When you push your skateboard using the front foot, while your back foot rests at the rear end of the board, that’s called Mongo Skating. Pushing mongo on a skateboard is not one of the basics. So oftentimes, skaters don’t learn about it until they see someone doing it or tell them about mongo pushing.
To learn the Mongo Skating has both its advantages & disadvantages. It’s not a necessity but a choice. If you want to learn how to push mongo or ride mongo style, you must be a patient learner.
Some will say pushing mongo is bad. It alters your balance & stability so much that it requires longer to regain the balance if you loose it once. Your whole body weight is on the back of the board in Mongo style. But it’s not all bad talks. This article puts forward a good argument between Mongo push Vs. Regular so that you choose easily.
What does Mongo mean in skateboarding?
The term “mongo” has no definite origin. But the flavor of the word tells us it is used as slang meaning Huge or Extreme. On a fun note, the Mongo Skaters are called Mongols too. But these are just definitions of the word.
In skateboarding, pushing Mongo or Mongo style means pushing with your front foot. Whichever stance you use, goofy or regular, Mongo skating changes the role of your feet. If you are a goofy rider, you will use your right foot to push Mongo. For regular skaters, the left is your Mongo foot.
Is Pushing Mongo Bad? Why so?
A lot of skaters think that pushing your skateboard Mongo is bad just because it is not the right way. But in reality, it has nothing to do with the rules.
Mongo goes in the opposite direction of the waves. It is difficult for Mongo pushers to get back in the proper position right after pushing Mongo.
Positioning back up takes a longer time. Your body weight shifts at the back of the board as you push Mongo. So bringing back the equilibrium of balance takes time.
The Advantages & Disadvantages of Pushing Mongo
Mongo skateboarding has its own set of advantages & disadvantages.
Nevertheless, it is not suggested that all Mongo skaters must be corrected. But if you are planning to switch to the regular stance again, it might take a lot of diligence & patient trials out of you.
The pros & cons of Mongo & regular stance are highlighted here for a better understanding.
Advantages of Mongo Skateboarding
The good sides of pushing Mongo might convince you if you are looking forward to learning Fakie or Switch riding. Mongo pushing makes it easier to learn those.
Start by pushing mongo & once you’ve gained the desired motion, slide your front foot near the truck bolts and place the rear foot at the tail of the board. That’s exactly the position your foot are in when you are riding a Fakie.
The Switch stance starts with a Mongo push too. Just the position of the foot is opposite to that of Fakie. Steering the board might feel a bit awkward with your front foot at the tail but with practice & invested time, you will get used to it.
Disadvantages of Mongo Skateboarding
The disadvantages of Mongo pushing surely weighs down the advantages. Especially during tricks such as Ollie, Kickflips or jumps & to avoid small pebbles when you are riding. Mongo makes it crucial to find the tail of the board quickly to navigate better.
If it takes much time to get into the right position of good control, you won’t be able to avoid unexpected accidents. While pushing Mongo you get less time to react and decide your next step. You have to quickly switch your back foot on your tail.
Mongo pushing shows poor weight distribution. Your back foot is mostly at the middle of the board instead of being at the tail. Thus the center of gravity on your board shifts too, making the balance harder to gain and uncomfortable speedy rides.
At higher speeds, if something gets in your way while you are skating in Mongo style, you cannot decide to stop or slide past it immediately. But you were riding regular at such a moment, your front foot would be near your front truck bolts and you would easily stop.
Why Do Skaters Hate Mongo Pushers?
Mongo pushers are often looked down upon by fellow skaters. In a skatepark or even in skating face-offs, if you start your performance by pushing mongo, they might “boo” you off.
Do not get disheartened at this. The best people mind their own business. Some might say you’re riding wrong. Some will look at you in wonder. But that’s only because that’s not how they learned skating.
You do you! You care less about any of these remarks passed at you. Ride however you feel comfortable and do not change a bit just for fitting in.
Do Professional Skaters Even Push Mongo?
Many of the renowned Professional skaters started with their front foot pushing Mongo. Even the Real-life skating Legends Tony Hawk & Eric Coston are no different.
But pushing Mongo doesn’t help when you are a professional skater. All of them eventually changed their style or corrected themselves. On a global platform, starting by pushing your front foot looks weird so they had to.
Stevie Williams is a professional skater who pushed mongo when he started. Transworld Skateboarding glorified him as Top 30 most influential skateboarders of all time. Watch some of his skate videos on Youtube, such as Chocolate: The Chocolate Tour, Zoo York: Heads, and DGK/Zero: Fresh ’til Death.
Chris Cole started his career with Mongo Skateboarding too. But he had to change his style when he was offered sponsorship by Zero and was featured by media. It’s all documented in the documentary video called Motivation 2.
Randy Colvin’s clip in the documentary Two World Industries Men(1990) reveals him pushing mongo style. Although it’s weird to see a skater like him push with his front foot, he showed some gnarly skating.
You can’t get away with it when so many cameras are focused on you. But the way he performed in the early ’90s was remarkable.
How To Stop Pushing Mongo?
If you have always learned to push your skateboard in Mongo style, it is going to be a lot harder to stop that habit. Old habits die hard. It’s not easy to get rid of something so deeply wired to your brain overnight. You have to train your mind not to start riding by pushing your front foot everytime.
How to do that? Start with one thing at a time in your mind. Do not perform tricks immediately. Focus on your feet. It will feel a bit awkward in the beginning, but you will soon get used to it.
Practice all of it on a quiet road with little to no traffic. This way you will not be concerned about looking like a beginner or tumble in the way of vehicles. Do not hesitate if you don’t have a 100% balance at starting, you will soon get there.
Lean your hands on the knee of the dominant leg. Puah as you would normally do. Remember not to push Mongo as you start. If you catch yourself pushing Mongo subconsciously, stop immediately, get off of your board & restart.
Regular Mongo Vs. Goofy Mongo
All skateboarders have a personalized skating style. If you use your left foot as the dominant foot, you are a regular rider. In that case, by pushing Mongo your stance will be called Regular Mongo.
Goofy riders use the right foot as their dominant foot. When a goofy rider starts his skating with a Mongo push, it’s called the Goofy Mongo.
Whether you ride Goofy or Regular, pushing Mongo is quite normal. It’s because sometimes the rider isn’t trained properly as a beginner. He may or may not want to change his style as he gets better at riding. It is more of a personal choice.
Pushing Mongo is discouraged at most platforms but as long as you skate as a pastime. Honestly, nobody should be telling you how to nurture your hobby. Learn to ride “normal” only you want it for yourself.
Now, if you are a skateboarder by profession, you cannot escape the spectators & their criticism anymore. In this world of the internet, the littlest detail of the influencer or performer draws the attention & goes viral. Mistakes are no different.
The generation demands you skate in style rather than what the rules say. You don’t have to relearn if you are comfortable pushing Mongo while riding Fakie, Regular or Goofy. Happy Skating!If you have always learned to push your skateboard in Mongo style, it is going to be a lot harder to stop that habit. Old habits die hard. It’s not easy to get rid of something so deeply wired to your brain overnight. You have to train your mind not to start riding by pushing your front foot everytime.
How to do that? Start with one thing at a time in your mind. Do not go directly to perform tricks