What Is Goofy Foot In Surfing? - Green Iguana Surf Camp

What Is Goofy Foot In Surfing?

Although the name may sound a little comical, there is nothing “goofy” about a goofy-footer. In fact, the last two surfing world champions have both been goofy footers.

What Is Goofy Foot in Surfing

Taking top honors in the surf world is an extremely tricky thing to do. Impressively, Gabriel Medina and Italo Ferreira are now part of the exclusive goofy-footer world title club. 

Enough about the best goofy’s in the business, you came here to find out what a goofy foot in surfing is, right? In this article, you will come to know exactly what a goofy foot is and every other fun fact you may have about goofy footers and the surf world in general. 

What Is A Goofy Foot In Surfing?

A goofy-footed surfer is someone who surfs with their right foot forward. Unlike regular-footed surfers who surf with their left foot forward, goofy’s face the wave when they surf a left.

In the reverse, they will have their back to the wave when surfing a right. Goofy-footed surfers, in general, are people who are left-footed.

If you prefer to kick a ball with your left foot then there’s a very good chance that you’ll be a goofy-footed surfer not regular. 

Is Knowing Whether You’re Goofy Important?

Yes, knowing whether you are goofy or regular is one of the first steps you must take before hitting the waves.

If you were born to be goofy but you try and learn regular you will have a very hard time and probably get discouraged because of it.

This is why surf instructors will ask students if they know which stance they might be. If they’re unsure, then the instructor will get them to practice popping up on a surfboard at the water’s edge to find out which way looks and feels more natural.

How To Find Out Whether You Are Goofy Or Not?

There is one way to find out whether you are goofy or not even without touching a surfboard.

This is great because you will be able to try it out at home today so that you know exactly which stance you are before getting to the beach with an instructor.

This method does come with a warning attached to it and a little common sense is necessary. You will need a friend or family member to help you so we recommend choosing your partner wisely.

The method involves you standing still with your feet together. Your friend will then be tasked with the dubious role of pushing you from behind.

This is where discretion needs to be applied. Hopefully, you have chosen your friend wisely and they know what is a good strength to push you.

They must push you with enough force to make it count but not enough that you end up face-first in the dirt.

Whichever foot you put out to stop your fall is your more dominant foot. It is this same foot that will be your back foot while you surf.

Why? Because a lot of a surfer’s power and drive comes from their back foot. If you do this trick and your left foot breaks your fall, then you are a goofy-footer. 

Is Being A Goofy-Foot Surfer A Good Thing?

What Is Goofy Foot in Surfing

Not that regular-footers like to admit it, but being goofy is actually a very good thing. Of course, this kind of depends where you live, but, in general, the best waves in the world are lefts.

Goofy-footers love lefts because the feeling of facing the wave to surf is better than surfing with your back to it. 

90% of Indonesia’s best waves are all lefts and this is just one of the feathers in the cap of every goofy surfer on earth. Goofy’s love to boast about Indo (Indonesia) being made for goofy footers, and regular footers have to take it on the chin. 

Another cool thing about being goofy is that more surfers are regular footers. This means if you’re surfing a split peak reef or beach break, more surfers will be hunting down the rights. In theory, the lefts (should) be less crowded as a result. 

What Is Forehand And Backhand Surfing?

If you have spent time around surfers or you’re already learning how to surf yourself, you may have heard the terms “forehand” and “backhand” casually being used.

These two terms essentially describe which way a surfer faces to surf the wave. On left waves, goofy’s surf forehand, and on rights they surf backhand.

Do you know how we already spoke about facing the wave and having your back to it? This is essentially describing forehand and backhand surfing.

On the Bukit Peninsula in Bali where every wave is a left, if you’re goofy, you will be feasting on perfect forehand waves, all, day, long.

This is a dream scenario. The same could be said about Morocco’s endless righthand point breaks for regular footers. 

Surfers will travel to the ends of the earth for forehand waves far more often than they would for backhand ones. If you practice, practice, practice and get comfortable in the surf, you may just have the opportunity to get barrelled on your forehand.

Getting barrelled on your forehand is the holy grail of surfing and it will stoke you out for a very long time. 


As is evidenced by this article, being goofy isn’t such a goofy thing after all. Goofy-footers may be outnumbered 3 to 1, but their presence in the water is more impactful than the stats tell it so.

As we said, the last two surfing world champions Gabriel Medina and Italo Ferreira are both goofy footers. This means that not only can goofy footers keep up – they are the best in the world too. 

At the end of the day though, whether you are goofy or regular matters very little. What does matter is that you figure out which stance you are before hitting the water.

If you can manage to do this then you will be in a good position to learn the skillful art of surfing and get inside your most memorable first barrel. We hope this article has been a helpful tool in projecting you toward the surf, goofy or not.

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