To wakeboard like a pro, learning to find your balance and how to position yourself on your board are the few basics that you need to master. If you don’t know the proper way to plant your feet on your board, the process of standing would not be possible and falling offthe board would be the result. You should also know how position your hand on your tow rope in order to have a successful launch.
In wakeboarding, your body should be in complete harmony with your board. How you stand on your board and how you position your feet are the first steps you need to learn. Your stance matters because it will determine if you are comfortable with whatever foot is in the leading position since your weight is shifted on the leading foot as the board hovers slightly above the water.
Regular and Goofy Footing
Regular and goofy refers to the way you stand on your board when wakeboarding. You have to stand in perpendicular to the board with a forward foot in front of the other. If you are comfortable to stand with your left foot forward and right foot at the back then you are a regular. Regular stance is the most common used by wakeboarders. If you do it the other way around, right foot front, left foot at the back then you prefer the goofy stance. There are only a few wakeboarders who use the stance because it isn’t easy to be a goofy rider.
Test your dominant foot
Knowing which side of your feet is the dominant and which is the non-dominant foot forward is important in order to position this foot at the back of the board. The dominant foot will be the one to create the balance needed while riding the board and will initiate turns when doing tricks and stances. Here are few ways to check which side is the dominant foot:
Check what foot you use first use to step forward when someone calls you to go upstairs. This side is your dominant foot in front.
Kicking a Soccer Ball:
Place the ball on the ground or hold it with both hands and kick it like you are going for the goal with eyes closed. The preferred stance or side kicking the ball is your dominant foot.
Pants Leg Test:
Balancing the body while wearing pants is usually the job of the dominant foot. The foot that you slide in to wear your pants will be the leading foot, which will be placed on the front part of the board, and the other foot you use to balance which is the dominant foot will be place on the back of the board.
Ask assistance from someone when performing this test. With your feet together, have your eyes closed and ask your partner to gently push you. The foot you use to catch yourself from falling is your dominant foot and have the rightful place in the rear part of your board.
If you’re still quite unsure which foot is really your dominant one or you still don’t feel comfortable, then alternately use both feet as your dominant when you are out in the water wakeboarding. Going for both regular or goofy stance when you are riding your board can help you determine your natural stance and make you feel comfortable in the water.
There are beginners tricks in wakeboarding that might require you to ride in your unnatural stance like Surface 180. This trick is referred to as riding switch stance. You have to find ways to get comfortable also with your unnatural stance in order to learn other tricks that might require its use. Being able to do this will help increase your wakeboarding skills and abilities.
When you finally manage to discover your comfortable stance, then make sure to follow the correct body position for a more comfortable riding. Your feet should be shoulder wide apart as well as your legs. Your knees slightly bent and your weight centered on both feet. Make sure your hips and shoulders are in line with the board. With arms straightened and both hand palms facing the water, hold on to the tow rope with straight elbows with the handle position in front of your hips between your knees. Have your dominant foot planted at the rear part of the board and the other one positioned in the font. In this way you can keep your balance well enough to enjoy and learn more wakeboarding skills.
Riding a goofy stance
Goofy riders use stances that are opposite of the standard one. The heels are trailing when you skate goofy while the toes are leading over the board edges. Many riders opt to ride regular. However, there isn’t a wrong foot to use when wakeboarding. In fact, to ride goofy is the easiest way to ride.
Whichever foot you opt to use, there will always be pros and cons if you ride regular or are goofy footed. A regular stance will give you fewer back problems as well as element concerns. When you’re riding a regular stance, you will also be unable to see the area below you when you are making a change in direction. This is also similar when you do snowboarding.
Meanwhile, a wider area view can be seen when you’re riding goofy. However, you will be most likely dealing with more rear binding problems. That is why a personal choice should be done whether you’re riding goofy or regular. Flexible riders often choose regular stance for easy riding switch. But if you aren’t that flexible, wakeboarding tips suggest that you do a goofy stance.
So now you’re wondering, which is stance to take. You might even wonder if the right foot will help you ride better or will the left foot work its magic. Wakeboarding board sports will give you answers as your skill progress within weeks of improvement. There will come a time that both regular or goofy riding will work best for you. At first, you may feel goofy works well for you but it might be the reverse works better. Who knows, maybe you’d come out comfortable riding fakie instead.
Left foot, right, whichever foot works
Riders that are goofy are usually using their left hand and typically left-footed. Meanwhile, regular riders’ dominant hand is right and are right footed. Whichever foot you use simply comes down to which position is the strongest for you. People tend to think they are first comfortable regular only to find out it is more difficult in the end.
So if you can figure out which one works best for you prior getting a lesson, you will already have an idea which will work during your board sport practice. Here are more wakeboarding tips for you to check out to determine if you’re comfortable using regular or goofy.
Try a stance experiment
Ride switch can be a good plan if you’ve already tried goofy or regular rides. It may be challenging but it’s always worth a try. Being left- or right-footed does not always mean this or that stance works well. A rider’s preference is always the best since you will be the one to feel if putting your right foot forward or leaving your back foot as is will feel good or not.
Lean your arms on each knee side
Beginners will find this very helpful. This is because it will give more support to balance your way out of the water. It can also help you carry different stance smoothly.
Allow the cable to pull you up
Pulling yourself up is a huge mistake for beginner riders. If you are going to force yourself to stand up, chances are you will only make a bigger issue. This is because the boat hasn’t enough speed to enable you to stay upright.
Allow the cable to pull you up and if there’s a chance to get the tow rope shortened, then do so. This will make getting up easier for you.
Be in a squat position to get back up easily
Getting up on a board may not be as difficult compared to making the right stance. It becomes a natural instinct and you won’t even have to think about what body position to do. However, a useful tip for beginners is to squat while getting up during a wakeboard practice.
If you’re wondering if this is indeed effective, yes it is. Why? This is because it lowers the gravity center which in return can help to develop more stability. You also have some leeway because you do not wobble when you try to lean forward as your knees are bent.
Keep the same position until you’re out of the water
It can be hard to counter balance if you change your position when being pulled out of the water. This may be the same case when you’re being pulled in a snowboarding sport practice. Just think about keeping the center of gravity and keep the same position by avoiding unnecessary movements.
Position your board correctly
There’s a very slim difference between creating too much drag on the board and doing face first. So be sure you understand proper board positioning before starting. As your skill advances through constant practice, you will be able to perform tricks including nose pressing. You might even be surprised that in no time you are able to do a power slide and a back hand nose grab.
Put your gear on
You might be all excited to get on to that board but don’t rush because you have to put all the gears on for safety first. It doesn’t matter if you’re a goofy or regular, as either stance will still require you to gear up! Wear your life vest as this will keep you afloat in case of a fall. Also, to avoid head injuries, don’t forget to have your helmet on. Get on your wetsuits and put on your wakeboarding shoes, too. Lastly, don’t forget to bring that handle.
How to ride switch if you're regular or goofy
Riding switch or riding fakie means you have to get one foot forward. For this trick, you will have to use your right foot. However, for riders that are goofy-footed, a ride switch would mean using the left foot to be front of the board. Riding switch can come natural if you have mastered the technique. Nevertheless, you’re first few attempts can be awkward.
Fakie or switch stance is described when your position is backwards. For example, if you ride using your left foot forward, you would ride with your right one in front instead. Before actually performing a riding switch, you have to learn how to do the surface 180 trick first. This will allow you to stay in switch position regardless of which front foot you use on the board.
Whichever stance you choose, even if you do a back foot or a otherwise, remember that you have to be in your most comfortable position to carry out a ride. If you use the wrong other foot, the chances of crashing hard can happen.
Wakeboarding is all about getting your foot balanced and stable on the board. The best way to achieve this is by staying calm and relaxed. Get a firm grip on the handle while keeping each arm stretched and your knees bent. As the boat starts pulling, slowly raise your legs to allow yourself to be in control of the movement.
Just like a lot of people are right handed, majority of those who do wakeboarding are regular footed. The one that you’re most comfortable using is your strong foot. But as there will always be an exception to the rule, take note that even a right handed person does not follow to be regular footed. Choose what you prefer and whichever foot can make a ride worth the experience.