learning your skateboard and snowboard stance

5 Tips for Learning Your Proper Stance for Snowboarding or Skateboarding

Finding your proper stance is such a crucial step when learning how to snowboard or skateboard. Your stance is the position of your feet on the board, and it determines your balance, control, and turning ability.

By “stance,” we mean which foot you ride with in the front of your board. There are two primary stances: regular and goofy. A regular stance means your left foot is forward, while a goofy stance has the right foot forward. 

While there are many differences between snowboarding and skateboarding, understanding which stance you are in is one of the ways in which they are similar. 

So why is finding your proper stance important?

Think about it this way. If every time you strapped into your snowboard, what would happen if you had a different foot in the front? Sure, you would become wildly coordinated in either stance. However, it would take you longer to progress at either one of the two stances. Knowing your body’s proper stance will help you progress in your riding or skating faster. 

In this post, we will share the five best practice tips to help you find your proper stance for snowboarding and skateboarding. So, let’s get right to it.

Here are 5 tips to help you find your proper stance. 

How to Learn Your Proper Natural Stance

Before you hit the slopes or the skate park, here are two simple methods for finding your body’s natural stance. 

  • Try sliding on a smooth surface, like a hardwood floor, with your socks on. Whichever foot you instinctively place in front is your lead foot for when you ride or skate. This method allows you to see how your body naturally wants you to ride. 
  • Alternatively, have a friend push your shoulders from behind. Whichever leg you extend to catch your balance should be your front foot as you snowboard or skateboard. 

In either test, you are ultimately having your body show you which leg is the more dominant leg of the two. Ideally, you want your more powerful leg in the back, as it will help you ensure you have a strong pop for skating or riding.  

Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment With Stances

Once you know your natural stance, don’t be afraid to experiment with the opposite stance. Try switching your lead foot and see if it feels more comfortable all of the time or some of the time. Some riders find that their natural stance isn’t necessarily their most efficient for pushing or for doing some tricks. Everyone’s body mechanics will be a little different. 

I ride with my left foot forward in a regular stance, and I am actually finding that there are a lot of skateboard tricks that are easier for me to do in a goofy stance with my right leg forward, which is switch stance for me. The main note here is that it’s all about your personal comfort, balance, and control. When you experiment, you can get a feel for whichever side you learn faster with. If you’re like me, some aspects of riding might even be easier for you in the opposite stance. Don’t get discouraged if you find out you should be the opposite stance of the one you’ve been practicing with.

Learn Your Proper Weight Distribution Through Practice

Finding the right balance between your own feet is crucial. This takes some practice and time on your board, though. 

Here is what to practice for snowboarding:

In snowboarding, your weight distribution determines your turning ability while carving, as well as your ability to press on features in the park. 

When you are riding straight downhill, try to ensure you have your weight evenly distributed between your two feet. When you want to turn, try shifting your weight to your front foot to initiate the turn. The more weight you shift to your front foot, the sharper the turn will be. The more you practice this, the more comfortable you will feel riding your snowboard

Here are some more tips for improving your weight distribution on a snowboard:

  • Keep your knees bent and your core engaged. This will help you to maintain balance and control.
  • Be mindful of your posture. Your shoulders should be centered over your board, and your back should be straight.
  • Look where you want to go. This will help you to naturally shift your weight in the right direction.
  • Practice shifting your weight from side to side while riding on a flat surface. This will help you to get a feel for how the board reacts and how to control it.

Here is what to practice for skateboarding:

In skateboarding, your balance impacts your stability on the board at all times. Practice shifting your weight from side to side to get a feel for maintaining balance while riding.

When you are skating in a straight line, try to have your weight evenly distributed between your two feet. When you are turning, you need to shift your weight to your front foot and lean in the direction you want to go. The more weight you shift to your front foot, the sharper the turn will be.

Here are some tips for improving your weight distribution on a skateboard:

  • Keep your knees bent and your core engaged. This will help you to maintain balance and control.
  • Be mindful of your posture. Your shoulders should be centered over your board, and your back should be straight. Think of your shoulders as having a line drawn that extends through both of them. This line needs to stay in the exact same direction as your board at all times in order for you to stay with your skateboard. 
  • Look where you want to go. Your eyes will help you to naturally shift your weight in the right direction at all times.
  • Practice shifting your weight from side to side while riding on a flat surface. This will help you to get a feel for how the board reacts and how to control it.

Understand That Practice Makes Perfect

As with any new skill, practice is essential for mastering skateboarding or snowboarding. Spend time on your snowboard or skateboard regularly to build the muscle memory and balance required to progress. As you become more comfortable with your stance, you’ll find it easier to perform tricks and maneuvers.

Conclusion

Finding your stance is the foundation for everything you will do on your snowboard or skateboard. By identifying your natural stance, learning your proper weight distribution, and practicing, you will get exceptionally comfortable on your board. 

FAQs

  • What’s the difference between regular and goofy stances?
    Regular stance has the left foot forward, while goofy stance has the right foot forward.
  • Can I switch my stance after I’ve learned it?
    Yes, you can absolutely switch your stance. 
    In both snowboarding and skateboarding, when you do a trick switch or with the opposite foot in front, it increases the level of difficulty of the trick for the rider. In other words, the trick becomes gnarlier because you just did it backward from your normal stance. 
  • How can I improve my balance on a skateboard or snowboard?
    The number one tip is just to practice. The time you spend skating or riding will help you improve your balance over time.
  • How long does it take to master your stance before moving on to the other stance?
    The time it takes to master your stance varies from person to person. That said, it’s recommended that you first master your natural stance before advancing on to riding or learning tricks in your switch stance (with your opposite foot forward).  
  • Should you snowboard in the same stance that you skateboard?
    Yes, it is recommended that you skateboard and snowboard in the same stance. That said, there are many riders and skaters who do the opposite. Some people find it more comfortable to skate with their dominant foot in the front while having that same foot in the back while they snowboard. It all comes down to practice and learning which works best for you..
  • Are there any risks of injury related to riding in the wrong stance?
    By ensuring you are riding with the stance that is most intuitive to your body, you can help reduce your learning curve and ride more confidently while you’re out on the mountain. While injuries can come at any skill level, the faster you can become a proficient, comfortable rider, the lower your chances of getting injured will become. Additionally, it is always recommended that you ride within your own abilities and prioritize your safety. 

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