Have you ever noticed some skateboarders looked totally natural on their boards? It’s like a board is a part of their body. Like they are born to skate. These guys are lucky to possess the special magic called flow. As we’ve already mentioned, flow is a smooth movement emerging in the upper part of the body and then transmitted to the lower part, prompting the board to slide and accelerate with no abrupt movements. Only a few are born with this skill, but most skaters acquire flow in continuous training.
Several things make a skater look ridiculously: flapping their arms, moving awkwardly, twitching. And pushing mongo style.
What is mongo? — you may ask. In this post, we’ll cover this question and tell you why it’s not cool to skate mongo style.
One of the basics to begin your journey in the world of skateboarding is gaining speed by pushing. Pushing should be performed by a back foot that is positioned at the rear part of the board in the stance. That’s why the back foot is also known as the rear foot. For regulars, this would be a right foot, for goofies — a left foot.
Pushing with one’s rear foot makes one’s movements natural and straightforward while pushing with one’s front foot makes your skating look rough and awkward. This is what mongo style is.
Those skating mongo have to make multiple extra movements to just push and position themselves in their proper stance. Just like throwing a ball with the wrong hand, mongo makes you look clueless like you’ve never seen a skateboard in your life before.
Why pushing a front foot is bad?
Using the correct foot to push is not a matter of choice. Pushing mongo generates many problems, the looks and appearance being the least of them. Skateboarding is quite tricky as it is, but pushing with one’s front foot makes it much more challenging.
Mongo is dangerous
When pushing with a rearfoot, your weight transfers to above the front truck, giving you a solid base for the balance. Besides, this makes controlling the skateboard easier.
But when you are pushing with a front foot, your weight is distributed to the rear part of the skateboard, which may cause problems controlling the skate, make it unstable, and increase the risk of falling. Any tiny pebble, any crack in the asphalt on the way of the skateboard will result in the board hopping and jogging, and the skating becoming unpredictable and stressed.
Shifting the weight too far back may also result in the board flying away from under your feet. Mongo skaters would fall more often simply because they misplace their rear feet. Mongo pushing requires much more precise feet positioning, which brings us to the following point:
Mongo makes things complicated
When pushing with a rearfoot, you always have your correct stance: both when you remove the foot to push and when you position it back. It is very seldom that the need to improve the feet positioning. And if you need to place your back foot into some particular position for a specific trick, you can easily do this.
Things are contrary, though, when you’re skating in mongo style. For stability, your rear foot must be positioned over the truck bolts. And after you’ve pushed, you’ll need to place your front foot first into the position required for the trick and then also to change the position of the rear foot.
All this tap dance needs time you may not have since there is a limited path length before the obstacles. And, while you’re trying to make head or tail with your feet, you may simply miss the ideal spot to begin the trick. If you ever wondered why mongo skaters always look fussy, that’s the reason for it.
This looks silly
The history of skateboarding is full of world-beaters who make something unique and make it their own way. Truth be told, there are few (for the entire history of skateboarding!) successful skaters riding mongo style throughout their entire carrier. And even those guys looked weird. It’s simply impossible to look okay being a mongo skater. This always looks unnatural.
We don’t say that skaters spend their time contemplating how they look on the board (but many of them do think about this too, right?). But most of the guys have their own style, which makes their skateboarding unique. Still, some things will always look bad. Skating mongo is like driving a car backward. You can do this if you want, but it will always look silly.
When is mongo okay?
There are exceptions to each rule. We’ve found a couple of exceptions for the never-push-mongo rule.
The major exception is when you’re riding switch (in the opposite stance). If this is the case, it’s much easier to push mongo at first. This is quite an often case, so usually, when skaters see a mongo skater, they assume the guy is riding switch.
But even if you are skating in the opposite stance, it’s better to learn to push with your rear foot from the start. With some effort, you’ll quickly get used to it. Tricks in switches look much cooler if they don’t look like switches.
What about coarse asphalt and cracks?
Some people say it’s more comfortable to skate in mongo because they believe the board will cope with obstacles easier. Front wheels really may hop over pebbles and cracks, but there are other options for how to cope with it.
If the reason you are skating mongo is to avoid the above problem, better try this: once you encounter an obstacle on your way, slightly relieve the weight from your front leg right before the hindrance. Without the load, the front trucks will quickly get through the hindrance. Relieving even more weight from your front leg (by slightly lifting it) will let you get through even deep cracks. After that, transfer the weight back as if nothing happened. This technique will let you keep the elegant look and maintain the flow.
They say trust but not too much. It doesn’t matter what others say — if you are good at it, you can skate the way you want.
Skateboarding is a way to express oneself in the first place. It’s about making something your way, your own style. That’s the fundamentals.
Still, in our humble opinion, mongo is not about style. It’s like skating while wearing flip-flops. You are certainly free to do this, but it can toss in some problems. And this is not the thing that would add you some zhuzh. Always be aware that pushing with your front foot is dangerous and too complicated.
And, when you learn to skateboard, always try to master your flow. Flow is the basics. A skateboarder looks silly without the flow. Nobody would like to look silly on the board, right?
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