Close your eyes! Take a deep breath and feel the salt air enter your lungs. Imagine the sound of waves crashing right in front of you. Reach to your right to grab the surfboard next to you and charge out. Now you’re catching that wave you’ve always imagined you could. The mist is hitting your face and you’re totally in the moment while the wave carries you down the beach.
Now open your eyes… how do you feel? Good right? Well, surfing doesn’t have to be some far off fantasy! It’s never too late to fall in love with the most radical sport on earth! But before you run out and buy that new surfboard, let’s learn some of the basic skills you’ll need to know.
It’s important to understand how your body, your board, and the ocean communicate with each other. The first step in this process is deciding how to actually ride your surfboard. So, are you regular or goofy?
These are the terms used to describe how you place your feet on the surfboard. You have two feet, so naturally, there are two stance types: regular and goofy. Everyone is different and everyone has a different style. Having a regular stance means you stand with your left foot forward and your right foot will be in the back.If you ride goofy, your right foot will be forward instead.
There isn’t much difference between the two, but it’s a good idea to learn which foot is your dominant. Normally, your dominant foot will be the same as your dominant hand. Your dominant foot goes on the back of the board to help you keep your balance and drive into turns.
It’s not ALWAYS that simple. Sometimes, right-handed people can still be left-foot dominant. If you’re uncertain which is your dominant foot, there are a couple easy ways to check.
Have you ever skateboarded or snowboarded?
If you’ve ever tried another board sport, you’ll use the same footing position to surf. It’s all about comfort, balance, and strength, so if you’ve skateboarded or snowboarded, you’ll already know what feels the best for you.
Beachside sobriety test…
If this is the first time getting on a board of any kind, you’ll need to know how to find your footing. Draw a line in the sand and then walk it like you’re proving your sobriety. The first foot you take a step with is the foot that should go in front in your stance. If you want an extra challenge, try saying the alphabet backward at the same time! 😉
A friendly shoving match!
If walking the line hasn’t convinced you, grab a friend and ask them to give you a shove from behind. Whichever foot that you put forward to brace yourself should be the foot that’s forward in your stance.
Now that you know how to place your feet, it’s time to learn how to pop up on a surfboard!