In 1977, skate parks began cropping up all over the place, including Skateboard USA, where Gelfand began to spend most of his time. His buddy, Scott Goodman, is the one who gave Gelfand the nickname of “Ollie” and dubbed his aerial lipside the “ollie-pop.” Pictures of Gelfand during this time period clearly show him getting airborne and performing the trick associated with his name today.
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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.