Now, I might not be able to skate to save my life, but I can do a little physics. So here's a thought - maybe I can use physics to learn how to do an ollie. Here's the plan. I'm going to open up the above video of skateboarder Adam Shomsky doing an ollie, filmed in glorious 1000 frames-per-second slow motion, and analyze it in the open source physics video analysis tool Tracker.
Hi, I can do an Ollie for 1 month already but somehow my Ollie is always unbalanced, meaning the front nose pops much higher than the back wheel. I understand that this is due to my front foot not sliding up higher, but I’m not sure how to correct it because my foot seem to get stuck after sliding up about an inch. Is it because of wrong technique or lack of calf muscles?
The longboard, a common variant of the skateboard, is used for higher speed and rough surface boarding, and they are much more expensive. "Old school" boards (those made in the 1970s–80s or modern boards that mimic their shape) are generally wider and often have only one kicktail. Variants of the 1970s often have little or no concavity, whereas 1980s models have deeper concavities and steeper kicktails.
The Element Quadrant #14 board is 8-inches wide and 31.75-inches long, from nose to tail. This deck features a bare top that needs grip tape and a design on the bottom with four quadrants featuring the Element symbol in alternating red and black backgrounds. The wheelbase between the trucks is just over 14 inches while the nose is 7 inches and the tail is 6.325.
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When I was about 10, I broke my first skateboard by riding it into a ditch. A decade later, in college, I broke another skateboard within an hour of owning it (surely a record) in a short-lived attempt at doing an ollie. (Surprisingly, the store accepted a return on that board even though it was in two pieces.) Then I was gifted a really nice, high-quality skateboard. The first thing I did with it was ride it down a big hill, a valiant but ill-fated adventure which ended with me jumping off the skateboard, rolling down the grass, and arriving scraped up, deflated, and rather disoriented near the entrance to my college cafeteria. (In my defense, the wheels and ball-bearings on that skateboard had been pre-lubricated to minimize friction, and why would anyone do that, that's just crazy.)
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Invented in the late 1970s by Alan "Ollie" Gelfand, the ollie has become a skateboarding fundamental, the basis for many other more complicated tricks. In its simplest form, the ollie is a jumping technique that allows skaters to hop over obstacles and onto curbs, etc. What's so amazing about the ollie is the way the skateboard seems to stick to the skater's feet in midair. Seeing pictures of skaters performing soaring 4-foot ollies, many people assume that the board is somehow attached to the skater's feet. It's not. What's even more amazing about the ollie is that to get the skateboard to jump up, the skater pushes down on the board! The secret to this paradoxical maneuver is rotation around multiple axes. Let's take a closer look.
Pop the board in the air – The reason you jump up into the air in the first place is because you’re slamming the back end into the ground (don’t worry, your board is made to take the abuse). It’s the same motion you would do if you were standing near the board and wanted to pop the board up into your hands, except this time, you’re standing on top of it. As soon as you feel the board pop into the ground, kick your front foot up into the air at the same time. The timing on this is important: kick too early and you won’t go anywhere, kick too late and your board will fly out from underneath you.
Bolted onto the underside of the tail end of a skateboard, the tail guard (also known as a "skid plate") protected the tail end from skid stops and other maneuvers that would otherwise wear away the wood (commonly known as razor tail) and decrease the longevity of the tail. Typically made of plastic, these were widely popular in the '80s but their usage quickly diminished with the arrival of two-tail board designs, which became increasingly popular in the '90s.
My problem is Everytime I try to pop the back it’s not hard enough and I get no air. The article says to jump up so I do it physically and sometimes it seems to help. But when I watch skate videos and other skaters It doesn’t appear they are actually jumping up. They just seem to be popping the board. So should I physically jump? May sound stupid but it’s something I struggle with.
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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.
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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.
The wheels of a skateboard are usually made of polyurethane, and come in many different sizes and shapes to suit different types of skating. Larger diameters (55–85 mm) roll faster, and move more easily over cracks in pavement and are better for transition skateboarding. Smaller diameters (48–54 mm) keep the board closer to the ground, require less force to accelerate and produce a lower center of gravity which allows for a better response time, but also make for a slower top speed and are better for street skateboarding. Wheels also are available in a variety of hardnesses usually measured on the Shore durometer "A" scale. Again like car tires, wheels range from the very soft (about Shore A 75) to the very hard (about Shore A 101). As the A scale stops at 100, any wheels labeled 101A or higher are harder, but do not use the appropriate durometer scale. Some wheel manufacturers now use the "B" or "D" scales, which have a larger and more accurate range of hardness. Modern street skaters prefer medium-sized wheels (usually 51–54 mm), as small wheels with lighter trucks can make tricks like kickflips and other flip tricks easier by keeping the center of gravity of the skateboard closer to the deck, thus making the deck easier to spin. Street wheels are harder (A 100/A 101). Vertical ramp or "vert" skating requires larger wheels (usually 55–65 mm), as it involves higher speeds. Vert wheels are also usually slightly softer (A 98/ A 99), allowing them to maintain high speed on ramps without sliding. Slalom skating requires even larger wheels (60–75 mm) to sustain the highest speeds possible. They also need to be soft and have better grip to make the tight and frequent turns in slalom racing. Even larger wheels are used in longboarding and downhill skateboarding. Sizes range from 65 mm to 100 mm. These extreme sizes of wheels almost always have cores of hard plastic that can be made thinner and lighter than a solid polyurethane wheel. They are often used by skateboard videographers as well, as the large soft wheels allow for smooth and easy movement over any terrain.
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Longboard - A longboard is similar to a cruiser in terms of overall use and getting around town. Longboards start at about 42 inches in length and about 9 inches in width. When you buy a longboard, the wheel base of the trucks is usually wider and they have wheels starting at roughly 60mm. This gives you more maneuverability and a very smooth ride.
It's a neat piece of science art, and it also tells us something interesting. The arrows show us that the force on the skateboard is constantly changing, both in magnitude as well as in direction. Now the force of gravity obviously isn't changing, so the reason that these force arrows are shrinking and growing and tumbling around is that the skater is changing how their feet pushes and pulls against the board. By applying a variable force that changes both in strength and direction, they're steering the board.
Do your Ollie, then, instantly after you pop your board, lift your back foot up to meet your front foot. That helped me solo much I improved twice in a few tries with using that trick. And, if that doesn’t help, it’s just a matter of practicing. If you practice a ly every day, you experiment, you will find u r solution. But, try lifting u r back foot high right after u pop 😉
But there isnt a magic key or secret. Skateboarding is suprisingly a lot of brute force. That is, there is no magic secret, it’s practice practice practice. If you wanna learn any trick, keep trying that trick. There are of course proper techniques and improper, but theyre nigh impossible to describe effectively. it’s all about feel and a lot of tricks defy description.
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The Fakie is almost the same thing as a regular ollie-pop, but instead of going forward, the skater is going backwards when they pop the board up in the air, usually performed when you’re in a switch stance. A switch stance is when your feet are in the opposite stance of how you normally would stand, like when you write with your left hand instead of your right (if you’re right-handed).