What Makes a Surfer Goofy Footed?

Being married to an avid surfer, I’ve had to learn a lot about a sport I’ll never partake of.

How to read weather patterns and the effects of atmospheric highs and lows on wave heights.  How to read wave heights – though I still get this wrong.  What type of wax to buy – yes, there is more than one type of wax.  How long a leg rope should be (too long or too short just doesn’t cut it), and to always – ALWAYS – buy a rashie one size too small.

Over the years Dean has taught me all of these things and more, but there’s one thing I recently taught him.

– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –

All surfers fall into one of two categories:

  1. Natural footed surfers; and
  2. Goofy footed surfers.

And I already knew this refers to the foot the surfer places forward on their board.  A natural footed surfer places their left foot forward, and a Goofy footed surfer places their right foot forward.

But my question to my surfer was:

“If natural footed surfers are called natural footers, why are Goofy footed surfers called Goofy footers?”

Dean didn’t know the answer to my question, so, naturally, I did a little research.

And I believe I discovered the answer 🙂

– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –

Interestingly, the name gets its origins from the 1937 Walt Disney animated cartoon “Hawaiian Holiday”, in which Goofy learns to surf.

In doing so, Goofy stands with his right foot at the front of his surfboard.

Here’s an extract from that animation showing what Goofy got up to, and for the record, “Hawaiian Holiday” is the first animated surfing movie ever produced.

Just like Goofy, Dean surfs with his right foot forward – he’s my Goofy footed surfer, and Goofy footed surfers love waves that have a left-hand break.

Now I hear you asking “What’s a left-hand break?”

A wave is either a left or a right depending on which direction it breaks from the point of view of the surfer riding the wave, not the spectator watching from the shore.  It took me a bit to get my head around that.  In the surfing fraternity, a wave is usually referred to as either a left-hander or a right-hander.

Image Source

If a surfer is paddling to catch the wave and it’s breaking from right to left and the surfer has to turn left to get on the wave, then the wave is a left-hander and left-handers are perfect waves for Goofy footers.

I love this photo of my Goofy footer.

He enjoyed riding this wave.

– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –

So there you have it – two tidbits for the price of one.

Next time someone mentions a Goofy footer or a left-hander,

you’ll know exactly what they’re talking about.


If you have time, here’s the whole Disney animation, all 8:22 of it.  Enjoy 🙂 I did.


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6 Replies to “What Makes a Surfer Goofy Footed?”

  1. My daughter fell in love with surfing when we went to Hawaii. Alas, it’s not easy to be a surfer in nyc- though people do surf here. But vacations….

    Like

    1. (Just found this comment in span – sorry for the late reply) I live within minutes of a wonderful surf beach, but also, I don’t (and won’t ever) surf. I’m too afraid of sharks, and other creepy crawlies that live in the ocean.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I normally don’t have issues and it was only by chance that I saw three comments sitting there. I’ll have to pay closer attention.

          Liked by 1 person

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