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Regular or Goofy... Doing it wrong?

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So I have had this thought in the back of my mind for a while now. I am focussing this year on getting a quality binding setup and thus improving my stance and hopefully my technique will improve as a direct result. In doing some of the research, many places describe how to tell if you are Regular or Goofy. I tend to skip this over since I have been riding already for quite some time time, but I got to thinking...

 

Some background, I have been snowboarding since I was about 6 or 7 I think. As a kid, I was quite ambidextrous in a lot of aspects, so it was hard to tell really what stance to go with. Even today, I am left handed to write and eat for example, but use my right arm to throw. I remember switching my stance once or twice especially because typically I would only be able to go snowboarding a couple times a year if that. Eventually I wound up sticking with a regular stance, left foot forward.

 

Reading some of the articles and such, most reference the sock slide test. For me, the sock slide I always go right foot forward or gooty stance which is opposite on how I ride. 

So the question is, have I been doing it wrong all along? Has anyone else had this "problem"?

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there's a certain amount of preference involved for folk who are in the middle zone of latereral/hemispheric dominance. for a laugh one day i switched stance from goofy to regular and found it ok-but-weird once i was able to not think about what i was doing. heelside was straightforward, toeside less so.

 

i've wondered if there's an eye dominance factor at play too.

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Hm, eye dominance would be an interesting factor to look into. I just think it would be interesting to see if anyone has actually done some research into this more than just "you slide with your right foot forward, you must be goofy" kind of thing. I wonder what other factors actually come into play?

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There were a few threads in the past, nothing really stood out as being better than riding a skateboard.  The poll linked above proved that more people are right-eye dominant, and there are more regular riders than goofy.  

 

I fail the 'run and slide' test.  It says I'm goofy, but I'm regular.  

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I slide, ride scooter and skateboard goofy. Right eyed and right handed. Kick socker ball on the right. Ride snowboard goofy, yet I can go switch just almost as good on duck stance. However, I tried alpine regular stance for gigs. I could do it on green run but wasn't gracious at all.

Funny enough, I can surf equally well (read bad ;) ) goofy and regular.

On a side note, in the part of europe where I grew up goofy seems to be predominant.

OP, if you are comfy with your stance, I wouldn't worry any further.

Sent from my SM-G900W8 using Tapatalk

Edited by BlueB

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I can't say I am worrying about it, I might go and ride switch once on my soft boots this season just for laughs, but otherwise I'm probably sticking to how I learned. Just thought it was interesting to find out more.

The skateboard and such makes sense though. Always fun to find out what other people have learned!

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I was a natural lefty forced right as a kid. In the 70's, there was a push to promote right handed or that's what my parents told me... ambidexterity runs in our family. Switch toeside carve is better than regular in softies with directional stance. I sight left eye. Shoot pool left. And eat with either hand never realizing I have made the switch to access one side of my plate over the other. I had a friend growing up that surfed regular but skated goofy. Just go with it. For me, it's the main reason I don't ride a dedicated powder board/directional swallow/split tail gimmic board. I want to ride switch. I ride directional 21/9 on pow and freestyle boards and 33/21 on my BX. Switch still feels as natural as regular. Go with it

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Of all of the tests that people describe, I think the sock slide test makes the most sense (I've never skateboarded). When I first started snowboarding, the instructor asked if I was regular or goofy. I wasn't sure so I picked regular. I've been snowboarding regular for a lot of years. Fast forward to 5 years or so ago & I tried the sock slide test. Turns out I'm goofy. However, I've got so many years in as regular, I chose not to switch. Maybe depends on how many years of snowboarding you think you have ahead of you.

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I think sliding in socks isn't enough like snowboarding to be helpful. When you slide you have most of your weight on your back leg. It makes sense for that to be your dominant leg. But in snowboarding, both legs do serious work. No particular reason the dominant one should be in back. But when someone first gets on a snowboard or skateboard, they have no way to know what will be demanded of their legs. Many instinctively lean back, like sliding in socks. That may make them prefer the dominant leg to be the rear one, but that turns out to be a bad reason.

 

I think dominance for legs is more complicated than for hands. Legs are usually supporting your weight, so choosing one to do something with (like taking a step onto a stair) also forces the other one to do something (like hold all your weight temporarily). I can imagine two people with the same dominance making the choice differently.

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There is another test that I found to be decidedly more reliable than the sock sliding test when trying both with other snowboarders. I discovered it years ago during the medical exam for a diving course:

 

1. Stand so that your feet are in a line, one behind the other, toes of rear foot touching the heel of the front foot.

 

2. Fold your arms.

 

3. Close your eyes.

 

Now try to hold your balance. One position will usually be noticeably easier than the other. Put that foot in front when snowboarding. I have yet to see this test give a false result.

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^Will put that to the test this winter.  Could you elaborate on the intended purpose in the original context?

 

Found success bolting two sections of 4" PVC pipe across the base of an old board at tip and tail. Prospective rider would stand on bouncy surface and identify which orientation felt 'better'.  If memory serves, was far more indicative of outcome than other 'predictors'.

 

Preference generally falls along the line of greatest stability on unstable surface with least effort based on bone structure/bone stack and resultant muscle activity, as interpreted by the CNS.

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Could you elaborate on the intended purpose in the original context?

 

I am not sure, but I would hazard a guess that they are checking whether your equilibrium organ works as it is supposed to be, or whether there is an existing condition in your inner ear. Both would probably be good to know before you take someone to the bottom of the sea.

 

I nearly failed the balance test initially, then discovered that it was far easier with the other foot in front, then made the connection to "footedness" as applied to snowboarding.

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We were talking about this at lifting the other night. We had a new girl who wasn't sure which foot to put forward on her split jerk, so the coach was having her do the push, and see what foot you land on test. Then he asked me what foot I used. I skateboard goofy, snowboard goofy, land the push test right foot forward - and split jerk with my left foot forward. Go figure.

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Reading some of the articles and such, most reference the sock slide test. For me, the sock slide I always go right foot forward or gooty stance which is opposite on how I ride. 

So the question is, have I been doing it wrong all along? Has anyone else had this "problem"?

 

I do believe it's possible you've been doing it "wrong", but that your natural ambidextrousness allowed you to adapt.  I'd wager most people have (or had) greater potential following the sock slide test, however maybe if one snowboards the "wrong" way long enough, that potential is lost and they can never switch their dominant stance.

Edited by Jack Michaud

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Related story from a couple days ago:

 

My 6-year-old daughter was side-stepping on a balance log (that had a bit of roll in the supports) in our back yard in a skate/surf/snow stance, clearly in a goofy position.  I dared her to try going the other way.  She did it, but that led to a lot more wiggling to keep her balance.  We switched back and forth a few times, she was always more comfortable leading with the right foot.  Neat.  I think she's goofy.  

 

She has never been on a skateboard*, so I don't know how that correlates.  

 

* Not for lack of effort on my part!  

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For me the sock slide has always been largely non-preferential.  Actually I have to admit that I seem to have a slight preference based on which direction I'm running inside my house.  Right-foot one way, left-foot the other... go figure.   I also tried the arms-folded/eyes-closed balance test, and in a minute and a half I had the same amount of toe-outs with my right foot forward as I did with my left.  It certainly felt a lot more awkward with my right foot forward though which leads to an important point that Beckmann hit on...  When performing these left-foot/right-foot tests after already having a few years of boardsport experience under one's belt, it's impossible to eliminate causality between said experience and the results of these tests.  When I try to skate or wakeboard goofy, it feels really awkward (especially at the start) but I'm not sure that it is necessarily worse than my first day riding regular.

 

For tasks that primarily require balance and coordination without large voluntary muscle movements I would guess that the cerebellum is in the driver seat, and there would be little inherent neurological left/right bias. For tasks that rely on lots of voluntary motion, especially when the voluntary motions can be isolated to one specific side of the body (kicking, writing, etc...), the cerebrum drives and there should be a noticeable bias?  That's just my guess, but I'm no neuroscientist.

 

I'm wondering about the skiiers: do you experience a preference for left/right turns when skiing?

Edited by st_lupo

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I realized this week that my two daughters were snowboarding the wrong side (5yo and 4yo), they were playing on their online scooter, and I realized the one I tought was goofy, was pushing with the left foot, and the one I thought was regular was pushing with the right foot...

 

I tried, and as I am goofy, I was clearly pushing with my left foot (back on the snowboard).. just sharing as an idea to test...

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I'm wondering about the skiiers: do you experience a preference for left/right turns when skiing?

Yes. I'm goofy and my left turn is better on skis. I never feel that my left ski is tracking precisely in the right turn.

Sent from my SM-G900W8 using Tapatalk

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Friend of mine growing up rode skateboard goofy but snowboard regular. I skated goofy and snowboard goofy.

When we were instructors in the early 90s we'd shove people from behind and see what foot they stepped forward with.

Now I have a son, I had to switch him because he kept just riding switch. Figured, why not just make that the nose instead of the tail? He's been riding regular ever since.

I think you just get used to one or the other if your natural tendency isn't obvious, and wouldn't really mess with it.

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