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Switch Mongo

Without rolling, let’s face it, skateboarding would be incredibly boring.  Imagine being content without it, being a stationary dud left only to explore the cobwebs of a concrete garage.  Movement is one thing that all skateboarders have in common and without an incline the only way to get it is by pushing.  That is why, after all these wonderful years, we still are enamored by the simple act of pushing.

It’s easy to see why pushing can cause a ceaseless debate on so-called “best practices.”  What’s right, what’s wrong, what’s most effective, and/or what’s the most aesthetically pleasing way to push?  Most would agree that it is faux pas to push mongo; but give a pass on switch mongo.  I like to think that it comes down to whoever is running it.  So whatever your preference is on the matter, we’d like to bring to light a collection of some of the best ever to push switch mongo.  This might make you change your mind.

JB Gillet is hands down one of our favorite French skateboarders of all time.  A true OG, he has a career that spans nearly two decades and he has ridden for some real heavyweights; New Deal, World Industries, Deca, and his long time home of Cliche.  JB’s skating is definitely tech heavy, lots of ledge and switch stance skateboarding.  JB has been running switch mongo for forever and it doesn’t seem like he’ll ever adapt.

Most notably here is JB from etnies’ “High 5″ Video (1995) and Cliche’s “Freedom Fries” (2004):



Like Gillet, Gino Ianucci has had a very long career and he has ridden for some of the most iconic brands ever, think; Black Label, 101, and most recently left his long time home at Chocolate for greener pastures at Fucking Awesome.

What I like most about this switch mongo push is the fact that just prior to this he pushed regular switch in the SAME line. Definitely a move that is unique to few.
Gino in 101’s  “Snuff“(1993):


Here’s Gino still running it 20 years later:


Hate him or love him, Bobby Puleo, is incredibly opinionated on skateboarding and his views can often times leave you scratching your head.  Either you completely agree with him or not at all. One thing we can agree with him on is it’s okay to push switch mongo.
Bobby Puleo from the Infamous video (late ‘90s):

bobbypuelo_infamous2 bobbypuelo_infamous

Like James Kelch at EMB, Ricky Oyola was often regarded as the mayor of Love park in Philly. He is also very outspoken about doggin’ on people who push switch mongo.  We love Ricky, but this makes us immediately put Stevie’s push on the list:

Stevie Williams in the Chocolate Tour video (1999):


Bonus is Stevie’s line from the Chocolate commercial as seen in 411 issue #36 (1999):


Stevie and Kalis go hand in hand and Kalis is arguably has the illest switch mongo push ever. Kalis can also be quoted about why he pushes switch this way, “If you are goofy footed… Push goofy. At all times. If I’m rolling switch or fakie.. I push my natural stance. I prefer seeing a switch trick after a fakie push. Too much ambidextrous looks bland to me.”  Kalis also goes onto compliment Koston’s switch mongo push saying, “Koston has a dope fakie push.”
Josh Kalis from Alien Workshop’s “Photosynthesis” (2000):


Eric Koston from Girl’s “Mouse” (1996) and “Yeah Right” (2003):

koston_mouse2 koston_yeahright2

One of our favorite contemporary switch mongo pusher hails from Black Pool, England; Danny Brady.

Check out Danny’s stride from the now defunct Blueprint’s “Lost and Found” (2005) and more recent “Making Friends with the Colour Blue” (2010):

dannybrady_lostandfound dannybrady_mfwtcb2

Style master Scott Johnston also pushes this controversial way. If Scott does it, we back it.

Scott Johnston from FTC’s “Penal Code 100A” (1996):


Still the same old push in 2013:


This list couldn’t be complete without Mike Carroll, no words are needed here.
Mike Carroll from Plan B’s “Questionable” (1991):

mikecarroll_questionable2 mikecarroll_questionable

Skateboarding is partially governed by a set of unwritten rules, however, I think it’s time we lay this rule to rest.

Bonus: Pushing mongo immediately after a nollie backside flip is ALWAYS a good look.  Shout out to Koston from Girl’s “Mouse” (1996) and Gillet from etnies’ “High 5” (1995):






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Dee Ostrander Pro for Baker Skateboards

When we first got word that Baker would be surprising our good friend, Dee Ostrander, with his very first pro model, we knew we had to be there.  We got wind of the big secret only a couple of days before, so we cleared our schedules, packed up the car, filled the cooler and headed to Dee’s hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.


Getting ready for the road.

When we arrived in Nashville, we met up with the F.U. Crue and hit the streets.  Then we met Dee and the Baker boys at the first spot.

Dee, Theotis, and the boys

Dee, Theotis, and some of the boys

The heat really got turned up at the next spot.  We were rolling with about 40 dudes, and we are at this sick rail spot in downtown Nashville.  Security showed up, and they were pissed off right away.  One of the security guys pushed someone, and the crew didn’t take that very well.  A couple pushes and middle fingers later, security blocked all the entrances and all the vans and cars that were with us had to hop some curbs to get away before the cops showed up.

"Suck IT" to security.

“Suck IT” to security.

After a couple more spots and a couple more run-ins with cops and security, it was time to head to Hattie B’s where Andrew Reynolds was planning to turn Dee pro.  In classic Boss Man style, Reynolds picked up the tab and bought everyone plenty of food and beer.  When the food arrived on everyone’s tables, Doughnut (Baker Team Manager) walked around with a tray of specially labeled Texas Pete hot sauce bottles.  Dee grabbed a bottle, and then realized what was happening.  As soon as he began to look around the patio errupted and out came his first pro model boards for Baker.  That is when things start to get blurry.  Thanks for the good times, and the heavy hangover, Nashville.  DEE IS F#CK!NG PRO!

Dee Ostrander Pro For Baker

Dee holding his very first pro model board

When the boss turns your friend pro, you gotta be there. @diseasedostrich #DeeProAsFuck4Baker 🎉🎉🎉

A video posted by BuySkateShoes (@buyskateshoes) on


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Riley Hawk Pro Shoe Review And Video

First Impression

New Riley Hawk Lakai Shoe

My first impression of the new Riley Hawk pro model shoe from Lakai was that it looked very similar to the Lakai Owen, except it had an upper that included laces.  The shape of the toe is almost exactly like the Owen.  The Riley includes an added toe bumper that the Owen doesn’t have though.  When you first put the shoe on you notice that it is a bit stiff.  The reason behind that is because the back of the shoe around the heel is made of a tough canvas.  Depending on how your feet fit in ther shoe this could cause discomfort for the first day or so.  The LUX-LITE insole provides a decent bit of cushion and support.  The shape of the toe is a bit wider than I’m used to, but I don’t think it will have a negative effect at all.

One Week Of Skating

After a week of skating in the Riley’s, the break in process was finally over.  The bulked up sole and added toe bumper are great for making the shoe last longer, but the downfall is that it takes longer to break them in.  The insoles are holding up strong and have yet to pack down from taking impact.  The only major wear area is around the collar of the shoe.  The stitching ripped in the first couple of days and the foam padding around the collar is now exposed.  The laces that come with the shoe are thin, and the first one ripped pretty easily.  Once these shoes are broken in they start to skate very well.

Three Weeks Of Skating

Riley Hawk Shoe Ripped Up

After another week there really isn’t a huge difference in wear.  The most obvious area for concern is the collar and the lacing area.  At this point I had ripped all the laces, and the collar began to fall apart more.  An easy fix to all this would be to put a new lace in.  These issues did not affect the way the shoe skated though.  To be completely honest I was not a fan of this shoe at first, but the more I skated the shoe the more I began to like it.  This is the kind of shoe that gets better with time.  Pack a couple extra laces and these bad boys are good to go.  It has been three weeks and the Riley’s have more life left in them.  If I were to rate the shoe, I would give the Riley Hawk’s first pro model a 7 out of 10.

Find the Riley Hawk shoe right here!



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Best Skateboarding Podcasts and Radio Shows

Skateboarding Podcasts

Why listen to Nancy Grace rant about how pot kills people when you could listen to someone have an interesting conversation with one of your favorite professional skateboarders?  It is 2015 and skateboarding related podcasts and talk shows are on the rise.  Some people have been at it a long time, while others are new to the game and adapting very quickly.  Regardless of if you are sitting behind a desk working a 9-5 or stuck in traffic on the way to a spot, these talk shows are a great way to gain a little extra insight that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.  Here is a list of our favorite skateboarding podcasts and radio shows.

The Tim O’Connor Show

Skateboarding’s funniest MC and Habitat Skateboards pro, Tim O’Connor, now has his own podcast.  Although he has only put out three episodes so far, his show is our personal favorite because of how much it makes us laugh.  His guests have mostly been fellow Habitat team riders from past and present.  The Brian Wenning episode is one you just have to listen to in order to believe it.  You can’t even make this shit up.



Fos FM

Mark “FOS” Foster is the founder of Heroin Skateboards and also the art director Baker, Deathwish, and Altamont.  FOS hails from across the pond, and has a really interesting and quite refreshing taste in music.  His show comes on every Thursday at 9 PM west coast time.  In between interviewing and asking his guests questions, FOS plays really great tunes.  Our personal favorite episode has to be the Dee Ostrander and Shane Powell episode, lots of laughs and crunchy Memphis rap.  Listen to it here.

FOS FM With Dee Ostrander and Shane Powell


Mostly Skateboarding

Mostly Skateboarding is a podcast run by a dude named Templeton Elliott.  Templeton worked for The Skateboard Mag for years gathering all the content for their website and running their social media accounts.  He is an east coast native and his podcasts usually feature east coast skateboarding legends like Donny Barley and Paul Zitzer.  These podcasts are short, usually running about 10 minutes long, and definitely worth your time.  Listen to Donny Barley tell wild stories from old Toy Machine trips.


The Anthony Shetler Show

Anthony Shetler Show

Founder of All I Need Skateboards and all around ripper, Anthony Shetler claims skateboarding saved his life, and after reading his interview on Jenkem Magazine’s website, that statement couldn’t be more true.  Anthony has a unique ability to get people talking.  From Marc Johnson talking about shitty handshakes to Steve Berra speaking on Scientology, these podcasts are lengthy, but interesting as hell.  Let Mr. Shetler take you through a wormhole right here.


Skate To Create

This podcast takes a different approach than most other skateboarding talk shows and podcasts.  Skate To Create focuses less on the act of skateboarding and more on what can be learned from skateboarding and how that translates into life and business.  While it may not sound as cool as some of the other shows we have listed, they interview a lot of guys that work behind the scenes in the skateboarding industry.  For those of you out there that want to work in skateboarding, these are really good podcasts to listen to without a doubt.  This episode that features Fred van Schie offers a lot of insight into what it really takes to get a job in the industry.

Skate Talk Live

These dudes have been at it for a long time.  Bob Altamirano is the host and is usually accompanied by his friend Boosh on this hilarious show that features everyone from the infamous ATL twins to a drunken commentary/team reunion with the cast of Foundation’s “That’s Life” video.  Sit back, crack a beer, and hang out on the couch with these dudes for a while, you won’t regret it.  They haven’t updated in a while, but there is plenty to watch before their next episode.

Did we miss one?  Is your favorite skateboarding podcast not on the list?  Let us know below in the comments.

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etnies and Altamont Casual Apparel and Footwear

Altamont Clothing And Etnies Shoes

Altamont Clothing And Etnies Shoes


Sometimes You Have To Look Presentable

When those old beaten up Dickies and that Spitfire shirt that smells like last night’s bar tab aren’t appropriate for the occasion, you have to step it up.   Altamont and Etnies have roots deeply embedded in skateboarding.  The Altamont gear feautured is lightweight and perfect for those hot days when you aren’t skating.  The Etnies shoes are made of a mesh upper and a super comfortable STI Evolution Foam sole that makes your feet feel loved after hours of relentless beatings from the pavement.  Hell, you might even catch some trim that’s way out of your league with this look.  Put down the spliff, call a cab, and let’s do this shit play boy.

Products Featured:

Altamont Fielder S/S Woven (Bone) Button-Up

Altamont Sanford (Beige) Shorts

ETNIES Scout (Black)

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Vans’ Propeller | 7 Highlights

Vans‘ first full length video, Propeller, has arrived, and it exceeded our expectations by a mile.  It is very rare that a video with so much hype around it actually lives up to everyone’s expectations.  Every single part in the video could have been the curtains of any average video, but not a Vans video.  From Chima and Rowan, to Dan Lu and Gilbert, to Kyle Walker and AVE, this video is jam packed with the most amazing skateboarding paired with beautiful cinematography.  We watched it over and over again and compiled a short list of clips that definitely deserve some extra love…


Vans’ Propeller Clips You Need To Watch


Ray Barbee’s Blunt Heelflip

Ray Barbee In Vans Propeller


Don’t get us wrong, it’s not that we didn’t expect to see any Ray Barbee footage, but damn we really didn’t see this trick coming.  The image above features one clip of him pushing and hitting the no-complys perfectly. And then there was this… Read More

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Take Off: A Vans Visual

Vans has been “Off The Wall” since 1966.  Appealing to all walks of life, Vans brings a taste of their relaxed southern California roots to people around the world.  Take off with this photo set showcasing some Vans gear that will help chill out your high-speed lifestyle.

Vans "Take Off"

Vans "Take Off" 5

Vans "Take Off" 4

Vans "Take Off" 3

Vans "Take Off" 2

Vans Products Featured:

Frazier Button-Up (Indigo Dot), Jalama Heather Decksider Short (Graphite), Happy Daze Shoes (Marshmallow)

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