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?
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To get higher ollies, I would suggesting resting your back foot on the very end of the tail and the front foot in the middle of the deck to allow for more slide. Popping as hard as you can and catching your board in the groove of the nose with you ankle practically resting in the groove will level the board out in the air. after this initial movement slide you feet back to the bolts on the tail and nose to ensure a clean landing.
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.
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.
In fact, we can work out how you need to steer the skateboard. Tracker has a nice feature that we'll call 'force arrows'. These arrows show you how much force acts on an object at every instant, and in which direction the force acts. So for example, if you were to kick a ball into the air, while the ball was mid-flight, this arrow would always point down and be the same length, even though the ball is moving forward. That's because the only force acting on the ball is gravity, which pulls it straight down, and acts with a constant strength. (For those of you who've studied physics, these arrows denote the acceleration of the center of mass, which by Newton's second law is proportional to the net force acting on the skateboard.)
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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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.
Slide your front foot forward – You remembered to angle your front ankle right? Good, now use that to move your board forward in one big rolling motion, and bring your back leg up into your chest. All of this is done at the same time, but it takes practice to get the timing down. Don’t slide your foot out too early though, or you’ll end up with a pretty weak jump, but also, don’t slide it out too late, or it won’t get leveled and you’ll end up in the pavement. Come to think of it, just do it perfect the first time and everything will be great.
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So you want to know how to ollie? Be warned, it’s not for the faint of heart, and a lot of people have tried and failed and tried some more and still failed and then eventually thrown their boards into a wall out of frustration (I have no idea who those people are). It’s by no means an easy skateboard trick, but if you want to know how to ollie, start with these simple tips:
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.)
Low ollies: This can happen for a lot of reasons, but the biggest one is that you are not crouching low enough before your ollie, and not pulling your feet high enough after you jump. When you crouch down, try and touch the ground. When you jump, try to hit yourself in the chest with your knees. Both knees. Don’t worry about falling. That will happen sometimes – that’s just part of skateboarding! For more help, read the How Can I Make My Ollies Higher? FAQ