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Are you Goofy-footed? Scientific Quest...


mfjaegersr
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A talk with @steve77 the other day got us thinking, probably more so got 'me' thinking...

 

I've held the non-scientific belief since youth that 'goofy -footed' was simply what you called someone who didn't ski the same as YFF (Your Foot Forward). Steve offered the perfectly logical explanation that it meant skiing with the same foot forward as your dominant hand - i.e. right hander with right foot forward is goofy.

 

Hmm...that's where y'all come in - I need data! Let's see if the numbers support the assertion.

 

For fun - has anybody ever switched which foot forward?

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Back in the 70s and in some parts of the country more people are simply taught to ski left foot forward. In the modern era wise coaches are more likely to test a brand-new skier for dominant foot and put dominant foot forward. When it is all said and done I'm not sure if somebody who is dominant foot back he's going to actually ride their ski much differently than somebody who is dominant foot forward. Now if you want to get into a whole different discussion the question is - is there an advantage of being one foot forward or the other.

 

I think it is empirical that most people are right hand and foot dominant. For whatever it is worth I am right hand and right foot dominant but left eye dominant. Maybe that explains my path into 2 4 6 at 38.

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Same as @Bookm_dano . The majority I always thought!

 

Goofy footed was and always be the term for RFF. The tiniest community on earth (waterskiers) cannot change the term for an eternity used by millions of surfers and skateboarders all over the world. It amazes that some people aren’t aware of this.

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So...at 140 votes, there certainly some conclusions one could reach:

 

*Overwhelming % of right-hand dominant among us, nicely inline with the generally-accepted world average of 10% lefties.

 

*There appears to be no correlation between hand dominance and foot forward, as the results are split almost 50/50.

 

*There appear to be some interesting/amusing exceptions to the hand-dominance rules too ( @slow @ToddF @Jody_Seal ) ; mine is shooting the basketball left handed, though I'm RHD. (Why? I could shoot with either hand, coach said pick one or you'll never be any good...and then I broke my right hand; choice made. I was still never that good...)

 

*The term goofy-foot appears to have deep roots outside of skiing, and apparently it's emotionally stirring for some.

 

It likely comes down to one of a couple factors that determine YFF:

- Dad, brother, uncle, cousin skied XFF, so you did too

- An instructor tested your foot dominance or other, and suggested XFF

- Trial and Error

 

Other possible factors?

- Regional and or generational trends as @Horton suggests

- Learned as a kid or adult

- Learned by dropping a ski

- Learned behind underpowered boat

 

Now then, for the bigger question - 'is there an advantage of being one foot forward or the other?' Of course, @Horton : if they were side by side, that'd be...like...combos, Holmes. B)

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I'm not sure what hand dominance has to do with anything. Foot dominance really should be the question.

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Very few people talk about goofy and regular in wakeboarding these days. It causes a lot of confusion with the concept of regular being your natural stance versus your switch stance.

As far as I know, when this has been looked at in wakeboarding the split is about 50:50 so it is clearly not related to handedness. It would be more interesting to see how it relates to kicking foot (assuming Americans do much of that sort of thing)

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I am right handed left foot front. But I am left foot dominant (kick a ball with my left foot). As a sprinter as a kid my left foot was in the front starting block, so I learned to ski that way. Strike 2, I hold the handle wrong.
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@mfjaegersr just start over

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For me I ski with my right foot in front, I am right handed, I kick a ball with my right foot, Any board sports I go left foot forward (wakeboard, surf, skateboard, snowboard)

Hockey I shoot right, I golf right and I bat right. I also play with my right hand for racquet sports.

 

The other one that is interesting is when biking (hitting jumps, riding DH or just coasting) I feel more comfortable with my left foot forward and my right foot back.

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There is no "goofy footed" in water skiing - only in board sports with a heel/toe stance. I'm goofy on boards and LFF on a slalom ski. Even weirder is that I push "mongo" on a skateboard (push with your front foot while back foot is on the board). That is like goofy squared.
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When I've had guests at the cabin who decide they want to try slalom for the first time but don't know which foot to try forward first I ask them if you were running towards a narrow stream and had to leap over it, which foot would you push off with when you jump and which one would you land on? If they say they'd jump off their right foot and land on their left, I tell them to try LFF. Most of the time that works.

 

When I was a kid learning to ski, all my friends were skiing RFF and were right-handed. When it came time for me to try dropping a ski for the first time I naturally assumed I should be RFF too. After dropping the left ski I went exactly 6 feet before face planting every time. Then, one of my friends suggested I try going LFF. I was shocked and said, "But I'm right handed. Aren't I supposed to ski RFF?".

 

They said, "Not necessarily. Lots of right handed people ski LFF."

 

This was news to me so I shrugged and gave it a try. First time I dropped the right ski I went about 500 yards on one foot trying to get my back foot in that elusive pocket before I finally fell. Got it on the second or third try though. Night and day difference for me LFF vs RFF. Literally couldn't go 20 feet on my right foot even though that's my dominant (kicking) foot.

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I am in the camp that says "goofy footed" is an old surf/skate term. And back then, you were goofy footed if you were right foot forward. I don't think the term applies well in skiing. I agree with @Horton 's history on why a lot of us from an era and area are LFF and right handed, and could kick a soccer penalty kick with their right foot. I am LFF, and right handed, and would kick with my right.
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