The subway game


  1. Don’t hold the bars.
  2. Don’t lean on anything.
  3. Don’t fall.



 Hold a wide stance

If there’s room, stand wide and lean into the heels of your feet to stabilize you. Throw your weight backward to brace against the momentum of the car.

 Bend your legs


Illustration from “The Proper Surfing Stance” on Barefoot Surf Travel

Imagine you’re surfing. Lower your center of gravity and make it easy for you to shift your weight around. If your legs are locked straight you’ll topple over like a doll.

 Express vs local trains

Express trains move fast and stop less frequently. The cars have more side-to-side rocking. Position your feet more across the width of the car to absorb the rocking.

On local trains, you’ll have to position yourself along the length of the car to brace against stopping and starting.

 Stay light on your feet

Reposition yourself throughout the ride to find the optimal position. Personally, I’ve found that being aligned diagonally gives me the most flexibility and stability.


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