The four skateboard stances

December 18, 2020 | Skateboarding
Skateboard stances: natural, nollie, switch and fakie are the four different riding stances | Photo: Creative Commons

A stance refers to the position of your feet on the skateboard, and it affects the control riders have over the board.

Except for ambidextrous people, the human body will always have a preferred foot placement on the nose of a skateboard.

Of course, experienced or professional skateboarders will, sooner or later, find themselves riding forward and backward, natural and switchfoot.

It can be tricky for an outsider or even an average skater to determine which stances they're doing tricks because the moves look so natural.

There are two ways of riding a skateboard (footedness) - regular or goofy - and four different body postures.

So, what are the four skateboard stances?

You can adopt four different types of foot placement when riding a skateboard: natural, nollie, switch, and fakie stance.

Stances are a form of body posture relative to each skateboarder's instinctive - or innate - footing.

One of them is often your natural stance, i.e., the position you automatically adopt to jump on a skate.

Regular and goofy: the two ways of riding a skateboard | Photo: Red Bull

Regular Vs. Goofy

The natural - or primary - stance can be regular or goofy.

A regular-footed skateboarder places his or her left (lead) foot in front of the skateboard - near the nose - and uses the right foot to push.

A goofy-footed skater does the opposite. He or she places the right (lead) foot forward and uses the left foot to push a skateboard.

One thing's certain: your feet will naturally choose where to they want to be on the board.

But, how do you determine your natural skateboarding stance?

Ask a friend or relative to come up from behind and vigorously push you forward - whichever foot you step out with to catch yourself is your natural or dominant foot.

The more a skateboarder practices, the better and faster he or she acquire automatic stance mechanisms and master all four riding stances.

The following examples illustrate a regular-footed skateboarder's perspective.

The Natural Skateboard Stance

The Natural Skateboard Stance | Illustration: SurferToday.com

The natural stance is the most comfortable position and the one that should be adopted when getting started in skateboarding.

Whether you're a regular or goofy-footed skater, it's important to learn the basics of sidewalk surfing with confidence in every step of the process.

Neither regular nor goofy stance is right or wrong - it's just a preference.

The Nollie Skateboard Stance

The Nollie Skateboard Stance | Illustration: SurferToday.com

The nollie stance is similar to the natural stance, but with a subtle and relevant nuance - both your feet move to the front of the skateboard.

Although slightly more difficult than the natural stance, the nose ollie stance keeps your body and feet facing the same direction.

The Switch Skateboard Stance

The Switch Skateboard Stance | Illustration: SurferToday.com

The switch stance is often a challenge to beginner and intermediate skaters because it puts you riding in your opposite natural posture.

It can be as hard as writing with your non-dominant hand, but it's not impossible and typically only requires practice and training.

The Fakie Skateboard Stance

The Fakie Skateboard Stance | Illustration: SurferToday.com

The fakie stance is when you're riding the skateboard in your natural stance but in reverse motion.

It usually happens when you're rolling back down a ramp, that is, riding on your natural stance, but backward.

It's like riding fakie with both of your feet shifted toward the nose of the board. It's a posture you find yourself in after performing, for instance, an 180.

The fakie stance is extremely useful, as many tricks will have you standing on your board backward - with your lead foot on the tail - or have your rear foot at the front of the board.

Interestingly, while old school skaters call this a fakie stance, new school tend to consider it a switch stance.

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