Is Mall Grabbing A Skateboard Bad? It Isn’t!

The mall grab is often a dead giveaway that you’re dealing with a poser skateboarder. Grabbing a board by the trucks is generally frowned upon because to carry a skateboard around as a fashion statement grinds some skateboarder’s gear. At least that’s what the internet makes you believe, honestly mall grabbing is a non issue.

Some take it a bit too far, Which goes from a general dislike, to downright hostile ridiculing. What is the problem with mall grabbing? I honestly don’t get it but when browsing forums I found a few reasons why some people dislike mall grabbing.

Generally, mall grabbing is bad due to its negative association with skaters who only want the look, but are not putting in the work to skate well. On a practical level, mall grabbing can damage your clothing.

Let’s explore mall grabbing, its origin, and why it is generally considered ‘bad’. Be aware that there’s only a small percentage of skaters that actually care. Most skateboarders don’t give a sh*t about how you carry a skateboard as long as you actually skate.

What Is Mall Grabbing?

example of a skateboard mall grab

Mall grabbing is a way to hold a skateboard. The skateboard is grabbed on the top truck, between the wheels. The wheels face outside, and the tape grip on the inside. This method of grabbing is commonly associated with newbies or poser skaters who want to look like a skater but are not willing to put in the work to become good at it.   

Mall grabbing looks like an innocent way to simply hold on to something. Still, mall grabbing seems to have a negative image within the skater’s community, at least partially and mainly online. 

Mall grabbing is commonly associated with newbies or poser skaters. Within the skating community, there is a general dislike towards these people. Carrying a skateboard as a fashion statement is pretty much frowned upon.

The lack of skating skills and not the will to invest time, effort, and energy to be good at it will result in skaters calling you a poser.

Why Can’t You Hold a Skateboard by the Trucks

You can’t hold your skateboard by the trucks because it’s a direct violation of the Karen skateboard etiquette. While it’s not as bad as pushing mongo (a serious crime), you will be remembered as that skater who mall grabbed and hurt peoples feelings.

Holding skateboard trucks with your hands will cause serious frowning and you might upset certain types of skateboarders. If you see somone frowning while your mallgrabbing, think about their feelings. Who are you to make them upset about holding a skateboard by the trucks?

No skateboarder should be confronted with such undesired behaviour, everyone should act as a REAL skateboarder.

The Origin Of The Mall Grab

Okay, enough banter, let’s look where this non-issue comes from. The term ‘Mall Grab’ originated from how posers like to carry their skateboard in a mall. Typically many skaters skate to malls and back to meet their friends. However, since skating in malls isn’t allowed you need to carry your board around.

Posers copied the skater look without understanding that there is a right and wrong way to hold a skateboard. They grabbed and carried their boards in malls, hence the term mall grabbing came about. 

In 90s and early 2000s, it was common for teenagers and young adults to hang out at malls. They normally skate from their house to the mall, meet their friends, hang out, and then skate back home. 

However, skating is not allowed in a shopping mall. So many skaters hold on to their skates while walking around the mall, doing their thing. 

Skating at the time is seen as something cool and attractive (by the younger generation). So kids who wanted to get noticed carried a skateboard around for attention.

Kids noticed that they could simply copy the look by holding the skateboard while walking around the mall without actually needing to learn how to skate. 

These poseurs seem to be holding their skate in a particular way, and their way of grabbing eventually becomes the ‘mall grab.’ Skateboarders that actually skate couldn’t stand this and needed a way to distance themselves from posers.

As skateboards become more of a lifestyle, you also start seeing many models or non-skaters pose with skateboards for commercials. Just look up some stock photos, it’s a big cringe fest. For some odd reason, they are also seen to mall grab their boards. This further solidifies the generic dislike and even hate within the skater community for the mall grab. 

Why Is Mall Grabbing Bad?

There is nothing wrong about holding a skateboard the way you prefer, if someone makes a remark show them the double mall grab. You may be feel like being associated with posers, but it’s all in your head. It’s a natural way of picking up a skateboard. 

Despite the negative image of mall grabbing, it is one of the more comfortable ways to pick up a skate and hold on to it as you walk around. It likely explains why non-skaters may naturally default to such a grip.

I’ve never seen anyone hating on someone for mall grabbing a skateboard. Maybe a few sarcastic remarks or some friendly banter between friends. I wouldn’t associate myself with skaters who hate someone for holding a skateboard a certain way.

In fact, it is rare and more of a thing on the web than in real life. Sure there are toxic skaters, but mostly skateboarders don’t give a crap about what you do as long as you’re having fun and don’t get in the way.

If we really have to address a few reasons why you shouldn’t mall grab I can come up with a few, still it doesn’t matter.

You Risk Ridicule

The general disdain towards mall grabbing has gone down for some time, but it doesn’t mean it is not there. This means if you go around the mall grabbing your skateboard, you may be ridiculed by other skaters (on rare occasions) or seen as a rookie. 

Suppose if you are a seasoned skater, you can always challenge these guys for a game of skate. I always advice to double down and show them the elusive double mall grab instead.

double mall grab skateboard

It Is Unhygienic To Your Hands (lol really?)

Really a non-issue, even without grabbing your trucks you’ll get dirty hands. But for arguments sake, your skateboard trucks come in contact with, roads, stairs, railings, and all that. That means your skate trucks and wheels will pick up tons of dirt and wax all along the way. 

When you mall grabs your skate, you are directly introducing these things to your hands. Then you use your hands to do many things, such as touching your phone, picking your nose, eyes, etc.

So one could argue mall grabbing is unhygienic, but it’s a bit of a stretch IMO. Beginner have clean trucks anyway because they’re not grinding rails or ledges. Riding dirty alleys and roads will get your skateboard dirty, especially the grip tape. Might not hold a skateboard at all of this is a concern.  

You Risk Damaging Pants

One thing about mall grabbing your skate is that you may be damaging your clothes because of the friction with a decks’ grip tape This is because when you mall grabs, the grip tape and your clothes will frequently rub against each other. New grip tape can destroy your pants.

Over time, the grittiness of your grip tape may be reduced as it picks up the fibers and threads from your trousers and skating in general. By that time your pants are full of holes.

What Is The Right Way To Hold A Skateboard?

The most proper way to hold a skateboard is to hold it horizontally, with the wheels facing out and the truck on both sides of your body. Tip the board slightly with your hands so the top rests on your side. This holding position reduces friction on your clothing. It is also more comfortable and does not make you look like a rookie. 

According to Pro Skater Kerry Getz from the Nocturnal Skate Shop, the best way to carry a skateboard around is to carry it under your arm, horizontally. The truck faces out, and your hands cradle the skate. 

This position may be the best since it places the skateboard close to your body, meaning the weight may be less noticeable. Plus, if you tip the top part to rest against your body, it minimizes the rubbing between the grip tape and your clothing. 

However, Getz also mentioned that there is no proper way, and you should grab your skateboard the way you wish, even if you decide that Mall Grabbing is still the best. 

I have agree with this, I often do it myself when I pick up my board, it doesn’t instantly make you a poser.

How Do You Pick Up A Skateboard While Riding?

To pick up a skateboard while riding, you simply step on the back end to tip the front end of the skateboard up. You then grab the skateboard and then tuck it under your arm. There are many other ways to pick up your skateboard, but this is the most common.  

There are some variations which may be a little more complex for beginners and require you to practice more. For example, you can step on the front end of the skate and pick up the skate from the back end. 

Final Words

Basically mall grabbing is a non-issue and you should hold a skateboard the way you like it. To some it carries a negative image of a poser or inexperienced skater, but it’s best to ignore the hecklers.

To become the ultimate poser I would advice to wear a Thrasher hoodie, scratch your skateboard and trucks for fake damage, and mall grab with both hands.

Photo of author

Ruben Vee

I love skateboarding but my age is catching up. I decided to use my experience to skate less and write more. 20 years of skateboarding allows me to offer original and unique insights for many styles of skateboarding.