Mongo (and its importance to skateboarding)

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We’ve all ridiculed a mongo pusher.

If you haven’t, you’re either the nicest skateboarder in the world, a liar, or a mongo pusher yourself.

It’s amazing that just a few centimetres of difference in foot placement is enough to automatically put you in one of the most ridiculed categories of skateboarding and yet this is one of the unwritten laws of wood-pushing that everyone seems to adhere to.

Urban dictionary has this definition for the mongo push:

A stupid way to skateboard. A person skates mongo if they use their leading foot (the foot that is in the front while riding) to push. While they are pushing, their back foot stays near the rear of the board and they push with their front foot.

“No wonder Stu can’t learn that trick. Dude’s pushing mongo”

For an activity where the majority of the people who engage in it pride themselves on how free, expressive and creative it is, there certainly seems to be a lot of discrimination in terms of how to “do things properly” and pushing seven ply’s of wood on four wheels in a certain way is one of them.

Whether it’s mongo pushing, mall grabbing, yo flipping or any other unanimously decided anti-aesthetic motion, we’ve all discriminated against something in one way or another and we’ll all continue to do it because it’s in our DNA.

But have you ever stopped to think if any of these “defects” have any importance to skateboarding?


As far as mongo goes, the answer is: Absolutely YES.


The mongo push or the “mongo motion” is the basis for at least four specific examples:

  • Dropping in: There’s a moment before every drop in where you’re standing comfortably on the deck in a proud mongo stance, and no-one feels uncomfortable or calls you out on it. It is one the most basic and important things that you have to know in order to skateboard properly.
  • Boneless one: By simply adding a pre-grab, an awkward mongo push can be transformed into a powerful Boneless.
  • Madonna air: Basically a mongo-push-grab in the air. A difficult and graceful trick when done right. Every time a madonna is blasted through the air, the mongo flag gets raised up high for all to see.
  • The no-comply. Currently considered one of the most stylish tricks in skateboarding (especially with its revival in the last couple of years) and probably one of the hardest to do well. The straight no-comply is basically just an exaggerated mongo push but no-one will ever make fun of you for doing it.


The mongo push will always be considered unsightly and cringe-worthy, but we must acknowledge the fact that a few of skateboarding’s oldest roots are firmly set in mongo soil.