Have you heard of this notion “a door of opportunities”. Well Ollie certainly is that door of opportunities for all beginner skateboarders who want to start performing cool and amazing tricks.
It is the most basic and fundamental trick. You can say that almost all the other tricks are easy to learn once you master the technique of doing an Ollie. It solely depends on three things
Invented by Alan Ollie Gelfand in 1976, this trick simply involves lifting your board in the air with your feet to jump over obstacles.
It was Rodney Mullen that brought the technique onto the street five years later by practicing very hard on perfecting it.
Ollie is the mix and result of 7 well coordinated steps performed simultaneously.
Remember it all depends on your footwork.
Place your Front foot in between the middle of the board and the bolts of the front truck and parallel to the tip of the board.
Then put your back foot in the middle of the tail in such a way that the side of your foot meets the end of the board. The end of the back foot should be hanging out of the board and only the ball of the back foot should be on the tail.
Ensure that your front foot is properly placed on the grip tape so that it doesn’t fall off the board when you are sliding.
The height of your ollie depends on the position of your front foot. If it’s near the tip then you will be able to make a small jump easily. If it’s further back then you will be able to make a higher jump but your ollie might not be that well. So in the beginning it is best that you place your front foot in the middle behind the front trucks.
Then slowly crouch down a little. Make sure your shoulders are in line of your feet. Your Shoulders should be square with the board and not turned and your head should be straight in the direction of the nose of the board.
Now that both of your feet are placed properly on the board with your shoulders aligned with your legs, it’s time to start practicing the pop, which is pushing the board down from the back and lifting the front.
You will have to push/ force the board downwards like kicking it with the back foot so that you get a nice lift from the front. The nearer the foot to the tail the higher lift you get.
Do not exert all the pressure on the sole of your back foot while pushing downwards. Try to put some weight on the ball of your foot. This will make the push easier.
As you push the board down from the back let your front foot lift up with the front of the board. Push the board until the back touches the ground but do not let your board touch the ground more than needed or else you will lose the momentum needed to perform Ollie.
You will need to practice this move many times until you can perform it confidently with much ease than you started.
As you pop the tail of the board with your back foot just jump in the air with both your feet. This is a simple step as you already know how to jump, you just have to time the jump perfectly to go in sync with the pop.
Remember to lift your back foot also in the air as you pop the board so that you get the lift.
In order to increase the height of your jump remember to bend your knees upwards when you jump.
If you are confident with your lift, then it’s time for you to proceed to the most crucial step which is sliding and dragging.
When you push the board down from the back and jump up, slide and bend your front foot upwards towards the front of the board when it lifts, dragging the board with you up and ahead in the air.
This movement will take the board up in the air with you. When you slide your front foot upwards you have to rotate it in such a way that the sole of your shoe doesn’t touch the deck of the board and only the side of your shoe touches it.
Your front foot should reach the tip of the board when you are at the height of your jump. You don’t have to worry if you don’t time it perfectly the first time as sliding your foot too early will give you little height and sliding it too late will give you an ollie which would not be levelled at the highest point
Professional skateboarders will tell you that you have to roll your front foot sideways from near your pinky toe side and not flat on the sole. And a sure sign that you are doing it right is that the front side of your shoe will have a tear on it.
After you get hold of this step practice it many times until you are able to perform it without concentrating much on your foot movements.
Now the moment your front foot touches the tip of the board try to push the front down so that it comes in level with the tail of the board. And your board is straight in midair.This push will also take your board ahead.
Just remember not to kick the front too far as it might not give you a good ollie.
Also move your back foot to the front and a little far from the tail, When you are at the peak height of your Ollie.
After pushing and leveling the board prepare your legs for landing by placing both your feet over the bolts and body over in the centre.
Try to slide both your feet near the wheels as you land along with the board and also straighten your legs before falling so that you can bend a little to absorb the shock.
Make sure that your feet are on the wheels because if you put too much weight in the middle you might risk snapping the board in half and if you put weight on either of the ends you might break them.
You can practice these steps individually but in the end you will have to simultaneously perform all these steps to create an Ollie.
All this might sound like it might take a few minutes to perform an Ollie but it is just a matter of seconds from the jump to the landing.
Once you have got hold of these steps, start with performing an ollie. But According to professional skateboarders you should first just get comfortable riding your skateboard around if you are a beginner and should not start thinking of doing an Ollie as soon as you start riding your skateboard.
Once you are comfortable riding your skateboard, then you can practice for an Ollie in two ways.
- Stationary practice
Practicing all the steps of an Ollie by standing in one place without riding the board. This could be on grass as it will give your board more stability than concrete and you have less chances of hurting yourself when you fall while practicing.
You can even practice on a flat surface with a crevice or crack to hold the back wheels of the board. It will ensure that your board doesn’t roll and move while you practice.
- Rolling practice
This way involves practicing while riding your skateboard. But do not start practicing directly over obstacles. Try to perform it on a flat surface or maybe over a drawing of an obstacle so that you get enough practice and then try on a real obstacle.
Some might say that practicing all the steps stationary is not as good as practicing them while rolling a skateboard, because practicing it stationary may be the cause of developing some bad habits such as not being able to land straight properly.
So whichever way you decide to practice based on your comfortability, remember to get yourself a fine protective gear that includes a helmet, a pair of knee pads, wrist guards and elbow pads.
Before you start practicing for an Ollie, you need to figure out which foot will be in the front and which on the back of the board when you ollie.
Try to go with the foot you are most comfortable with and which gives you proper balance when it is placed in the front.
After you have mastered or are comfortable performing an Ollie you can try moving your feet around to see new ways to Ollie. So Good luck for opening that door of opportunities and entering a world of skateboarding tricks