Goofy skaters are not a rare thing and I’m not sure they ever were one.
In this article, I’ll go over the basics of what is goofy stance, what percentage of skaters are goofy, how to tell your stance, and more.
Let’s get started.
What is Goofy Stance?
There are two stances in skateboarding: regular and goofy.
Goofy refers to the riding stance where your right foot is towards the nose of the board and your left foot is towards the tail and used to push off. Goofy skaters are less common than regular skaters and it is akin to being left-handed.
Many professional skaters are goofy and it has no effect on the difficulty of skating. It truly is just whatever feels more natural for you while you are skating. Braille recommends figuring out if you are Goofy or Regular by starting to sprint. If you naturally, start by pushing off with your right foot, then you are regular. If you instinctively start by pushing off with your left foot then you are goofy.
If you want to learn how to push off on a skateboard the correct way, then check out my step-by-step guide that is for complete beginners here.
Why is It Called Goofy?
So isn’t actually as obvious as you might think.
If regular is normal then goofy just means weird right?
Well, possibly, but the origin theories make it seem a bit more complicated.
The term skating goofy is said to come from old surfer slang that originated in the 1950s. There was a Disney movie released in 1937 called Hawaiian Holiday that depicted the character Goofy surfing with his right foot forward. From this film, the slang is said to be originated. There are some discrepancies in this story though.
The slang term gained popularity well after the movie was released and in the movie, Goofy rides both goofy and regular on his surfboard. The other popular theory that goofy just meant that it was weird to ride with your right foot forward. This is predominantly what skaters think today and it’s what I also believe.
While being left-handed isn’t actually so uncommon (a poll on skaterscafe.com showed that 44% of skaters on that site are goofy), being left-handed used to be negatively stereotyped. This could have caused it to chide the left-handed kids and name their stance “goofy”.
What Famous Pro Skaters Skate Goofy?
The list of goofy pro skaters is almost as long as the list of regular pro skaters. Let’s go over some of the bigger names that you’re likely to recognize.
- Paul Rodriguez (P-Rod)
- Ali Boulala
- Bam Margera
- Chris Haslam
- Daewon Song
- Dennis Busenitz
- Eric Koston
- Erik Ellington
- Mark Gonzales
- Nyjah Huston
- Rob Dyrdek
- Stevie Williams
- Tony Hawk
There are many more pro skaters who skate goofy than are on this list. I only included pro skaters I know and like while there are much more comprehensive lists out there. Check out the sources at the bottom of this article if you want to see a more comprehensive list.
If you want to learn about the skateboarding riding styles besides the popular street style, check out my list and a breakdown of the styles out there. I personally think more beginners should start learning some freestyle tricks.
Is a Goofy Foot Skateboard Different From a Regular Skateboard?
This question would draw laughs from most skaters but is understandable to ask if you’re a beginner.
The normal “popsicle” skateboard is identical for goofy stance skaters, regular stance skaters, men, and women. The only difference between boards has to do with the size of the board which is determined by the width of the board. Smaller skaters and kids usually will have a narrower board. Otherwise, any other differences like truck tightness is just a matter of preference.
There is a huge amount of fake marketing out there that claims this skateboard is the best for “9-year-old little girls” specifically. This is really just false and the boards themselves are just narrower and something the writer wants to sell.
If you want to learn about truck tightness and how tight your trucks should be, check out my visual guide here.
What Percentage of Skaters Are Goofy?
This is a bit hard to answer as the data out there isn’t perfect. Most skaters would guess that there are more regular skaters than goofy skaters.
There are more regular skaters than goofy skaters, but not by a wide margin. An internet poll of almost 1600 skaters done on Skater’s cafe showed a split of 56% regular skaters to 44% goofy skaters. The skatepark of Tampa confirms a similar split of goofy skaters to regular skaters 44% to 56%.
Interestingly, there doesn’t seem to be a huge correlation between handedness and skating stance. Either there is no correlation or left-handed people are way more likely to skate than right-handed people. There actually hasn’t been a study on this so someone please get on it.
What is My Skate Stance? Goofy or Regular
Like I mentioned earlier in this article there are a few ways that might help you determine your most natural stance. Remember that handedness doesn’t necessarily correlate with skating stance. There are plenty of right-handed goofy skaters out there.
Start to Sprint
This is actually something recommended by Braille. Start to sprint or at least do so for a step or two. If you naturally, start by pushing off with your right foot, then you are regular. If you instinctively start by pushing off with your left foot then you are goofy.
Try Both Stances on the Board
The classic and probably most conventional way to determine your stance is to push around on your skateboard for a few minutes. Spend 5 minutes pushing, riding, and turning while regular and then another 5 minutes while goofy.
Which one feels better and more natural?
If neither feels more natural, then simply choose a stance and go with it. You will become comfortable with whatever you practice.
Run Then Try to Stop and Slide
This is similar to the sprint test but simulates the motion of riding a skateboard a bit better. This time use socks and a moderately slippery floor. Start to run and then suddenly stop and try to slide.
Which foot do you put out first?
The foot you instinctively put out first should be your front foot while you skate. Right foot first is goofy stance. Left foot first is a regular stance.
If you don’t have a slippery surface you can just try this in the grass and pretend you will slide. See what you naturally do with your feet.
Is Skating Goofy Bad?
Skating goofy is not bad in any way and doesn’t make skating any more difficult or easy. There legitimately is no difference besides that some street spots might have an easier run-up for goofy skaters compared to regular skaters or vice versa.
Thinking that goofy skaters are bad is just as unfounded as claiming that left-handed people are the work of the devil. (I think some people believe this). It is simply ridiculous and honestly, some of your favorite skateboarders are probably goofy.
Feel free to make unfunny “Goofy” jokes though. No harm no foul.
So that’s it.
I’m a regular skater, but I believe in goofy skater’s rights too. Just because they’re different and they smell funny doesn’t mean we can’t love them too. Arguably the best contest skater out there now, Nyjah Hudson, is a goofy skater. Mind you many people hate him for different reasons, but that’s for a different article.
So are you a goofy skater? Then cool, it really doesn’t change much so get out there and skate today if you haven’t already.
Anyway, thanks for reading, and look out for more content from Board and Wheels.