After you’ve properly applied a burst of force to the tail, the top-side of your front foot’s toe should start dragging up your board almost automatically. Eventually, the higher you are able to bring your front foot during lift will determine the apex of your ollie, so work gradually towards lifting your front foot as high as your body allows. Skateboarders who record the highest ollies usually (somehow manage to!) bring their feet higher than their hips!
Each skateboard wheel is mounted on its axle via two bearings. With few exceptions, the bearings are the industrial standard "608" size, with a bore of 8 mm (or 10mm depending on the axle), an outer diameter of 22 mm, and a width of 7 mm. These are usually made of steel, though silicon nitride, a high-tech ceramic, is sometimes used. Many skateboard bearings are graded according to the ABEC scale. The scale starts with ABEC1 as the lowest, followed by 3, 5, 7, and 9. It is a common misconception that the higher ABECs are better for skateboarding, as the ABEC rating only measures tolerances, which do not necessarily apply to skateboards. Bearing performance is determined by how well maintained the bearings are. Maintenance on bearings includes periodically cleaning and lubricating them [1]. Bearings that are kept unmaintained have their performance greatly lowered and will soon need to be replaced. Bearing cleaning kits are commonly available on the market. The ABEC rating does not determine the speed or durability of a skateboard bearing. In particular, the ABEC rating says nothing about how well a bearing handles axial (side-to-side) loads, which are severe in most skateboard applications. Many companies do not show the ABEC rating, such as Bones Bearings, which makes bearings specifically for skateboarding, often marketed as "Skate Rated". Each bearing usually contains 7 steel or ceramic bearing balls, although other configurations are used 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.
Skateboarding is the best and worst thing that’ll you’ll ever have the pleasure of tearing your hair out over. In a typical day of skating, you’ll get hurt, you’ll get incredibly frustrated, and eventually land a trick that’ll make it all worth it - if you’re lucky. Choosing a skateboard is fairly simple if you know what shape and width you like. If you’ve been skating awhile, you’re probably fairly familiar with what board brands you like skating. If not, there are a number of resources to help you choose the best skateboard for your skating style. Continuing to read this little spiel is going to take the least amount of effort on your part.
Smile and wave – Feel free to look around at all the other people at the skatepark that stood by and marveled at your new-found accomplishments (all one of them). I’m sure by this point you’ll be picking up roses that are being thrown at your feet, and taking a well-deserved bow as they begin to chant your name. Take it all in, thank the crowd for their undying affection, and then go get a snow-cone. You deserve it, champ.
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