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The Inertia

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to surf as a goofy-footer? Or, if you happen to be a goofy-footer, what it would like to be a regular-footer? You are not alone. It’s not uncommon, in fact, for surfers to ponder what the other side might feel like or look like, and John John Florence recently decided to find out. Not by learning to surf as a goofy-footer — that would take too long — but simply by flipping the tape.

There might actually be a scientific reason why a person is goofy or regular. It has to do with something called “hemisphere lateralization“, which was the term neuropsychologists came up with when they hit upon the fact that most of our rational decisions are made in the left hemisphere of our brain, while the majority of our creative and spatial ones are made on the right. While this is a massive generalization, it could be said that goofy-footers are a little more free-surfer-ish. Take, for example, Rob Machado and Kelly Slater. Rob Machado is goofy-footed and a wandering gypsy of a man. Kelly Slater is regular-footed and is a brilliant tactical surfer.

One study of snowboarders put the ratio of goofy- to regular- foots at 30 to 70. Another study, this time of skateboarders, found that 44 percent are goofy. Surfers are probably somewhere around there, too, and the above studies weren’t super big, so we can take those figures as approximate. Anecdotal evidence says more often than not, lefties are goofy.

“I was kind of curious how it would look,” his YouTube channel simply reads. Well, we can answer that for you, John: It looks good.


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