One of the many things that commonly leads to confusion for beginners are the varying skateboarding stances and the differences between them. Today I've decided to write an article which explores the basic stances in depth. Later in the article I'll also look at some of the more widely used flatland skateboarding stances.
The stance in which you feel most comfortable riding and tricking. Whichever foot you put forwards determines if you're goofy or regular footed.
You're regular footed if you ride naturally with your left foot forwards. This is known as regular because most skaters ride this way. You're goofy footed if you ride naturally with your right foot forwards.
All the diagrams in this article have regular footed skaters.
A regular footed skater riding in natural stance and fakie, which is just backwards.
In fakie, you're in your natural stance, but travelling backwards. From a difficulty perspective, it's slightly uncomfortable, but because your feet still perform the same roles as they naturally would, fakie is only slightly more difficult than riding normally.
To get into nollie, you simply shuffle forwards from your natural stance so that your front foot is on the nose. All tricks are then performed off the nose. Nollie is still quite a comfortable stance to ride in, because you're essentially in the same stance as normal, but your feet must swap roles when performing tricks, which makes this an advanced stance.
You ride on the nose in nollie. Switch is the opposite to natural.
Switch stance is the opposite to your natural stance; a regular footed skater riding with their right foot forward is in switch. It is commonly accepted as the most difficult stance to ride in and pull tricks from, because it combines the difficulties of both fakie and switch - namely, you are travelling with your off foot forwards (like in fakie), and your feet switch roles when tricking (like in nollie).
These kind of blur the definition between stances and tricks -- due to their complexity, truckstands, railstands and caspers are tricks in their own right, but since they also serve as a basis from which many other tricks can be performed they can rightly be considered stances as well. Often in flatland routines you will see a skateboarder return to these staple positions again and again.
In a truckstand, the skateboard is balanced on it's point at a steep angle. The skateboarder stands on the "back" or bottom truck. The skateboarder balances the skateboard upright by hooking the other foot under the top of the deck.
The photo below shows a basic truckstand. This is also known as a 'no handed 50-50' or a '50-50 casper'. Another variation is the 50-50 truckstand, in which the hands are used to hold the skateboard upright instead of the foot.
A truckstand (left) and casper.
In the casper position, the skateboard is again balanced on it's point, although at a much shallower angle than in a truckstand. The back foot stands on the underside of the tail, while the front foot is hooked under the deck in order to hold the board off the ground. The casper position is utilised in a wide variety of tricks. To read about them, search the tricktionary for 'casper'.
The hang ten stance comes directly from surfing, where it was so called because you would hang your ten toes over the nose of the surfboard. This isn't a particularly common stance, simply involving standing on the nose of the board from where a variety of tricks can be performed, such as a gingersnap or simply a shuvit.
In a railstand, the skateboard is balanced on the rail and the side of the wheels, with you perched on top. Usually, the feet stand on the wheels where there is most stability. A heelside railstand is where the griptape faces backwards, while a toeside railstand has the griptape facing forwards. A variation one the basic stances shown below is the cooperstand.
A heelside and toeside railstand.