My problem is that my board always lands crooked when I Ollie. The worst thing is that I even tell myself to “keep your shoulders straight” while I’m doing the Ollie and I still land crooked. I think it’s just hard for people to grasp the simple fact that everything on a skateboard has to be done horizontally which is odd because people don’t walk sideways. We walk straight. Like roller blading for example…. it’s easier for me to roller blade because I’m used to walking and running obviously except with a skateboard everything is as if you were hopping over a fence sideways. Skateboarding is tough.
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.
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.
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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.
It wouldn’t be until the early 1980’s however, that a man named Rodney Mullen fully developed the skateboard ollie and brought it into vogue. Competing in the Rusty Harris contest in Whittier, California in 1982, Rodney Mullen used a back and forth motion on his skateboard to strike the back end of the board on the ground and using the front end to level the board out in mid-air – all from a flat surface. The audience’s jaws collectively hit the ground.
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.