An Ollie is basically an upward/forward jumping trick. The name “ollie” comes from the nickname of Alan Gelfand who created the ollie in 1976. The ollie was then modified for flat-ground use by Rodney Mullen in 1982, and it is this flat-ground version of the ollie which is most commonly referred to as the ‘ollie’ today. The ollie is arguably the most important trick in skateboarding because it is the foundation of the majority of skateboard tricks which require lift. When you want to do a trick like the kickflip, when you want to get onto something like a ledge, or down something like a set of stairs, or try handrails, the ability to ollie is a necessity. Therefore the ability to ollie high and with good control is critical to your total skateboarding skill-set.
The wheels of a skateboard are usually made of polyurethane, and come in many different sizes and shapes to suit different types of skating. Larger diameters (55–85 mm) roll faster, and move more easily over cracks in pavement and are better for transition skateboarding. Smaller diameters (48–54 mm) keep the board closer to the ground, require less force to accelerate and produce a lower center of gravity which allows for a better response time, but also make for a slower top speed and are better for street skateboarding. Wheels also are available in a variety of hardnesses usually measured on the Shore durometer "A" scale. Again like car tires, wheels range from the very soft (about Shore A 75) to the very hard (about Shore A 101). As the A scale stops at 100, any wheels labeled 101A or higher are harder, but do not use the appropriate durometer scale. Some wheel manufacturers now use the "B" or "D" scales, which have a larger and more accurate range of hardness. Modern street skaters prefer medium-sized wheels (usually 51–54 mm), as small wheels with lighter trucks can make tricks like kickflips and other flip tricks easier by keeping the center of gravity of the skateboard closer to the deck, thus making the deck easier to spin. Street wheels are harder (A 100/A 101). Vertical ramp or "vert" skating requires larger wheels (usually 55–65 mm), as it involves higher speeds. Vert wheels are also usually slightly softer (A 98/ A 99), allowing them to maintain high speed on ramps without sliding. Slalom skating requires even larger wheels (60–75 mm) to sustain the highest speeds possible. They also need to be soft and have better grip to make the tight and frequent turns in slalom racing. Even larger wheels are used in longboarding and downhill skateboarding. Sizes range from 65 mm to 100 mm. These extreme sizes of wheels almost always have cores of hard plastic that can be made thinner and lighter than a solid polyurethane wheel. They are often used by skateboard videographers as well, as the large soft wheels allow for smooth and easy movement over any terrain.
The type of skating the rider wants to do will inform the board choice, which sometimes involves skating a non-popsicle shaped board. But if you are just starting out, you can simply start with the traditional popsicle shaped deck that you probably recognize. As you skate more and get to know what shapes you like or what kind of skateboarding you enjoy best, your decisions will take into account for company, shape, width, and style of riding. Until then, choosing a board by its graphic is totally acceptable. For an overview on types of skateboard decks and riding styles, check out our Skateboard Decks Section in our Buyer’s Guide. Once you find a deck you like, you can simply select the default wheels, trucks, bearings and grip tape or you have the option to make it a complete.
The Wasatch Imports Good Skateboards is the ultimate compact and complete street board that is ready-to-go. It is great for exercise and fun. It is very portable and perfect for all skill levels. It has a variety of awesome vintage color combinations that you can choose from. It is made of topline construction, with a high-density plastic deck, 59mm super smooth wheels, ABEC7 bearings, and solid aluminum trucks. It measures 22″ long and 6″ wide and weighs 4 pounds. It has a full manufacturer’s lifetime warranty on all parts, pieces, and materials. It has a weight limit of 200 pounds which can ensure that bigger skaters can join the fun.
Go for the low truck profile if you want to obtain additional stability when you do flip tricks. It also works well for small wheels. The mid-sized trucks are good for all-around use, especially in streets and parks. You can also choose the high-sized trucks that are good for carving and cruising, which is the reason why they are perfect for huge wheels.
I’m 31 and I just started skating too. I can ollie but they fluctuate a lot. I’ll do well certain day and certain day I won’t do well. It’s frustrating sometimes but I’m hooked. I go skating with my 5 year old son. He’s already practicing ollie. I think he’ll out do me soon. Man he picks up so fast like a sponge. Can’t wait till I can get all my basic tricks down so I can have more fun with them!
Shock pads are made of polyurethane and rubber. They are very similar to risers but vary in the fact that their sole purpose is to cushion the board from the trucks. Since the trucks are metal and the board wood, whenever the board hits the ground after doing a trick, the energy goes through the truck to the board ─ this has caused boards to crack, split, or even break in half, and shock pads were created to prevent this.
Pop the board in the air – The reason you jump up into the air in the first place is because you’re slamming the back end into the ground (don’t worry, your board is made to take the abuse). It’s the same motion you would do if you were standing near the board and wanted to pop the board up into your hands, except this time, you’re standing on top of it. As soon as you feel the board pop into the ground, kick your front foot up into the air at the same time. The timing on this is important: kick too early and you won’t go anywhere, kick too late and your board will fly out from underneath you.
A rushed take-off might be the problem here. Steps 2-4 of this trick tip could help you out. In order to make your feet “stick” to the board, you have to do the movement fluidly. But don’t stress yourself out! You should rather start with some preliminary exercises until you feel safe while ollieing. It is also important to pull your foot up to your board’s nose in a straight manner to prevent it from spinning.
The wheels of your skateboard can greatly affect your ride in numerous ways, such as the speed, your ability to take control of the skateboard’s movements, and what you feel while riding the board. The good news is that they come in various sizes, levels of durability, and colors, allowing you to pick one that suits your skateboard preference and style.