Almost no one lands an ollie on their first try. Repetition is the most important part of learning how to ollie. Once you learn how to do an ollie, you can try doing them while rolling. Learning is one of the funnest parts of skateboarding. After you learn ollies, you can move onto 180s, Pop Shove-Its, and flips. Soon a whole world of tricks will open up.
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In 1982, while competing in the Rusty Harris contest in Whittier, California, Rodney Mullen debuted an ollie on flat ground, which he had adapted from Gelfand's vertical version by combining the motions of some of his existing tricks. Mullen used a "see-saw" motion, striking the tail of the board on the ground to lift the nose, and using the front foot to level the board in mid-air. While Mullen was not initially impressed with his flat ground ollie, and did not formally name it, he realized it opened up a second, elevated plane on which to perform tricks.
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But, a quick warning! If you learn to ollie while standing still, you can develop some bad habits. Some skaters end up turning in the air a little, and not landing straight. You might not even notice until you try to ollie while rolling. So, if you practice while standing still, I highly recommend also practicing while rolling. Maybe only practice in one spot for a few days - maybe a week or two - and then give the rolling ollie a shot. That way, if you are developing bad habits, you can shake them off before they really mess you up.
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.
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