When you ride a skateboard, there are two ways you can stand – left foot leading or right foot leading.
If you stand with your left foot leading, this is considered a “regular” skateboard stance.
If you stand with your right foot leading, this is a “goofy” skateboard stance.
Despite the names, “regular” is not the overwhelmingly common stance and “goofy” is not that uncommon.
Many right-handed skaters ride goofy-footed with their right foot leading and use their left foot to push off, despite being right-side dominant.
Some skaters even switch back and forth.
When it comes to choosing which way to ride – regular or goofy – it’s all about your personal comfort.
Regular vs Goofy Stance
Whichever stance you take on a skateboard, the skateboard will maneuver the same.
Many people start with a regular stance (left foot leading, right foot to push), since most people are right-handed and have stronger right sides.
However, it’s not all about strength and dominance.
Deciding between a regular and goofy stance is a matter of determining which leg you feel most comfortable pushing with AND which leg you feel most comfortable balancing on.
In a regular stance, your left foot stays at the front of the board as your right foot pushes.
In a goofy stance, your right foot stays at the front of the board as your left foot pushes.
It’s the leg that stays with the board that requires the most balance.
Try it both ways. Even right-handed people will often find themselves more comfortable riding goofy and vice versa.
You’ll know right away which stance feels right for you.
For our purposes, we’ll forget about “regular” and “goofy” and use the terms “front foot” and “back foot” instead.
Proper Skateboard Stance
Here’s how to stand properly on a skateboard.
Just stand. Don’t start moving yet!
1 – Put your front foot on the deck so it is directly over the front truck (the metal piece that connects the wheels).
You can easily identify the position of the trucks by the bolts in the deck.
2 – Angle your front foot slightly so it points between the side of the deck and the front (a 45-degree angle to the side of the deck).
Keep a neutral leg position. Be careful not to twist your knee.
This positioning will be important when you start to push.
3 – Put your back foot on the deck directly over the back truck.
At this point, your feet should be roughly shoulder-width apart.
4 – Evenly distribute your weight to both legs.
5 – Relax your knees into a slight bend.
This will cause your butt to jut out and lower your center of gravity.
6 – Turn your head in the direction you will be riding.
If your left foot is in front, turn your head to the left.
If your right foot is in front, turn your head to the right.
7 – Feel this position for a moment.
This should be your default position while riding and the position you should keep coming back to.
Skateboard Foot Placement While Riding
It’s easy to stand still on a skateboard.
Things get a lot trickier once you actually start to move.
Every time you push on a skateboard, your back foot must leave the deck and return to it without throwing you off-balance.
That’s what makes the angle of your front foot so vitally important.
You need to position your front foot in such a way that you can easily touch the ground to push off with your back foot and return your back foot to the deck, all without losing your balance.
Here are some tips for standing on a skateboard while it’s in motion:
- Keep your front foot at a slight angle pointing between the front and side of the board whenever you push off. This footing prevents your hip from having to pivot as much when you go to push off with your back foot.
- Keep your weight centered on the board. Don’t lean too far forward or backward. Leaning forward or backward will tilt the deck and cause the board to turn and you to potentially lose your balance.
- Stay on the front of your feet. But don’t lift your heels.
The entire sole of your shoe should touch the deck (except when you’re pushing off or performing a trick).
However, your weight should be shifted slightly toward the front of your foot.
Those two things sound counter, but they’re not.
When you first stand on a skateboard and sink down into position, you’ll know immediately what this means.
There is a position in which you feel more balanced and your body more ready to react.
That’s where you want to be.
- Avoid the front and back of the deck.
If you put too much weight on the very front or very back of a skateboard deck, the skateboard will tip up on two wheels.
If you’re new to riding a skateboard, this will definitely throw you off-balance.
To avoid this, practice touching your back foot to the ground and bringing it back up to the deck without looking down at the board.
This will give you a feel for how to return to the board after pushing.
How to Stand on a Longboard
A good longboard stance is the same as a good skateboard stance, only you have a little more space to play around.
On top-mount longboards, like pintails and dancers, you should place your feet roughly centered on the deck for the best control, but it doesn’t hurt to place your feet right on top of the trucks just like on a standard skateboard.
On drop-through and drop-down longboards, you should also place your feet centrally on the board for the best control.
But, on these boards, it’s absolutely essential to keep your feet away from the trucks/wheels.
Due to the design of drop-throughs and drop-downs, placing your feet over the truck bolts can cause you to inadvertently hit a wheel with your foot.
This is why drop-throughs and drop-downs are designed the way they are, to clearly distinguish the platform from the tails.
When getting into position on a longboard, your feet should only ever be over the main platform, never over the tails.
Well… think you’ve got it down?
Then, you’re ready to learn to push. ➤ Go to How to Push on a Skateboard