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Why so many RFF skiers??

sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
edited May 2017 in News & Other Stuff
This question has been in the back of my mind recently. It seems like many, like more than you would expect, of the good slalom skiers are RFF. But in any other single board sport (other than mono-skis ;-) ) most people are LFF. In fact, in skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing, RFF people are considered "Goofy Foot." I now here talk in technical discussions of the "offside" turn being "toe side." So it seems to me that the same foot would be forward. Granted, our feet are in front of one another, rather than standing at hip width or so. But not sure why that would change anything.

I have waterskied since I was 9, so I doubt I would try to change anything now. I tend to kick a ball right footed (which I guess some would say I would be RFF, but that flies in the face of the Goofy Foot conventions). If someone pushed me from the back, I would put my left foot out to catch myself. I put my left foot in my pants first (saw that test on the interwebz) and as said, am LFF on any other board.

So, if most people in other sports are LFF, why so many RFF?? Inquiring minds want to know.


  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    is it that somehow, being RFF is an advantage so that the RFF end up self selecting at the higher levels?
  • bigskieridahobigskieridaho Posts: 939 Crazy Baller
    Funny that you say that. I am LFF and I think everyone else on my lake is RFF including my wife. She actually made the comment about switching to LFF this summer because she does everything else that way. I said go for it! Don't think it'll work but may prove me wrong. RFF seems awkward to me from the beginning. When I was 7 tried to get up RFF and no luck. Switched to LFF and I was off to the races! In Theory I think it is a comfort thing and no so much an advantage thing as far as progressing or doing better.
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,186 Crazy Baller
    If I could redo it I would be RFF just because the gate pull is their good side pull
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    edited May 2017
    I remember trying RFF, both intentionally, and when I forgot as a beginner, back on an old Connelly wood hook back in the dark ages (some time before the Reformation). RFF did NOT feel right to me. So it seems like since most people are LFF in other sports, it would feel the same to them. Puzzling to me. I feel like Spock with a puzzled look and a raised eyebrow.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,342 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited May 2017
    I'm RFF and also wakeboard that that's apparently goofy.
    As for why RFF in slalom probably just more people are right footed than left and thus feel more comfortable.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    edited May 2017
    @Ilivetoski , yeah, that is a good point. Another reason why at the upper levels the there may be some self selection or pre-disposition.

    @6balls , No offense! I didn't make up the term. As I recall, it probably comes from surfing, which pre-dates skateboarding, wakeboarding and snowboarding by a long shot. :)

    But why the seemingly overwhelming numbers of RFF? Still doesn't make sense to me.
  • OldboyIIOldboyII Posts: 589 Solid Baller
    I ski on left, kick the ball with right, "chockolade" leg on the bike is right, if I slide on ice left is forward, if someone pushes me in the back I cach balance with right foot forward and on and on....
    Total mess ))
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    @OldboyII , yeah the tests seem to be a mixed bag. But maybe I do them incorrectly. In any case, it is very definite on my skateboard and a wakeboard (LFF of course), and when I do get on a snowboard once in a while. And this seems true for most people. Seems like toe side should stay toe side regardless.
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,356 Mega Baller
    It's difficult to compare a sport where you are travelling sideways like wakeboarding or snowboarding to an inline sport like waterskiing. I would agree that it is hard to ignore the benefits of an onside pull for the gate though. I personally ski RFF but snowboard LFF but if I could do it over again I'd flip to RFF on snowboard as well. LFF worked when I was learning and most of my weight was on the back of the board but as I got better and was loading the front foot I would have been more comfortable with my right foot in front I think.
  • OldboyIIOldboyII Posts: 589 Solid Baller
    Short time ago I bumped into a man who skied many years ago so he forgot which foot was forward back in time (no kidding).
    He did two free runs with RFF & LFF, both reasonably good.
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 446 Baller
    most of my friends are RFF and I'm LFF - i felt like a odd guy out until I saw Jon Travers ski this past winter.
  • Fam-manFam-man Posts: 203 Solid Baller
    When I started slalom skiing there was no doubt, LFF.
    After reading the interweb about proper form and considering my natural preference weight my right foot I figured last year I'd try RFF. Got up first try, felt unnatural, made it through the turn around ok and my plan was to pull out to the left side of the course and try to maintain the pull the length of the course. Made it past 2 ball wobbling and crashed in an odd forward roll. I hadn't told the boat what I was doing so when they came back to get me they were concerned that either something was wrong with equipment or I'd been sneaking Grandpa's cough medicine.
    Experiment over, going to stick LFF.
  • GloersenGloersen Posts: 1,003 Mega Baller
    Maybe more RFFs, but...LaPoint (JLP),
    McClintock, Costard, Lucine, Parrish, Rodgers, Beauschene, Larkin, Travers...
  • auskierauskier Posts: 457 Baller
    Interesting little fact.. Jason McClintock is currently the only LFF skier in the top 10 on the ranking list.
    Ralph Lee
  • jedgelljedgell Posts: 355 Baller
    I went with RFF because that's what my wally-skier uncles told me to do. Didn't question it because they could put up big spray!
    Justin Edgell - Bozeman, MT
  • mlangemlange Posts: 205 Baller
    I saw a video years ago where Andy skied a course (I think at Ski Paradise) that allowed you to ski 6 balls with the first ball being on his onside.

    After skiing it he was surprised at how much easier it was with the extra onside turn.
  • TallSkinnyGuyTallSkinnyGuy Posts: 543 Crazy Baller
    Most people put the foot forward that is the most stable. In surfing it used to be considered "goofy" to put right foot forward (for reasons unknown to me), so many learned with left foot forward even if it felt awkward to them. There is no longer any social pressure to do that, particularly now that the GOAT surfer -- Kelly Slater -- is right foot forward. I surf, skateboard, wakeboard, snowboard and ski with my right foot forward.
  • rfarfa Posts: 260 Baller
    Based on my (admittedly non-scientific, but small sample empirical) analyses, my answer is "I have no idea"...
    Me -right handed/right footed. Started skiing age 39. ski LFF
    Older son - left handed/left footed. Started skiing age 5. ski LFF
    Younger son - right handed/right footed. Started skiing age 4. ski RFF
    Oh well...
    Rui Afonso
  • gsm_petergsm_peter Posts: 786 Crazy Baller
    One guy at our club use different foot ff when slalom and trick...
    Life is too short not to enjoy every day!
  • BrennanKMNBrennanKMN Posts: 518 Crazy Baller
    I am right handed and left eye dominate. When I was learning to slalom I just stuck a foot in the front binding and never looked back. That foot was the left one.
  • maxpower220maxpower220 Posts: 20 Baller
    I'm "normal" in most watersports, LFF for wake sports. I write and eat left handed and do all sports right handed. I ski RFF. However, when I think about skiing, I think LFF.

  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,612 Mega Baller
    I've said it before but:

    Notice that every time someone talks about foot forward, they mention the advantages that the other way has.

    But no one switches.

    In fact, the history or records show that both ways are very successful, but I believe that at least 99% of people are simply more comfortable one way. If you're in that 1% that is ambifootous, then I recommend switching every set to maintain your skills... :)
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    TallSkinnyGuysunvalleylawRalph Lee
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    edited June 2017
    @Horton , well, your above point kinda makes sense. Based on that, maybe I should have been RFF originally, as my right foot certainly is dominant, and I can have a temptation to push or steer with it. But then again, I think lots of people fight that. Also, as I think about it, it is easier for me to snow ski, and I have better touch on my edges and rely on gross body movements less, when standing on my right foot rather than left. That also fits with what you are saying.

    I may try the other foot forward once just because. Later in the year after my arms and ski muscles are in better shape. If I do, I will have one of my kids video it. I would be very surprised if I ended up wanting to switch at this point.

    It still does not completely answer why there are more RFF skiers, unless it is true that when technique mondernized, more truly advanced skiers picked the right foot based on what you were saying. When I was a little kid, the "goofy foot" pressure still existed, and most of my PNW friends picked LFF as I recall. Fewer of my friends were RFF.
  • chris55chris55 Posts: 377 Crazy Baller
    On the higher level, I think there is more men with RFF but in the women higher levek I think there is more LFF. I noticed that watching the swiss pro event.
    Any reasons ???? I have no idea.
    And I noticed it too at our club more women LFF than men RFF.....Maybe because men come from mars and women from venus ?
    I am RFF so I come from mars for sure
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    PS, listening to Marcus Brown's podcast and interview with Horton is partially what made me think about this stuff. It is a good podcast if anyone has not listened yet.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,342 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I know of a guy who was an into 38 off skier at 36 (I know cuz I lost to him in a challenge the pro's event)...he could run 22 off 32 mph with either foot forward--impressive. Was a former college gymnast.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 962 Mega Baller
    @BrennanKMN I am also right hand dominant but left eye dominant, LFF. I think the dominant left eye made me do skateboard etc LFF which carried over to slalom. I did a pole here a while back....not sure there was any useful information that came out of it, but it does seem that many that have different dominant hand/foot compared to eye do go with the foot forward same as dominant eye.

    I also think that some has to do with how advanced of a skier people are exposed to when learning. Many casual skiers think the back foot should be dominant then they teach friends with dominant foot back.....then for those that become more advance, struggle to learn to dominate with the non dominant foot forward.
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