Have you ever stood on a skateboard? Did you will fall flat on your back?! If not, you are one of the lucky few that didn’t eat it when the skateboard unexpectedly rolled out from under your feet.
But once you figure it out and practice standing on a skateboard, knowing where to put your feet will become second nature. Lets have a look at where your feet should be and help you to find your safe balance point.
Where To Place Your Feet On a Skateboard
You’ve just gotten your first skateboard and are jumping out of your skin to start shredding. But before you throw down like a pro you are going to want to learn the very basics of foot placement.
First thing you need to determine is if you are Regular Footed or Goofy Footed. These terms refer to which foot is at the front of the skateboard when riding in your normal and natural stance. Regular Footed skaters ride with their left foot forward. Goofy Footed skaters ride with their right foot forward.
There are several ways to determine if you are Regular or Goofy Footed, but its easiest to just do what feels natural.
Now that you have determined if you are Regular or Goofy Footed, lets talk about where to put your feet.
Your front foot should be placed directly over the front truck bolts. This is the most stable place for your front foot and getting used to having your front foot there sets you up to be easily adjust this position when you are pushing and setting your feet up to do tricks.
Your back foot should be placed on the tail. Not off the back of the tail at this point, nor over top of the back truck bolts, but fully on the tail just past where the tail angles up from the flat. Where the tail angles up from the flat is called the “Pocket”.
Pocket is an important term to know. There will be a test!) Having your back foot on the tail just above the Pocket will allow you to easily make adjustments as you progress.
The ball of each foot should be roughly on the centre line of the deck in these positions. You will need to make adjustments to these positions for your own comfort and also based on your height. Shorter people may need to place their feet slightly closer together.
Stance refers to adjustments to your foot position outside of your natural stance. There are 4 different stances on a skateboard:
Natural Stance: This is your normal stance (Regular or Goofy). This is the most comfortable way for you to stand on a skateboard. Your front foot is near the front bolts and your back foot is on the tail
Nollie Stance: This is your normal stance but shifted forward on the board. In nollie stance, your front foot is on the nose of the board and your back foot is near the back bolts.
Switch Stance: Switch Stance should mirror your Natural Stance. If you are naturally Regular Footed, your right foot will be forward and left foot on the tail in Switch. Vise versa for Goofy footed folks.
Fakie Stance: Like Nollie is to Natural, Fakie is to Switch stance. For Fakie Stance you shift your feet forward in Switch stance. If you are Regular your right foot will be on the nose and your left on the back bolts (The opposite if you’re a Goofy rider). For me it is easier to think of Fakie as riding backward in my Natural Stance.
Riding a skateboard requires balance and stability, so your posture needs to be relaxed, low to the ground and wide. You cannot comfortably nor successfully ride a skateboard standing tall with stiff, straight legs and your feet together.
With your feet where we told you to put them earlier, you want to bend your knees slightly to lower your centre of gravity to provide more stability. You will want to extend your arms out to provide more balance like if you were walking a tight rope.
Also make sure to try to extend out your front foot as far as you can when pushing your board, it’s something really basic that many beginners never master.
Where Should Your Feet Be When Doing Tricks?
Different tricks require adjustments to the standard foot position we discussed at the start of the article. The exact foot placement will depend on what works for the individual and this is learned through (sometimes painful) trial and error. Here are some general guidelines on foot placement for a few tricks.
Ollie Feet Position
Your front foot should be slightly below the front bolts with the ball of your foot on the centre line. The further back you move your front foot from the bolts the higher your potential ollie. Your back foot should be on the tail with the ball of your foot on the centre line. Both your feet should be almost perpendicular to the length of the board.
Kickflip Feet Position
Your front foot should be slightly below the front bolts like the Ollie, but the ball of your foot should be off the centre line toward the heel side. Your front foot can be turned slightly outward at about a 45 degree angle. Your back foot should be on the tail with the ball on the centre line. You will need to make adjustments to both feet for balance and to figure out how to make the kickflip work for you.
Shuvit Feet Position
Your front foot should be over the bolts with the ball of your foot on the centre line. Front foot doesn’t matter much with a Shuvit because it doesn’t need to move for the trick to work. Your back foot however needs to be in the Pocket (No actual test will be administered.) with your toes slightly hanging off. This allows your toes to kind of grab the edge of the board and spin it to execute a Shuvit.
Where Not To Position Your Feet
There are a few positions that your feet should not be in when you are riding a skateboard. These positions are not going to help you and can make you become comfortable with bad habits.
Toes Pointing Parallel with Board: There are very few times where your toes will need to point toward the nose of a skateboard. Even when pushing, your front foot should be at about a 45 degree angle. You have little stability with your feet being parallel to the board edge.
Pushing Mongo: Pushing mongo is a bad habit. Mongo is when you push with your front foot rather than your back foot. The big problem with mongo pushing is that you have to make big adjustments to both your front foot and your back foot to set up for a trick.
Front Foot Perpendicular when Pushing: I think this is worst than pushing Mongo. Keeping your front foot perpendicular while pushing is awkward and uncomfortable. Your front foot should be at a 45 degree angle. It is stable and comfortable.
Riding a skateboard can seem really challenging when you are first learning. We have provided some basic guidelines on foot placement. You will need to adjust your feet for your own comfort and stability. Once you start getting into pressure flip tricks, the real fun starts with foot placement experimentation. 😉