When I first started skateboarding, I really didn’t know much about the sport.
We didn’t have the X-games. Skateboarding wasn’t covered by television stations. Skateboarding magazines weren’t popular or readily accessible to me. Video cameras weren’t in everyone’s home at this point either.
Needless to say, I didn’t have many idols, or people to look up, to when I first hopped onto a skateboard.
I got my first board back in the 1980s.
I was so excited to try it out and coast down the small hill in our neighbourhood. That little coast felt like such a huge accomplishment.
I didn’t know exactly where to put my feet on the board, how to turn, or anything else. I taught myself how to ride that crazy piece of plastic. Basically, I learned from trial and error.
I had been skating for a year before I found out that I had been putting my feet in the wrong position. By then, it was too late. I would forever be “goofy foot,” that’s the term used for people who ride with their right foot on the front of the board.
I was able to correct my pedaling method and improve my balance. I started pushing off and pedaling with my left foot and then replacing that foot on the back of the board. I couldn’t believe how much of a difference that made in my riding.
Some people might be embarrassed to tell this story. They would proudly declare themselves to be left-footed. They would argue that their left side is stronger, so naturally they would use that foot as their dominant foot for skating.
Not me though. I’m goofy foot and proud of it.