First, let’s get the jargon out of the way. ‘Regular’ means the left foot is facing forward. ‘Goofy’ means you use the right foot. Despite the name of the latter it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you, it’s just an example of the humour you’ll find amongst the snowboarding community and the name comes from the famous Disney dog. In fact, being goofy also means you’re special as it only applies to 30% of people including many of the world’s best riders.
How to determine if you’re regular or goofy
Are you a lefty or a right? One of the most basic things to work out before you begin snowboarding is how to stand on the board. Essentially, you need to choose which foot is placed forward and facing downhill as it’s crucial to everything that follows and determines your snowboard setup. And just because you favour one of your legs for kicking and other activities it doesn’t mean that it will be the right choice in this case.
So how do you work out your ideal stance? The good news is that you can do it at home if you have something approaching a smooth floor (this won’t work on carpet). Put on some socks and go for a little slide whilst being careful not to break anything. Your body is likely to assume it’s most natural stance and choose the lead foot for you automatically. This simple action replicates what you’ll be doing on the slopes so is a good indicator or whether you’re regular or goofy.
Just doing one test isn’t foolproof and you’ll only really be able tell your perfect stance when you get on an actual snowboard. But here’s another one: if you’ve got some rope then why not invite a friend for a quick game of tug o’ war? When you both grasp and then tug the rope, one of your feet is likely to be instinctively pushed forward. This is the one you should choose for snowboarding. If you’re short of friends then tie the rope to a tree or something equally suitable.
We wouldn’t recommend this as your only test, but go and kick a football. Which leg do you use naturally? This is another indication of whether you might be goofy or not. But as we said, none of these methods are foolproof but, taken together, can provide a strong indication of your snowboard stance so you can start learning and getting into the sport as soon as possible. However, if the stance you choose really doesn't feel comfortable then don't be afraid to experiment with a different lead foot. We’re all different and you need to find what’s right for you.