An elite slalom water skier doesn’t wobble on his single ski as he cuts inside and then back outside of the wake. He finds and keeps his balance with his feet secured in bindings, one in front and one behind. The foot in the back binding steers the board, leaning in the direction he wants to go in, turning with slight movements. That foot is his so-called ‘dominant foot’.
When this skier graduated from two skis to one, he would have taken a ‘test’ to discover which of his feet was dominant. ‘Footedness’ isn’t an automatic ‘pass’ decision. Ninety percent of right-handers are also right-footers, but only about half of left-handers are left-footed. (1) In the normal or regular stance on slalom skis, the left foot is in front and the right foot in back binding takes care of steering. When the right foot leads, the skier is called ‘goofy footed’.
Advanced-level slalom skiers increase their athletic challenge by riding ‘switch-footed’ with their non-dominant foot steering. They aim is to have their performance appear as natural as possible. The names of any tricks or special moves they make would be prefaced by ‘switch’, such as ‘switch ollie’, so that the audience would understand the skill level being tested.
Who is goofy-footed? Are you? Testing for ‘footedness’ happens on land; there are no ‘sink or swim’ prospects.
Three Tests to Determine Dominant Foot for Slalom Water Skiing:
- The Falling Test
Stand with your feet together and close your eyes. Ask someone to gently push you forward from behind. Better if it is done with surprise timing. Whichever foot goes forward first to catch your balance is the one you should try putting in the forward binding.
- The Pants Test
Whichever foot you use to put in a pair of pants first is the foot that should go in the front binding.
- The Kick Test
Have someone hold a life jacket or something else you can kick in front of you. Kick it without thinking. The foot you kick with is the foot you should put forward. (2)
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)
TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM