The ollie is a fundamental skill in skateboarding and is used to leap onto, over, or off obstacles, or over gaps of unfriendly terrain such as grass or stairs. As so many tricks depend on it - for example the kickflip and heelflip - the ollie is often the first skill to be learned by a new skateboarder. The ollie typically takes considerable practice to learn.
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If you are completely new to skateboarding, consider taking a minute to read through the Skateboard Decks Section in our Buyer’s Guide will be helpful, but a good rule of thumb is: the bigger your feet, the wider your board should be. If you wear a size 9 and up, you can’t go wrong with buying an 8” board. Narrow boards are easier to flip while wider boards are more stable, but there are no hard and fast rules to skateboarding. The only way to really find out what you like is by trying new shapes, sizes, and brands. Brands like Welcome, Baker, Chocolate, Deathwish, and Element all have a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and graphics.
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Today, many riders use the “ollie-pop” on more than just the flat-level surfaces in between other tricks, it’s used heavily in the half-pipe and bowl ramps to allow the rider to go even higher in the air. Performing the “ollie-pop” while you’re at or near the top of the lip is a great way to get an extra couple feet, which might be all you need to get that extra turn in and nail the 720 (or 900, if you’re Tony Hawk).
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.
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The most common shape in skateboarding is called a popsicle shape. It has a curved tail and nose and features concave, which gives the board it’s shape. New skateboarders looking to learn how to carve, push, ollie, kickflip, and grind boxes, ledges, and rails should start with a popsicle shape. If you’re interested in knowing, we explain selecting a board by width, riding style, and board shape in the skateboard decks section of the buyer’s guide.
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.
If you love skateboarding, then it is a must for you to invest in a high-quality backpack or bag. It is an essential gear, especially if you are someone on the go. You need it as it lets you bring all the things and items you need while you are riding to work or school – that’s possible while still ensuring that you bring your board with you all the time.
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.
The laws for skateboarding helmets vary from state to state. Many states require that skaters wear a helmet under a certain age, and some states like California make all skaters under 18 wear a CPSC Certified helmet at all times. CSPC skateboard helmets usually have an EPS protective liner that meets the safety standards for skateboarding. Make sure you check your state's regulations before ordering.
The ollie is a fundamental trick in street skateboarding, and is used to leap onto, over, or off obstacles, or over gaps of unfriendly terrain such as grass or stairs. As so many other tricks depend on it - for example the kickflip and heelflip - the ollie is often the first trick to be learned by a new skateboarder. The ollie typically takes considerable practice to learn.
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.
Learning to skateboard takes dedication. If you want to learn fast, it helps if you have an order and a strategy. Many new skateboarders try to learn to Ollie or learn to kickfliip before they are ready. They will try to Ollie before they can effectively push their skateboard or even do a kickturn. This often leads to frustration and even giving up. So, for you parents and Noobs out there, here is an outline of some of the very first things you should learn to do on a skateboard.
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As you jump into the air, your front foot needs to roll slightly inward, and with the outside of your foot, you want to guide the skateboard as it flies into the air. Some people describe this as dragging the side of your front foot up the skateboard – that’s more or less what is happening, but what you are doing is using your shoe and the grip tape on the board to pull the skateboard higher into the air with you, and guiding the skateboard to where you want it.