If you’ve ever watched a skateboarder roll down the street and then all of a sudden pop into the air on a skateboard, you’re probably wondering the same question a lot of people do: how on earth do they do that? It almost seems magical how they just seem to explode off the ground, and then just kind of float. Skateboarder, meet, the ollie. It’s not in the category of “easy skateboard tricks,” but if you learn how to ollie, you’re well on your way to fame and fortune as a professional skater.
The rider begins the ollie by crouching and jumping directly upward. As the rider begins to leap, instead of lifting the feet from the board, he/she "pops" the tail by striking it against the ground, which raises the board nose-first. Maintaining contact with the board, the rider lifts the front leg and bends the front ankle so that the outer or top side of the shoe slides towards the nose of the board. The friction between the shoe and the board's grip tape helps to guide and pull the board upward, while the rear foot only maintains slight contact with board to help guide it. When nearing the peak of the jump, the rider lifts the rear leg and pushes the front foot forward, which levels the board and keeps it in contact with the back foot.
Rails (or ribs), are narrow strips of plastic or metal that are attached under the deck lengthwise along the edges. They are used for additional grip for grabs, and to enhance sliding while protecting the deck's graphics at the same time. Rails also provide a more consistent feel for slides, as the slide of a regular skateboard will suffer from the wear of the paint or varnish on the bottom of the board. Although rarely used anymore, they are useful for experienced skaters that are capable of grabs.
After you’ve properly applied a burst of force to the tail, the top-side of your front foot’s toe should start dragging up your board almost automatically. Eventually, the higher you are able to bring your front foot during lift will determine the apex of your ollie, so work gradually towards lifting your front foot as high as your body allows. Skateboarders who record the highest ollies usually (somehow manage to!) bring their feet higher than their hips!
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This can be tricky to figure out, so just take your time and relax. The first few times you try and ollie, it helps to not worry about this part. You will end up doing a sort of half-ollie, popping just a little in the air. Or, you might fall! But, don't worry, this is all part of learning. If you want though, you can certainly start with rolling your ankle when you try and ollie - whatever works for you! Eventually, you will need to roll and drag, and you'll figure it out. Just take your time!
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
The Bamboo Mini Cruiser deck is 6-inches-by-22.5-inches with that classic cruiser shape. The board is made with 6-ply bamboo and maple construction, which is lightweight, flexible and eco-friendly. Bamboo Skateboards claims this board has a turning radius not seen in most mini decks. The small, blank deck is heavy duty and durable in a way not all mini cruisers are. The non-carbonized board is ready for you to slap on the grip tape and artwork you want and then get riding.
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.