(Mango and Avocado Smoothie)
As much as skateboarding focuses on freedom of expression and rebuking society’s arbitrary strictures (who doesn’t love the irony of Pretty Sweet’s “Dudes in Suits” chapter?), there are a few rules in skateboarding that stick out like proverbial thorns in a rosebush. To be frank, they don’t make a lot of sense, but I blindly follow them like everyone else. “Don’t mall grab” comes to mind. I honestly don’t know if it looks kooky naturally, or if I’ve been conditioned to look down on it. Either way, I follow it and make the same jokes everybody else does when I catch someone mall grabbing.
One pariah that makes only slightly more sense is the admonishment against pushing mongo. For those of you just beginning (and perhaps unknowingly guilty of doing this), pushing mongo is using your front foot to push when riding in your normal stance, i.e., if you’re regular-footed, pushing with your left foot while your right foot stays over the back trucks, and vice versa if you’re goofy-footed. This offense may not materialize entirely out of the ether, as pushing mongo does make it more difficult to get a healthy amount of speed and erodes much of the sense of control and direction one gets from pushing correctly. All that said, let’s be honest, unless you’re charging like Busenitz, is a mongo push really going to stop you from ripping? I won’t jump to any conclusions here, but maybe this is just another overreaching application of functionless dogma.
Of course, as with any code of conduct, there are always exceptions, and it is here that I, among others, advocate the switch mongo push. Hey, if you can push switch and make it look as flawless as Ricky Oyola, then more power to you. I have nothing against a perfectly-executed, arguably ambidextrous switch push, but years of reinforcement have honed my muscles to instinctively push switch mongo. I started skating in 2000 when the switch mongo push was fully accepted. It made sense to me. I always push with my right foot, why should that change when I’m riding switch? Not only was it utilitarian on the board, but it was also a great way to identify a stance off the board before I was sharp enough to recognizes the styled nuances of switch vs regular. When all I had at my disposal was a small library of Logic Skateboarding Media VHS tapes, all I had to determine whether someone was regular- or goofy-footed was the coveted switch mongo push (Ryan Denman’s ambidexterity and notable lack of mongo push left me puzzled; it’s funny going back and watching those now because it’s so obvious from flick and trick selection who skates which stance—but seriously, Denman was a beast).
To further my case for the switch mongo push, some people just make it look good. Josh Kalis, Tiago Lemos, Stevie Williams, Keenan Milton—all of them have made the switch mongo push look downright enviable. Even Gino in his Brick Harbor Pretty Sweet remix (see line at LES ledges below) made the switch mongo push look painfully stylish (I’d rather watch Gino push switch mongo than _____”).
Seriously, these pushes in the opening line—you think they’d look good as proper switch pushes?
The switch mongo push may be coming back, but it may never regain the prevalence of yesteryear. Either way, let’s hope the stigma behind it fades in time as skateboarding inevitably finds its way back to its roots.
Just like I enjoy a full-throttled switch mongo push (preferably in baggy pants, or, even better, track pants), I enjoy a no-nonsense mango. On days like today (today’s session topped the charts at 106°F), I come home from skating drenched in sweat, rummaging through the kitchen for anything that will (a) hydrate me, (b) fill me with some quick carbs and (c) taste delicious. Thankfully, a ripe mango will suffice for all three. When bought whole (in season), mangos are surprisingly cheap (for instance, today was 4 for $1.00 at our local store—how do you pass that up?), and they provide a host of benefits including bountiful antioxidant compounds, high fiber and vitamin C (both of which help lower cholesterol), vitamin A (improves eye health), and tartaric, malic and citric acids (help to alkalize the body—i.e., good for your joints). Additionally, studies have suggested that the juices in mangos may be key in preventing heat stroke.
That alone should be argument enough to indulge in a juicy mango after your session, but in the interest of creating the total package, I wanted to throw in a few more things to make this smoothie the ultimate post-session smoothie. In addition to plenty of quick carbs, your body needs healthy fats and protein for a full recovery after a long summer session. For that reason, this mango smoothie also has some avocado, hemp protein and chia seeds. Not enough? I also throw in some coconut water to help replenish your body’s electrolytes. The result is a tangy—yet creamy—mango smoothie that will help you keep pushing with the same ferocity with which Tiago (switch mongo) pushes in De la Calle/Da Rua.
Ready to push switch mongo with a switch mango smoothie? Let’s do it.
- 1 medium-large ripe mango (cut and peeled)
- 100g avocado (roughly ½ large avocado)
- 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
- 100g pineapple chunks (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup coconut water (more or less to adjust thickness)
- ¼ cup unflavored hemp protein powder (can use hemp seeds or other protein powders)
- First, cut up that mango. Make sure you’re using a juicy, ripe mango for this. Unfortunately, unlike other fruits, color is not always the best indicator of ripeness with respect to mangos. While it should change from green to yellow/orange/red, the best indicator is that the mango will be softer and will give a little when pressed. If you’re unsure how best to cut a mango, check out this quick tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yQqVY-CsPk
- Throw the mango, avocado, pineapple, coconut water, chia seeds and hemp powder in a blender and blend it all up until it’s a tropical green mush (perhaps slightly darker depending on the pigmentation of the protein powder). Add more coconut water if you want it to be thinner.
- Guzzle it down, cool off, then go watch some late 90s/early 00s skate videos and marvel at the prevalence of the switch mongo push.
Per smoothie: 550 calories, 23g fat, 68g carbs, 22g protein