Slam your back foot down on the tail of your skateboard as hard as you can. At that moment, you want to also jump into the air, off of your back foot. This part is key and takes practice. The trick is in getting your timing right. You want to slap the skateboard’s tail down, and as it hits the ground, jump off of that foot into the air. Make sure to pull that back foot high into the air. It's a quick, snapping motion.
Before we show you how to ollie, let’s get familiar with the legends that brought this skateboard trick to the masses. If it were a person, the history of ollie would start way back in 1974, when Alan Gelfand got his first skateboard from his father after his family moved to Hollywood, Florida from New York state. It didn’t take him too long to get the hang of it; he won the South Florida Skateboard championships two years later.
Get used to sliding your front foot up the length of the board. Once you’ve perfected lifting the front of the board up, use your back foot to hold the board in that position. Slide your front foot up the board towards the front, rotating it as you do so. The side of your foot just below the toes should grate along the deck of your board until it reaches the top.
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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.
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.
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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In 1977, skate parks began cropping up all over the place, including Skateboard USA, where Gelfand began to spend most of his time. His buddy, Scott Goodman, is the one who gave Gelfand the nickname of “Ollie” and dubbed his aerial lipside the “ollie-pop.” Pictures of Gelfand during this time period clearly show him getting airborne and performing the trick associated with his name today.
Grip tape is a sheet of paper or fabric with adhesive on one side and a surface similar to fine sandpaper on the other. Grip tape is applied to the top surface of a board to allow the rider's feet to grip the surface and help the skater stay on the board while doing tricks. Grip tape is usually black, but is also available in many different colors such as pink, red, yellow, checkered, camo, and even clear. Often, they have designs die-cut to show the color of the board, or to display the board's company logo. Grip tape accumulates dirt and other substances that will inhibit grip, so use of a grip eraser or rubber eraser is necessary after riding through mud or with dirty shoes.
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?
Position your front foot near the middle and your back foot on the tail – The best position is for the ball of your back foot to be slightly hanging off, and the front foot more towards the middle. The position of the front foot can change, however, depending on how much air you want to get: if you’re planning on doing a monster jump, move the front foot closer to the back; if you’re just hopping a little bit, move it closer to the front of the board itself. Beware though, the closer you move it towards the back foot, the harder the trick is to perform.
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