of an unconscious reflex as other methods, so just by thinking about it, you might get the wrong results. I’m fairly comfortable with either foot forward, so occasionally I end up changing the front foot. I’ve had people complain of the same thing, too.
Another way of doing requires some rope, and a really sturdy object or a friend. Basically, you’re going to need to pull quite hard, so you’ll need something that can offer some resistance. Once you have that, brace and pull. The foot that you pushed forward to brace yourself should be the same foot you’ll place front on a snowboard.
Now that you have a rough idea how it works, even if you can’t find someone to play tug of war with you, improvise!
As you can see, both Stormtroopers appear to be regular riders.
If you don’t like either of the previous 2, don’t worry, there are other methods! This method requires a friend to help you out; have them go behind you and shove you suddenly. Not too hard, but enough to cause you to lose your balance. They’ll probably need to keep a close eye on your feet as well, as you won’t.
The foot that your body reacts with first is the instinctive foot your body uses to keep its balance, and thus is also the natural front foot to use in snowboarding. So, if you stuck your left foot out to save yourself, you’re regular. If you stuck the right, you’re goofy.
This method is probably the most reliable, as you’ll react the most instinctively.
So now you know the difference between regular and goofy stances, as well as how to tell which one you instinctively prefer. Still, there isn’t really a difference whether you’re regular or goofy. You’ll probably learn to ride switch anyway. If you’ve got anything to add, leave us a comment down below.
Hope this article helps you improve on your snowboarding!