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  • Writer's picturezelechowski mathieu

Goofy Or Regular ? A Snowboarder Mystery

Updated: Oct 2, 2019

I am a physio osteopath , a surfer, and a snowboarder in Courchevel. I ve studied the human body and how it works, solving problems with hands. My work evolves around injuries, pain, sickness and i have to understand mechanics, the physiology behind it.

I played soccer this morning with some Indonesian kids, kicking the ball with my foot and having a great time with all this smiling and laughing kids. Some off them were kicking with their left foot mainly and some like me with their right foot. It’s the same for boarding sports, our brain tells us to have our left or right foot on the front of the board. But why is that ? Is there any reason why ?

Sadely there’s not that much medical research around it, and it’s not really understood, but we have some informations .

Rhight !! As you begin boarding sports you got to know your stance, the easy way to find out is to place both feet together on the ground and ask someone to push you forward, the first foot which gonna go in front of you is the front foot on your board !

Physiologically your brain is divided in 2 hemispheres, the right one and the left one.

Our body is as well divided in 2 parts, weirdly the right brain hemisphere controls the left part of your body, the left brain hemisphere controls the right part of your body. If you want to rise your left arm or left leg, you have to use your right brain hemisphere. But for some reasons right handed are left foot predominant and it’s still a mystery. You got it now ? There’s a predominance of left footers as 70% roughly of the population is right handed. So your front foot is the left one you are regular, if your front foot is the right one you are goofy footer. Being goofy footer doesn’t mean you are goofy at all, it came from a Walt Dysney cartoon back in the 30’s when goofy was riding a surfboard back to shore with his right foot on the front of the surfboard. So snowboarders are divided in 2, 30% are goofy footers controled by the left brain hemisphere, 70% regular footers controled by the right brain hemisphere. But it gets little more complicated as some riders included me are right handed and goofy footers, and some are left handed but regular footers. Science can’t explains that at the moment. I must be a physiological anomaly. It doesn’t sound really important but in my physio work I have to take this in consideration when I m treating an hemiplegic patient depending on which side the stroke accured.

Hemisphere lateralization. Our left brain is in charge of our right side, most of humans on this planet are right handed. The left brain hemisphere is also in charge of rational decisions, and problems solving skills, as well as fine motion skills i.e writing, that’s the logical part of our brain. The right brain hemisphere is in charge of spatial orientation, 3D visualisation. It’s also the creative and arty part of our existence, most of famous artists are usually left handed. Have a look at the cover picture of my post ! Most of the slope style top snowboarders are goofy footers, slope style includes skateboard like moves, sliding, jumping, rotations, flips and so on, these riders need to be aware of their body motion in 3D whilst in the air and have to be creative on their tricks. Weird hey ?

Try to figure out in your social circles who is doing what and compare it with with their dominant side. You may find out that left handed people are in creative, art sectors, right handed ones in more logical jobs.

Let’s go back to snowboarding ! Most of you guys are regular footers, so logic first ( left brain hemisphere ). Your front foot assesses the spatial surroundings, your back foot assesses decisions, and logical process. Knowing that your pivot foot is the front one when you snowboard (surfing is the opposite, I know really people that can be goofy or regular depending on their boarding sport) your front foot is in charge of getting an assessment of spatial situation, your back foot is making the decisions for your turns. You are still there ?

Okay ! To make it simple right handers are regular, left handed are goofy. A study made by TIm Brown P.h.d (doctor of the world surfing association) suggests that lateralization is the main cause of injuries. As the body has the tendency to prefer to deal with events from on side. As a physiotherapist osteopath, I ve seen patients over developing strength and balance on one side and therefore getting osteopathic disfunctions, mechanical joints pressures on one side especially with boarders, this affects your dynamic balance . I suggest for you riders to try from time to time to ride switch !!! To ride all the way around.

Don’t hesitate to contact me for a physio osteopath assessment and some advices. The better your body is, the biggest your smile on your face. And remember as I say all the time, the best rider is not the one who do the craziest tricks, it’s the one who ends his day with the biggest smile.

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