In Surfing Foot Placement is Important

Proper surfing foot placement is critical to your ability to maneuver the board and keep your balance. For starters, notice the line that runs down the middle of your board. Use that line to your advantage by using it as your guide. Place your toes on one side of the line and plant your heels on the other side of the line. Remember to always place your dominant foot in the lead as you’ll use this foot for balance and direction. Place your other foot back and put most of your weight on your back foot.

surfing foot placement

proper surfing foot placement is key for balance & maneuverability

“All skilled shortboarders shift not just their weight, but their foot positioning during a good ride. The shifts are extremely slight and usually involve the back foot, since its position governs the start and finish of almost every move. Oddly enough, in modern high performance surfing, the front foot has become the anchor, mainly because it’s closest to the center of the board, where most speed is carried and most recoveries occur.

The back foot position shifts tend to occur from side to side, particularly onto the heel rail in frontside cutbacks and backside bottom turns, and include rolling the foot briefly closer to parallel to the stringer in quite a few moves, including frontside bottom turns, backside tubes and on-the-lip floaters. Many surfers will also shift the back foot forward a few inches in frontside moves (and in down-the-line pumping, by the way! You’re in tune here, Jim).


Tail grip patches have been a hit in recent years at least partly because they assist a surfer to “feel” his or her way through these shifts with considerable accuracy. And on a shortboard, accuracy counts; even an inch off will make a difference in a critical move.”  Read the original story here.

If you’re having problems with your surfing foot placement, the first thing you should check is whether you have your dominant foot in the front.  Kick a ball. Which foot do you kick with?  That’s your dominant foot. If you kick with your left foot you’re considered a natural-footed surfer.  If you kick with your right foot you’re goofy-footed.  The second thing to check is your stance. If your feet are too far apart you can’t maneuver your board as well.  If your feet are too close together you’ll lose your balance.  Lastly, the length of your board influences where to put your feet. If you’re riding a long board, place your feet on the back one-third of the board. If you’re riding a shortboard, position your back foot on the traction pad and place your dominant foot on the middle of the board.  Finally, the best way to get the hang of proper surfing foot placement is to practice, practice, practice.

3 thoughts on “In Surfing Foot Placement is Important

  1. Are you even a surfer?! I kick with my right and am no goofy footer. Leave it to the surfers to write surf articles please!

    • If you follow the link, this information came courtesy of Surfline, so yeah – it was written by a surfer. But then everyone does their own thing, so if that works for you, that’s all that matters.

      • The quotes are from Surfline thats why they make sense. The ballkick method of figuring out your stance is retarded. You kick balls with the same hand you throw with therefore the vast majority of people kick with there right foot but the majority of surfers are regular footed. How does that work?????

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