Pushing Mongo- Why It Sucks and Looks Awkward

What is Pushing Mongo

Pushing mongo is something that is looked down on by skaters similar to how a mall grab might be. Yet, while the mall grab is hated on for little reason, there are definitely problems with pushing mongo.

Pushing mongo refers to pushing forward with your front foot while keeping your back foot on the board. For regular stance skaters, this means pushing with your left foot. For goofy stance skaters, this means pushing with your right foot. Mongo is considered an incorrect form.

Typically people will think you’re a beginner skateboarder if you push mongo and pushing mongo is simply considered an incorrect way to push.

Is Pushing Mongo Bad?

Pushing Mongo is not good form and is a bad habit. Pushing mongo makes it difficult to control the direction of your board and looks awkward when you do it. You should never push mongo unless you have a disability that makes regular pushing difficult or uncomfortable.

Pushing mongo isn’t the end of the world. You will still move forward and be able to ride your skateboard. However, it will mess you up by turning your board when you don’t intend to. You will also look awkward as you push. Beyond this, you might be teased a bit about how you push by other skaters and other skaters might also assume you’re a beginner.

If you’re struggling to get your Ollie down, check out my detailed breakdown of the timing of an Ollie. This might help you understand why your board doesn’t pop.


You Can’t Control Your Board’s Direction

Similar to front-wheel steering cars, a skateboard’s direction of motion depends on the front of the board. If the front of the board is tilted to the left, then the skateboard will turn to the left.

This is the reason why typically the front foot is always left on the skateboard so that the board direction can be controlled. When you remove the front foot you will lose this control. Yet, removing the front foot is exactly what pushing mongo does. It is akin to taking your hands of the steering wheel of a car while you accelerate.

At slower speeds, it probably isn’t such a big deal and you won’t immediately pivot left or right, but it will make controlling your board harder.

So why even bother sticking with mongo?

There is no reason to.

Your Feet Won’t Be in a Natural Position

Your back foot is usually on the tail of your board for most regular tricks. This is not where your back ends up after pushing mongo.

Another issue is the set-up for most tricks and feet placement.

When you push regularly, your back foot can naturally come back to the tail of the board so you can pop or scoop the board easily. However, if you push mongo, the back foot needs to be above the bolts to have any sense of stability. This means that you will constantly need to readjust your feet after pushing. On flat ground this isn’t a huge issue, but if you’re trying a trick on a spot with little run-up then it can be a problem.

It is much easier to get in proper foot position for your tricks while pushing regularly.

It Looks Awkward

Look good. Skate good.

I don’t know how much I believe that looking good helps you skate better, but pushing mongo makes you look awkward. Most skaters aren’t very image-conscious when it comes to clothes, but do care if they look like a beginner skater or as someone who simply doesn’t know what they’re doing.

Pushing mongo twists your body around and looks like your making your first ever push on a skateboard no matter how long you’ve been pushing. It is hopelessly awkward looking that even non-skaters recognize that it is ridiculous.

I am just a human and I get embarrassed. Maybe more often than I’d like to admit and I am not above feeling ridiculous while I skate.

How to Unlearn Pushing Mongo

Unlearning a bad habit can be easier said than done.

The only way to unlearn pushing mongo is to consciously stop yourself from pushing mongo again and only practice pushing regularly. At first, it will feel awkward and difficult. Though as you spend more time pushing regularly then it will become like second nature to you.

My best suggestion is to get a set-up that is a skateboard with longboard wheels and then simply cruise around for an hour or two only pushing regularly. This is how I learned to push switch and it really helped me out. Of course, if you don’t want to buy expensive longboard wheels you can just do this at your local skatepark.

I expect that if you force yourself to stop completely, then pushing regularly will feel natural within 3 weeks. It doesn’t take long.

ACTION STEP: Go cruise for 30 minutes while only pushing regularly. If you accidentally push mongo then try and consciously stop yourself from doing it again. Don’t get lazy and reinforce bad habits.

Also, try and check out my guide on properly pushing your skateboard here. This goes over how to start off slowly and build good habits while learning.

Pro Skaters Who Pushed Mongo

Most pro skaters do not push mongo past their absolute beginnings on a skateboard. This is due to the obvious downsides to pushing mongo compared to pushing regular. That being said, some pros will push mongo when riding switch to set-up for a trick. This actually can work well if the trick is done fakie so your back foot is already in a natural position. The same goes for riding regular and setting up for a nollie trick.

The following are pro skaters who have video pushing mongo while riding switch.

  • Eric Koston
  • Gino Ianucci
  • Stevie Williams
  • Mark Gonzales
  • Terry Kennedy
  • Shaun White

There are definitely more skaters than this on the list, but it can be hard to hunt the video parts down. Skate videos like to edit out the initial pushing in the run-ups to tricks. Most of these skaters are from other online reseources. So thank you to them (they’re linked below) and please let me know if there is someone else who should be added.

Should you skate every day? Some skaters think you should and others disagree. I break down the advantages and downsides in this guide.


So that’s it.

Pushing Mongo is awkward looking and you have less control over your board. Other skaters will also tease you and assume you’re a beginner.

So definitely start building better habits now and don’t reinforce the habit of pushing mongo. If you started off by pushing mongo then don’t worry because you can always stop and it’s an easy mistake to make.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and look out for more content from Board and Wheels.


Board and Wheels

I am a tech guy who skateboards and longboards for fun. I started skating in elementary school, quit in highschool, and started again in grad school.

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