The first step to learning how to snowboard is finding out which foot you will use as your back foot. If you ride with your right foot back, you're a regular foot, and if you ride with your left foot back, you're a goofy foot. Whether you're a goofy foot or regular foot doesn't make a difference in your skills as a rider; it's just a way of explaining which foot is your dominant snowboard-riding foot. A few quick tests can help you determine which foot is dominant.
Close your eyes and stand with your feet next to each other. Have a friend lightly push you from behind without you knowing when he's going to do it. The foot you step forward with first to catch yourself from falling is usually your dominant foot. Try this same test a few times. If you always use the same foot to catch yourself, that foot is your dominant foot. If you tend to alternate feet, try another test.
Set the deck of your snowboard on the ground with the nose facing forward. Walk up to it and step on the holes where your bindings would be. The way your feet are positioned on the board with no bindings will most likely be the way you stand on the board on the hill. Your dominant foot is the back foot.
Put on a pair of socks, get a running start and slide across a smooth floor. The way you slide on the floor is how you want to set up your snowboard. If you slide with your left foot in front, you'll ride a snowboard with your left foot in front. This means that your right foot is your dominant snowboard-riding foot. If you slide with your right foot in front, you're a goofy foot and your left foot is your dominant foot.
- Some people have a different dominant foot for different sports. If you get on the hill and realize you feel more comfortable riding with your other foot forward, switch your stance.
Courtney McCaffrey graduated from the College of Charleston in 2008 with a B.A. in media studies. She has served as an editor for Blooming Twig Books and the MADA Writing Services publishing company. She is now a writer on various outdoor sports such as snowboarding, skiing, surfing and bodysurfing.