Invented in the late 1970s by Alan "Ollie" Gelfand, the ollie has become a skateboarding fundamental, the basis for many other more complicated tricks. In its simplest form, the ollie is a jumping technique that allows skaters to hop over obstacles and onto curbs, etc. What's so amazing about the ollie is the way the skateboard seems to stick to the skater's feet in midair. Seeing pictures of skaters performing soaring 4-foot ollies, many people assume that the board is somehow attached to the skater's feet. It's not. What's even more amazing about the ollie is that to get the skateboard to jump up, the skater pushes down on the board! The secret to this paradoxical maneuver is rotation around multiple axes. Let's take a closer look.
Low ollies: This can happen for a lot of reasons, but the biggest one is that you are not crouching low enough before your ollie, and not pulling your feet high enough after you jump. When you crouch down, try and touch the ground. When you jump, try to hit yourself in the chest with your knees. Both knees. Don’t worry about falling. That will happen sometimes – that’s just part of skateboarding! For more help, read the How Can I Make My Ollies Higher? FAQ
So the proper foot placement for the ollie is with the ball of your back foot horizontal on the tail of your skateboard. And your front foot centered on your board right behind the front trucks. You may find that moving your feet around in different positions are more comfortable. This is fine, everybody can learn how to skateboard their own way.
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Level out on the way down – Before you start to head back towards the safety of the earth, level your feet out as the board begins to fall. If you’re trying to jump a gap on your board, this will help you keep going straight and maintain your momentum. Alternatively, you can land on your nose or tail and perform a manual out of the jump, but those are pretty advanced moves. Might want to wait until those little pink training wheels are off your board first.
Smile and wave – Feel free to look around at all the other people at the skatepark that stood by and marveled at your new-found accomplishments (all one of them). I’m sure by this point you’ll be picking up roses that are being thrown at your feet, and taking a well-deserved bow as they begin to chant your name. Take it all in, thank the crowd for their undying affection, and then go get a snow-cone. You deserve it, champ.