Side by side stance
Drop knee stance
The first group of stances are all regular stance positions. Regular stance means your favorite pivot foot is back and your other foot is front. For most right handers, regular stance is right foot back. I think this is because the right foot, being the stronger or kicking foot, is best for the pivot foot. Later on will come a discription of switch stance.
A crouch on the middle of the board or slightly back or forward. Weight on the front foot, back foot usually on the inside edge. Back knee dropped down low. A stable stance for dropping down a hill without much turning.
The tail stance is one thing that distinguishes surf style skating from other longskate styles. It's really the back half or third of the board you stand on, which leaves the nose sticking out in front.
This shows a tail stance with the weight forward for crusing or pumping. When cruising or preparing for a trick the skater's weight is placed forward, onto the front foot. Thus the weight is actually in the middle of the board. Your back foot should be placed unweighted over the rear trucks.
This tail stance, with the weight back on the tail, would be used in a turn or kick carve.
In surf style, most turns are executed from the tail. When you do a turn, your foot drops back onto the tail, or hangs off.
The other basic stance beside the tail weighted position is cross stance. You won't see this position anywhere in new school skating. You won't see it in shortboard surfing either. It's pretty strange. But it's possible to get used to riding a skateboard like this. And coming out of a cross stance is the strongest way to do many maneuvers.
Cross stepping gets a whole section, for now we're concerned with just the stance.
Side by side stance
Side by side is a stance in which the feet are in a very narrow stance or touching side by side. Side by side usually isn't held too long and is a segue to another position. Usually a half shuffle or uncrossing step will have brought the feet right next to eachother. Another step or stance will soon follow.
The shuffle is a repositioning on the board. Moving one foot a bit I call a half shuffle. While two shuffles are inefficient and usually undesirable, a half shuffle sets up weight changes and cross steps. It's also used to make space on a shorter skateboard.
When you're moving off the drop position onto the tail to turn, you half shuffle your front foot to your back, a side by side stance. Then your back foot drops onto the tail to start the turn.
You can also half shuffle your back foot forward and put it next to your front foot. This is done at the nose often. From the drop position, this half shuffle sets up a cross step back to the tail, or a reverse turn.
As opposed to "regular stance", your feet and body point to the opposite side of the board than you're used to. Your back foot is your regular front foot. Hard to do for most people, since the feet become very specialized in their function, and the balance seems unnatural.
I have to consider switch stance a basic stance. In reality you only need to ride in switch stance for advanced tricks. But to cross step, you need to go into a kind of switch stance, one that's almost harder than switch. If you practice some turns and pushing in switch stance, you will have an easier time with cross stance and cross pushing and stepping.
Fakey is a variation on switch stance. In new school it's the stance that happens when the skater rolls backwards off a ramp and looks back and rolls as if he/she were going forward. On this pages, fakey is the switch stance used when it's the easy or natural way to do a trick. Switch stance usually feels weak and requires lots of practice. Fakey is pretty natural and takes less practice. For example, a nose turn done with the right (normal pivot) foot forward is fakey. A kick carve turn done with the left foot (not normal pivot foot) back is switch stance and takes practice.
Drop knee stance
Drop knee stance is a position used for backside drop knee turns. The back foot is placed far back on the board and turned in so it's parallel with the stringer and the ball of the foot is pressed on the tail. The heel is lifted. The toe can be placed in the center as shown or on the heelside (left) rail.
The skater then drops his back knee down to get weight on the tail. Most of the skater's weight will be transferred to this toe point during the turn. This is a powerful position and is very useful when trying to get a lot of rail into the turn, in other words a deep angle of edge.
When the front foot is crossed back and placed on the tail as a crossed drop knee stance, this is called reverse stance. It's a stance with a twisting feel, good for sharp turns although not as powerful as the regular drop knee stance.
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