If you just unboxed your new skateboard you may find yourself wondering…where do I put my feet on a skateboard? What is the correct way to stand on a skateboard? How do I choose a stance (goofy or regular)…and does is matter which way you ride a skateboard?
We’re going to share detailed videos and illustrations for beginners so you’ll know the correct way to stand on a skateboard safely. There is a right and a wrong way to proceed safely and we want to set you up for success on your first ride.
We’re going to talk about the two different types of stances…goofy stance vs. regular stance….but first here is a quick illustration to help orientate you with all the terminology we’re going to be using throughout this article.
WHERE DO I PUT MY FEET ON A SKATEBOARD?
What is goofy stance in skateboarding?
Goofy stance is a term that originates from surfboarding lingo. It’s slang used in almost all board sports (skateboarding, longboarding, wakeboarding, snowboarding etc.) and it means that you put your right foot forward toward the front of the board. Most skateboarders DO NOT do this so it has been labeled as “goofy” because it is out of the norm. It doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with this type of stance (yours truly rides goofy). It’s just not the norm. Here is an illustration of what that looks like.
What is regular stance in skateboarding?
If you ride with your left leg toward the front of the board you have a “regular stance”. This is most common stance. Here is an illustration of what that looks like.
How do I know if I’m goofy or regular?
Most skateboarders will prefer to have their dominant foot at the rear of the board to help control the board for turning. If you are right handed, chances are you are also right leg dominant & you’re probably going to have a regular stance. If you are left handed, you are probably left leg dominant & will most likely ride goofy.
This is not always the case (if you take myself as one example). I am right handed, right leg dominant and I ride goofy. I’m digging deep into my brain archives here…but as I recall it made sense to use my dominant leg to do the all important balancing on the skateboard. Kicking/pushing seemed simpler and easier to tackle with my non-dominant leg. Maybe you’ll feel the same way as me and blow all the norms out of the water like me…it really comes down to what feels more comfortable and natural for you. You’ll have to try both and see what works.
Does it matter which way you ride a skateboard?
It doesn’t matter if you ride with a goofy stance or regular stance (despite what the slang might suggest). The experience is completely the same. You should get comfortable riding both ways so that you can give your dominant leg a rest when needed on long cruises or days at the skatepark.
What is extremely important is that you focus on feet positioning for pushing and cruising. There is a right way and a wrong way to position your feet…more plainly stated there is a safe way and an unsafe way.
Where do i put my feet on a skateboard for pushing?
The leg that is balancing on the skateboard should be on the forward end of the skateboard (not the mid point not the back…strong emphasis on forward end of the board!). Your toes and or ball of your foot should be placed near the front bolts along the center line of the board. See our illustration below for both regular and goofy stances.
If you want to see me demonstrate pushing on a real skateboard (goofy and regular), in real life you can check out the short video below.
Which foot do you push with on a skateboard?
The vast majority of skateboarders ride with a “regular” stance which means they balance on the board with their left foot and push or kick with their right foot. A small minority rides “goofy” and balances on the board with their right foot and push or kick with their left foot. There isn’t a right or wrong way…it just depends on which is more comfortable for you.
Where do i put my feet on a skateboard for cruising?
There are two options here for beginning skateboarders and we’re going to show them both to you. One we call the “horizontal” foot position and the other we call the “T” foot position. If you’re new to skateboarding you’ll want to start out using the “T” position and eventually transition to the horizontal position. Let’s talk about each of these…
As you get comfortable pushing you’ll eventually tire out & feel like your leg is going to fall off. You’ll want to put both of your feet on the skateboard so that you can cruise along and rest that leg for awhile (and look super dope…of course).
I’ve taught lots of beginners and this little step up onto the skateboard scares the crap out of them. It’s the hardest fear for new skateboarders to overcome. It’s really nothing to be afraid of if you take all the pre-steps to learn safely.
Before you pop up onto your board you’ll want to make sure that you are really comfortable with balancing & getting both feet onto the board in a safe environment (like the grass or carpet in your house). I made a video that goes through all the steps you should take before ever hitting the pavement on your skateboard (well actually I talk about a longboard in this video but all the concepts are exactly the same). It’s worth a watch riiiiiiiiiight about here.
So now that you’ve watched that video & have practiced balancing and popping up on your board in a safe place let’s talk about the “T” foot position.
You should think about the “T” foot position as a transitional resting place for your pushing/kicking leg. Eventually, you will progress beyond this “T” foot position to the “horizontal” foot position but you have to build up to it. You need to be fully comfortable with the “T” foot position before moving on to the “horizontal” foot position.
Here’s an illustration of what the “T” foot position looks like for the regular and goofy stance.
As you can see…you’re keeping your forward foot on the bolts in the exact same place you were pushing from but you’re putting your pushing foot up on the board and forming a “T” with your feet in order to rest and cruise for a bit.
This position will quickly allow you put a foot down if needed (like if you lose your balance). Practice this over and over and over again until you are completely comfortable doing it.
When you’ve COMPLETELY mastered the “T” foot position then you will move on to the “horizontal” position. Here is what that looks like below for both regular and goofy stance.
Horizontal positioning starts out with your feet in the “T” foot position. To transition to the horizontal position you are going to turn your forward foot so that is horizontal with the back foot. Turn your forward foot slowly and don’t lift your forward foot off of the board while doing this. You’re simply rotating around the ball of your foot.
In the short video below I show you how to do the “T’ position on a real skateboard in real life and make the transition to the horizontal position.
Take note that in both of stances, our feet are concentrated on the forward end of the board…this is for a very good reason. You DON’T want to mongo your board. Let’s talk about mongo.
What Does mongo mean in skateboaring?
Riding “mongo” means that your foot positioning or stance is focused on the middle or back of the skateboard. This is generally accepted as the incorrect way to ride or cruise on a skateboard. While incorrect, some learn how to make it work & you will encounter mongos. Chances are they are newbs and maybe don’t know any better.
When you focus your weight on the center or rear of the board you’re more likely to fall backwards in an unsafe way. Falling backwards on your board is the worst way to fall because there is less of a chance that you’ll be able to brace yourself (with your hands) during a fall. It can be surprising and you may not be able to brace yourself as quickly as you might think.
Falling backwards increases the likelihood for a head injury (so wear that brain bucket kids!). I talk in depth about the importance of focusing your weight on the front part of the skateboard in the following video which is worth watching here:
I hope we’ve given you a good illustration of where to put your feet on a skateboard. This is merely a starting point to help get your feet close to the sweet spot on your skateboard (perfect balance point). There are some factors that can affect where the exact sweet spots are on your board.
Your overall body position and how that weight is distributed across the board is probably the contributing factor. As you are working through this you may find that your sweet spot is right on top of the front bolts or just behind them…just keep working at it until you figure it out.
If you listen to nothing else that I say…listen to this….you need to make sure that you focus your weight on the front end of the board for safety reasons (don’t mongo this!).
Make sure that you master each step before moving on to the next step. For example, I often see people attempting starter tricks (like an ollie or kickflip) before they can even cruise or turn on a board. Be comfortable on the board with the basics builds a foundation for the next level. So take it one step at a time and master that step before moving on.
I hope we’ve clearly demonstrated how to stand on a skateboard, how to push on a skateboard & how to cruise on a skateboard. If you’re wondering where you should go from here I highly recommend that you watch our How to Skateboard or Longboard Safely Video Series. We step through all the knowledge base you need as a beginner in skateboarding or longboarding…from basic maintenance & adjustments to your first days out on the pavement with your new skateboard.