There is a time and a place for mongo pushing, and if you ask most experienced skaters, the time is never, and the place is nowhere.
But is it that simple? Is mongo pushing really that bad and, if so, why?
Let’s take a look. But first, we need to know what it means when you’re “pushing mongo”.
What is “Pushing Mongo?”
If you’re pushing mongo, it means that you are pushing with your lead foot and not your back foot.
If you’re skating in the regular stance, it means that you’re propelling yourself forward with your left foot. If you’re skating goofy, it means you’re pushing with your right foot.
Why is it Bad to Push Mongo?
Skateboarding is like any other skill. Everyone develops their own style, but there are preferred ways of doing things and those techniques exist for a reason.
When you play football, you learn to catch the ball in both hands. When you shoot free throws, you learn to shoot from the chest. But that doesn’t mean you can’t catch with one hand, and it definitely doesn’t mean that underhanded throws are ineffective.
In skateboarding, you learn to push with your back foot because it provides more stability and allows you to easily set up tricks like the ollie.
When you push regular, you’re also propelling yourself with your strongest leg, which means you can generate more speed.
That doesn’t mean that you’ll immediately fall on your ass if you push with your front foot, but it’s not considered optimal, and you may get a few strange looks.
Where Does Pushing Mongo Come from?
The origins of the term “pushing mongo” aren’t very politically correct, to say the least. Although the exact history of this term isn’t known, it’s often said to stem from the Portuguese and Spanish words for a mentally handicapped person, not unlike the word “retard” in English.
“Mongo” is not quite the same, though, and doesn’t have the same cringe-worthy and offensive impact.
Why do Beginners Push Mongo?
Beginners push mongo because they don’t really know better. Maybe they’re not processing their actions. Maybe they are forgetting what they learned or haven’t even learned the basics.
Typically, if a beginner is skating in a regular stance, it means their right foot is their strongest, and so this would usually be the natural option for pushing. However, they may also feel more stable with their strongest foot on the board.
Front Foot or Back Foot: Is it Always Bad to Push Mongo?
You may have seen a few professional skaters pushing mongo from time to time, and if it’s good enough for them, it can’t be that bad, right?
Well, as noted above, there is no “wrong” way to skate. If that’s the habit you have developed and it’s one that you feel comfortable with, go for it. But if you’re inexperienced and struggling, you should stop pushing mongo and see if you notice any improvements.
Many experienced skaters will switch stance, as well, so they are using both their front foot and their back foot to push and just switch between the two as the trick requires. These pro mongo pushers usually revert to using their back foot, and you won’t see them mongo pushing with quite the same regularity as a beginner.