Don’t get your hopes shot if it takes you a while to get this down. Once you know how to ollie, beginner skateboarders you can do any trick in the book with just a little bit of practice. Once you get this trick down while your stationary, go practice while moving around a little bit, try to hop off a couple of curbs. You’ll be skateboarding like a pro in no time. Just keep at it.
We’re assuming if you’re trying to learn how to do an ollie, you’re probably pretty new to skateboarding. You may already know whether you’re goofy or regular footed, but if not, try taking a quick hop onto your board with the intention of rolling forward (you might want to try on carpet first so you don’t slip backwards). If you’re left foot naturally ends up towards the front of your board, you’re regular-footed. If you ended up putting your right foot first, you’re goofy-footed.
Bolted onto the underside of the tail end of a skateboard, the tail guard (also known as a "skid plate") protected the tail end from skid stops and other maneuvers that would otherwise wear away the wood (commonly known as razor tail) and decrease the longevity of the tail. Typically made of plastic, these were widely popular in the '80s but their usage quickly diminished with the arrival of two-tail board designs, which became increasingly popular in the '90s.
Finally, just roll away. If this sounds simple, then great – get out there and practice! If this sounds too complicated, don’t worry. Just go slow, and take your time. There is no time limit to learn how to ollie – some people learn in a day, and I know one guy that took over a year to learn how to ollie on his skateboard. Also, like with most things in skateboarding, your body is learning how to ollie more than your mind is. So, with practice, you’ll eventually get it.
Just before a skater performs an ollie, there are three forces acting on the skateboard. One of these forces is the weight of the rider, shown here with two red arrows. Another is the force of gravity on the board itself, shown with a small black arrow. Finally, blue arrows show the force of the ground pushing up on the skateboard. These three forces balance out to zero. With no net force, the skateboard doesn't accelerate, but rolls along at a constant speed.
You can learn to ollie while standing stationary, or while your skateboard is rolling. Ollying while standing still works the same way as while rolling, but I think rolling ollies are easier than stationary ollies. If you would like to learn to ollie with your skateboard stationary, you can place your skateboard on some carpet or grass to keep it from rolling. If you prefer to learn to ollie while your skateboard is rolling, don’t go very fast at the start. Whichever way you learn to ollie, once you feel comfortable you should try to ollie the other way as well.
Slam your back foot down on the tail of your skateboard as hard as you can. At that moment, you want to also jump into the air, off of your back foot. This part is key and takes practice. The trick is in getting your timing right. You want to slap the skateboard’s tail down, and as it hits the ground, jump off of that foot into the air. Make sure to pull that back foot high into the air. It's a quick, snapping motion.
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Land at the same time – Again, this is probably silly to repeat, but you’d be surprised to find out how many people execute a successful jump, and then throw their hands up in the air to celebrate their new-found triumph, and forget the most important part: landing. The best position for your feet to be in is as close to the trucks as possible. Don’t land too close to the nose or tail, or you could end up breaking off those the board itself. Also, remember to bend your knees to absorb the jump. Don’t want to land straight-legged: that’s how kneecaps are destroyed.
Before we show you how to ollie, let’s get familiar with the legends that brought this skateboard trick to the masses. If it were a person, the history of ollie would start way back in 1974, when Alan Gelfand got his first skateboard from his father after his family moved to Hollywood, Florida from New York state. It didn’t take him too long to get the hang of it; he won the South Florida Skateboard championships two years later.
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Hey, I’m a girl too and I’ve been skateboarding for nearly ten years now. I’m not a pro or anything, but I used to ride around in the local skatepark that was mainly just a big bowl that was fun to just drop into and cruise around in. I’m only just now learning street tricks. Anyways, I’d go there and the dudes would sometimes tease me, but sometimes they’d tease me about it. The thing you gotta do is not give up. Just ignore them. Dudes are stupid. Practice at home, by yourself, and learn some awesome stuff. So when you get really good, you can go to the park and if they start saying bad stuff, show off. It’ll blow them away. It always made me feel really good to show them that I was better than them right after they teased me for it.