If you’ve ever watched a skateboarder roll down the street and then all of a sudden pop into the air on a skateboard, you’re probably wondering the same question a lot of people do: how on earth do they do that? It almost seems magical how they just seem to explode off the ground, and then just kind of float. Skateboarder, meet, the ollie. It’s not in the category of “easy skateboard tricks,” but if you learn how to ollie, you’re well on your way to fame and fortune as a professional skater.
I found that my problem was unclear instruction about the timing between jumping and popping. One day when I was watching a slowmo ollie video though, I noticed that the skateboarder already was beginning to jump (at least his body was already going in an upward motion) before snapping the board off the ground. That was a critical change I needed to make in order to get it working. I had been trying to pop the board while all my weight was still pushing down on it (kind of an obvious mistake, but I somehow overlooked this). Hope this helps somebody.
The skater can gain greater clearance from the ground by jumping higher, popping faster, sliding the front foot farther forwards (starting the jump with the front foot farther back), and pulling the legs higher into the chest to raise the feet higher. Skaters attempting record-setting ollies even contort the legs so that board and feet are not directly below them, allowing the board to rise at or just below the level of the pelvis.
So the proper foot placement for the ollie is with the ball of your back foot horizontal on the tail of your skateboard. And your front foot centered on your board right behind the front trucks. You may find that moving your feet around in different positions are more comfortable. This is fine, everybody can learn how to skateboard their own way.
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So with your back foot, you want to kick the tail of your board down and right when it touches the ground you jump in the air off your back foot. This is the ‘pop’. It takes a little bit of getting used to but most beginners don’t really understand that initially, your back foot is doing most of the work. Then bring your knees up to your chest after the jump, the higher up you pull your knees the higher up your skateboard can go!