But, a quick warning! If you learn to ollie while standing still, you can develop some bad habits. Some skaters end up turning in the air a little, and not landing straight. You might not even notice until you try to ollie while rolling. So, if you practice while standing still, I highly recommend also practicing while rolling. Maybe only practice in one spot for a few days - maybe a week or two - and then give the rolling ollie a shot. That way, if you are developing bad habits, you can shake them off before they really mess you up.
In general an axle width should be chosen that is close to the width of the deck it will be used with. For example, a 7.75" wide deck will usually be fitted with trucks that have axles between 7.5" wide and 8.0" wide. (Standard truck axle nut size is 5/16"-24tpi UNF, and the thinner "jam" style with an optional nylon lock.) Trucks that are too wide can make doing tricks difficult and can cause the wheels to get in the way when the skateboard is being ridden. Trucks that are too small can be hard to maintain stability and can cause wheel bite to occur when turning.
Large power is created at the point of action by applying small power to the point of effort. Application of this concept to skateboarding makes the back wheels the fulcrum, the tail the point of effort, and the nose the point of action. Applying power to the tail causes the nose to shoot upwards. When the front foot of the skater levels the nose at a point roughly horizontal to the ground in anticipation of the tail, soon to be leveled likewise by the skater’s back foot, the process smoothly done creates the illusion of the skateboard ‘sticking’ to the feet.
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.
Today, many riders use the “ollie-pop” on more than just the flat-level surfaces in between other tricks, it’s used heavily in the half-pipe and bowl ramps to allow the rider to go even higher in the air. Performing the “ollie-pop” while you’re at or near the top of the lip is a great way to get an extra couple feet, which might be all you need to get that extra turn in and nail the 720 (or 900, if you’re Tony Hawk).
Almost every skate shop will have a wall of boards that is either organized by brand, size, or alphabetically. At our CCS skate shop, we have multiple walls of boards that we try and keep ordered alphabetically. A wall of skateboards, at first glance, can be overwhelming, but if you know what size and roughly what brands you like, it should be fairly easy for you to figure out what board you want. Now would be a good time to mention our CCS Skateboard Buyer’s Guide, specifically the Decks Guide. In the CCS Decks Guide, you’ll find all the information you need to gain a basic understanding of skateboard decks.
After you’ve properly applied a burst of force to the tail, the top-side of your front foot’s toe should start dragging up your board almost automatically. Eventually, the higher you are able to bring your front foot during lift will determine the apex of your ollie, so work gradually towards lifting your front foot as high as your body allows. Skateboarders who record the highest ollies usually (somehow manage to!) bring their feet higher than their hips!
The type of skating the rider wants to do will inform the board choice, which sometimes involves skating a non-popsicle shaped board. But if you are just starting out, you can simply start with the traditional popsicle shaped deck that you probably recognize. As you skate more and get to know what shapes you like or what kind of skateboarding you enjoy best, your decisions will take into account for company, shape, width, and style of riding. Until then, choosing a board by its graphic is totally acceptable. For an overview on types of skateboard decks and riding styles, check out our Skateboard Decks Section in our Buyer’s Guide. Once you find a deck you like, you can simply select the default wheels, trucks, bearings and grip tape or you have the option to make it a complete.
To summarize, a skateboarder's feet need to do two things successfully to complete an ollie. They need to provide a changing force to move the board correctly (so that the combined force of gravity and the skater's feet add up to the green arrows above), and they need to provide different amounts of force with each foot (shown by the red and blue arrows above) to steer and turn the board into the right orientation.
I just can get any height on my ollie at all! so frustrating!, i can pop the board nicely and get it off the ground like that, but then i try to slide my foot up the board and it just stays at that 45 degree angle from when i popped it, i just can’t seem to slide and get it horizontal in the air, or any height for that matter, i have watched countless ollie tips and tricks videos, and practised for hours on end, the same ollie, i can ride smoothly and fine, along the side-walk for example but i just cant get any grip to bring my board up and forward (i bought a new skateboard yesterday, and also new shoes) so its obviously me which is incompetent in completing this ollie! I know im kind of waffling on a bit, but i just can get the board to get any height! Please help if you can!