Goofy or regular: how to know and which is more common

Nautical Channel
10 Nov 2023
NEWS | Surf

For surfers, understanding your style, whether you are goofy or regular, is a fundamental part of doing the sport correctly.

What exactly does it mean to be goofy or regular? In this article, we'll explore the intricate connection between surf style and personal preference, and provide you with the information you need to discover your natural board position.

What does goofy or regular mean in surfing?

 The term goofy in surfing refers to a standing position on the board where the surfer has the right foot in front and uses the left foot on the back of the board for balance.

The opposite, regular, is that position where the surfer places his left foot on the front of the board while surfing the waves.

The choice between regular and goofy is based on surfer preference and comfort. Some people find that they feel more balanced and have better control with their left foot in front, while others prefer to have their right foot in that position. Both positions are equally valid and common in the surfing world.

How to know if you are regular or goofy?

To find our ideal position we can perform a series of "exercises" that will help us to have it clearer.

"The push"

Ask someone to push you slightly, unexpectedly, from behind as if you were about to fall. The foot you instinctively place forward to regain your balance is your dominant foot and will determine your position on the board. If you place your right foot forward you are goofy and if you place your left foot forward you are regular.


Imagine you are on a slippery surface, such as a wet floor. Which foot would you instinctively place in front to avoid slipping? That foot is usually your dominant foot so you will need to place it at the back of the board.


If when kicking a ball you feel more comfortable with a specific foot, that is likely to be your dominant foot. Remember that as we have already mentioned, the dominant one is the one that goes in the back since it will bring you more comfort and balance.

However, feel free to experiment with both positions on the board. Often, the feeling of balance and control will tell you which position is right for you.

What is the most common position?

The most common position, either goofy or regular, does not follow a specific pattern and varies widely among surfers. Both positions are equally common in the surfing community.

However, it could be said that there are more regulars because in the old days, in the last century, "lefties" (goofys in this case) were a bit less well regarded, so many were forced to use their right hand or leg in many activities. That is why in general, one could say that there are fewer goofys.

That does not detract from the fact that there are surfing personalities and world champions of both positions. There are mythical goofy surfing champions like Damien Hardman, Barton Lynch, Derek Ho, Mark Occhilupo, CJ Hobgood and Gabriel Medina. And many other regular world champions like Tom Curren, Martin Potter, Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, Joel Parkinson, Adrioano de Souza or John John Florence.

Whether you prefer left or right, the bottom line is the shared passion for the sport and each surfer's unique connection to the sea. So, armed with your knowledge of goofy or regular, take to the ocean and discover the pleasure of surfing your way.

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