Mini Cruisers have exploded in popularity in recent years. These short and skinny boards are may not have the versatility of a standard skateboard, allowing for a full range of tricks and travel. However, these compact boards are ideal for urban and college living where space for storage and riding are both minimal. If you want to ride a mini-cruiser, but you hate the plastic decks or you want to build your own, check out the Bamboo Skateboard mini cruiser deck.
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.
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.
Level out on the way down – Before you start to head back towards the safety of the earth, level your feet out as the board begins to fall. If you’re trying to jump a gap on your board, this will help you keep going straight and maintain your momentum. Alternatively, you can land on your nose or tail and perform a manual out of the jump, but those are pretty advanced moves. Might want to wait until those little pink training wheels are off your board first.
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.