Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

12" White Stickers
BallOfSpray $5 Donation
BallOfSpray $10 Donation

Dominant foot forward or back??

So, it seems as though there are conflicting reports as to whether you should put your dominant foot forward or back. As far as I can tell, there are a wide variety of people skiing in all different configurations of RFF/LFF and hand dominance (which palm faces up/down). I’ve scrolled through dozens of forums/webpages but have still not reached any meaningful conclusion. Should your dominant foot (i.e- kicking foot and traditional back foot for wake/snow/skateboarding) be in the front or the back of the ski?

I have skied off/on over the last 20+ years but never consistently or competitively. Fortunately, I’ll have the opportunity to ski 2-3 times/week this season and am hoping to really improve my skills. Initially, I want to focus my efforts on proper technique, starting with feet placement (yup, getting super basic here). Currently, I can ski both LFF and RFF... and both are doable (hence my issue). I have noticed that putting my R foot forward (being the stronger/more dominant foot) is much easier to get up on, and currently more comfortable turning.. but because I also tend to place most of my weight on that foot, if I cross the wake even slightly out of position, I cartwheel over the front (it’s ugly). Conversely, starting with my dominant foot back requires more effort to get up, but my weight is shift further back on the ski and I can attack the wake with a little more confidence.

What should I be doing??? I appreciate any advice you have.

(I am R handed, kick a ball on my R foot, swing a golf club / bat with my R foot back, wakeboard and snowboard with R foot back, and throw a ball with my R foot back. Also, although I shoot with my R hand/shoulder, I am L eye dominant).


  • fu_manfu_man Posts: 446 Crazy Baller
    I always ask people how they skateboard or ride a scooter. Whichever foot stays on the "vehicle" goes in front, whichever you push with goes in the back.

    @PropofolDreams are you an anesthesiologist? Micheal Jackson fan? I got a kick out of the name....I used to be a pharmacist.

  • HortonHorton Posts: 29,095 Administrator
    all the years I taught ski school we always taught dominate foot forward. Still makes sense to me but if you learn the other way around there is not sense in changing.


    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Connelly  ★ Basta ★ DBSkis ★ Denali ★ Goode ★ Hobe Lake ★ HO Syndicate ★ MasterCraft

    Masterline ★ McClintock's ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar 

    Stella Blue ★ Stokes ★ World WaterSki League


  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,311 Mega Baller
    The hands aren't up for debate. Whatever foot goes forwards is palm down.

    Sounds like you are RFF but are also putting weight forwards by bending rather than being upright. You should video both versions so you can actually see what you look like.
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,356 Mega Baller
    Whichever foot feels better forward, put that one forward. Personally I think it should be your dominant/stronger leg. Hands are like said above, not up for debate. RFF=Left Palm up, LFF=right Palm up, no discussion.
  • fu_manfu_man Posts: 446 Crazy Baller
    Even though I hold the rope as stated above, "Hands are not up for debate" is not gospel. Lucky Lowe and Jeff Rogers (both in the hall of fame) gripped the handle opposite of this.

    Lucky actually gave me a really good explanation for his grip. If you are shooting a rifle left foot forward, you would be gripping the gun with your left palm facing up. Also, if you were having a tug-of-war and you were pulling on a rope (like in skiing) with your left foot forward your left palm would be up.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,311 Mega Baller
    edited June 2018
    Surely not gospel but are you aware of any other and particular current pros rocking flipped grip?

    I don't think I see much correlary both examples are a person grasping an object that's inline with their body... imagine trying to grab either object with your hand flipped over.
    I would also point out that as a RFF skier I shoot with my left foot forwards but would skateboard right foot on the board but would be right foot back wakeboarding or snowboarding.

    Anyone get coached to flip the palms and do so?
  • fu_manfu_man Posts: 446 Crazy Baller
    So whatever works......
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,019 Mega Baller
    My d9minant foot is back but I am not as good as many here. My kids are probably split one dominant forward and one dominant back.

    Based on what you said would probably focus on RFF and work on body position.
    Mark Shaffer
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,337 Mega Baller
    in my day you got a beginner skier up on two skis first. then when the day came they wanted to progress to one ski you taught them how to shift their weight to one ski and ski for as long as possible on that ski while lifting the other ski off the water. finally, you had them switch and ski on the other ski while holding the first ski up for as along as possible.

    whichever ski they were more stable on -and the difference would be quite apparent every time -was the foot we had them ski on while they dropped the other ski. obviously that would also be the foot they put in front.
  • pregompregom Posts: 227 Baller
    About your tendency of cartwheeling with RFF, it’s possible your boot position on the ski might need to be adjusted.
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 989 Mega Baller
    edited June 2018
    Dominant foot forward. You said it yourself "dominant foot back requires more effort to get up, but my weight is shift further back on the ski." The last thing you want is more weight on the back foot. You'll spend many years trying to get more weight forward if you get any real training. Being more confident with weight on the rear is a natural thing, but actually counter to what will stop the over the fronts. If you are taking over the fronts with more weight forward, there are probably some alignment issues, make sure you aren't letting your hips open up to the boat, push your trailing hip forward to be square to the ski and that will likely help with the over the fronts crossing the wake. You'll eventually notice less impact of the wake with more weight forward. If I'm feeling the wake more, I know I'm falling back on the back of the ski too much.

    I think a lot of people (like me) end up with different feet forward because when they 1st learned they really didn't have someone that knew what they were doing instructing them at the very beginning.
  • bigskieridahobigskieridaho Posts: 939 Crazy Baller
    One will feel uncomfortable as crap, one won’t. That is what works for me as a kid..... I am all “Right” but ski with LFF.
  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,224 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I am a proponent of dominant foot forward. It sounds like you are really having a different issue than that.
    You should be roughly even in terms of front foot/back foot pressure when you are crossing the wakes. If you are going out the front when crossing the wakes you are most likely getting bent at the waist.
    Work on your stack and that problem will go away.
  • KillerKiller Posts: 414 ★★★★Quad Panda Award Recipient ★★★★
    I can't imagine how a RH guy who does every other sport LFF, with his RF back would slalom RFF. makes no sense to me.... If you rode a wakeboard, you are regular - why would he be goofy on a slalom ski???

  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,311 Mega Baller
    edited June 2018
    @Killer - I think what you would find is that most sports your stance is determined by many factors not just the dominance of a hand or foot. For instance a right handed person is typically also a right eye dominant individual and will therefore shoot right handed so they can use the right eye. That means that they will be right foot back instead of forwards.

    Similarly in baseball most right hand persons will grip the bat left hand on the bottom and turn their right foot back instead of forwards. Same with golf. Hockey becomes weird because in the US right handers use right hand curved sticks but most of the rest of the world that doesn't play baseball those people use left hand curves with right hand on top of stick for control.

    Now onto slalom - if you were to ride down the lake on a pair of combos and drop... which ski would you drop? That is going to be your rear foot. Regardless of handedness, this is a dominant leg feature but also a balance and flexibility and coordination type issue so I'm not surprised that people would do LFF for baseball and RFF on slalom. I'd be surprised in fact that so many right handed people go LFF!

    In my family 8 right handers are split 5/3 RFF to LFF.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,626 Mega Baller
    Assuming you are eventually planning to attack a slalom course, I have no doubt you should be RFF, as weighting toward your front foot is extremely important to long-term slalom success. However, the OTFs suggest your body position for crossings is waaay off, and my strongest suggestion would be to get some high end coaching to straighten you out (probably literally...)
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • swc5150swc5150 Posts: 2,399 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Go with what's most comfortable. I'm left foot forward on everything but a slalom ski.
    Scott Calderwood
  • skihackerskihacker Posts: 373 Solid Baller
    I guess I do everything wrong, I'm right handed, writing, shooting, golf, baseball etc. Right footed when kicking anything, soccer, football, garbage can etc. Left foot forward on my ski and left hand up on the handle, tried to switch my grip once and that was a hard no. Guess I'll just keep hacking away :)
  • KillerKiller Posts: 414 ★★★★Quad Panda Award Recipient ★★★★
    Some sports are going to have different balance and power attributes, agreed. I think the biggest crossover, which seems rather obvious to me is other water or board sports.

    the OP was clear they are regular footed, which makes zero sense to me why they wouldn't be on a waterski as well.

    Giant Slalom Racing snowboarders, who are VERY similar to slalom waterski, aren't going to goofy footed when they jump on a pipe board... Why would a regular wakeboarder go goofy on a slalom???

    We're also not a talking about a kid here so most likely there is much learned muscle memory already.

    These are some of the other ways I am thinking about it:
    - if you are kicking a ball with your RF then your balance leg is actually your Left.
    - if you skateboard regular, you push with your RF and your balance leg is your left.

    If you came and skied with me, never to slalom and you tell me you ride a wake or skateboard regular, you're going out regular on a slalom ski, and I can't imagine why anyone would go the other way, at least to start.

    the fact you're taking diggers RFF, and the fact you are regular footed to me is rather obvious you should get out there LFF and focus on getting your Right Hip as forward as you can, standing tall on the ski.

    take some video if you can
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,626 Mega Baller
    I almost 100% disagree, except that getting some video could be very helpful! I don't think it is relevant to relate the choice of foot to any other sport.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • KillerKiller Posts: 414 ★★★★Quad Panda Award Recipient ★★★★
    @Than_Bogan why is it so different?

    you're telling us that this VVVV person should ride a waterski with a different foot forward? why?

  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 989 Mega Baller
    What is "comfortable" to beginners learning to waterski is to put weight on back foot, its a defensive position, therefore they often put dominant foot in the back, then spend years learning to put weight forward on their non dominant foot. Sometimes what's comfortable to a beginner hurts in the long run.
  • PurdueSkierPurdueSkier Posts: 182 Baller
    @killer I am only one example but I am right handed and right foot dominant. I slalom and trick RFF and I wakeboard and snowboard LFF. most coaches I have heard recommend your dominant foot forward for skiing. I have heard the opposite for board sports with your dominant foot back.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,626 Mega Baller
    Each activity has its own demands. One of my top (track) jumpers this season jumped from her left in the high jump and from her right for the triple jump. I've even seen jumpers who go off of a different foot for long jump vs. triple jump. It's hard for me to imagine two things that look more similar up to that point.

    One simply has to evaluate what works for you for each activity.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • swc5150swc5150 Posts: 2,399 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @ScottScott That most definitely wasn't the case for me. LFF felt so awkward to me when learning. Very comfy at RFF from the start and never looked back. LFF on literally everything else though. Seems odd?
    Scott Calderwood
  • OldboyIIOldboyII Posts: 592 Solid Baller
    edited June 2018
    IMO it is more related to activity of hemispheres of the brain, than to stronger or dominant leg.
    That is why there is no obvious correlations to other body parts.
  • dlradar18dlradar18 Posts: 6 Baller
    Generally it's LFF = Right palm up and vice versa but I've also seen guys run into 41' off who were RFF and Right palm up. To me, it's all about what feels comfortable for you. Not many of us are going to make a living at this sport so it's all about what feels best and not what's 'the norm'.
    I ski LFF but I snowboard and used to skateboard RFF. That being said, I can snowboard LFF too but it's not my primary stance.
  • ryno65ryno65 Posts: 33 Baller
    I am RH & kick R foot, LFF on any board, skate, wake, snow, & can ride switch quite well. When I started trying to run the slalom course (LFF), I was constantly told to get more weight on my front foot. So one day I thought maybe I'll try just putting the foot with more weight to the front.
    Better results straight up !
    After a few years I tried swapping my grip & that felt better too, so now I'm RFF and Right palm up.
  • JackQJackQ Posts: 341 Crazy Baller
    I agree with dlradar18.
    Which palm up is not an unambiguous answer as many are lead to believe.

    I switched my grip for an entire season, at the end of year I tried “my old way” and immediately felt more comfortable, and I never looked back.

    The theory is I should have my left palm up to even out and not have my stongest pull on my onside turn. In my case my off side pull is as strong or stronger than on side.

  • dnewtondnewton Posts: 98 Baller
    edited June 2018
    My hands are backwards I guess and I don’t think I’ve ever been so stressed out thinking about something. I never knew that was a thing. My gear will be for sale tomorrow cause I can’t handle the stress.

    I bet its because the carpet in my boat gets wet. That seems to be a direction correlation of how well you do things correctly or not.
Sign In or Register to comment.