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.
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.
There are actually several types of skateboards but the most common ones are the longboard, cruiser, and carve skateboards. A longboard is usually at least 33 inches. It is a great mode of transportation and works well for cruising around. The cruiser also works well as a mode of transportation but many consider it more beneficial as it has a shorter skateboard, which promotes ease in transporting around.
We’re assuming if you’re trying to learn how to do an ollie, you’re probably pretty new to skateboarding. You may already know whether you’re goofy or regular footed, but if not, try taking a quick hop onto your board with the intention of rolling forward (you might want to try on carpet first so you don’t slip backwards). If you’re left foot naturally ends up towards the front of your board, you’re regular-footed. If you ended up putting your right foot first, you’re goofy-footed.
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Bolted onto the underside of the tail end of a skateboard, the tail guard (also known as a "skid plate") protected the tail end from skid stops and other maneuvers that would otherwise wear away the wood (commonly known as razor tail) and decrease the longevity of the tail. Typically made of plastic, these were widely popular in the '80s but their usage quickly diminished with the arrival of two-tail board designs, which became increasingly popular in the '90s.
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Almost no one lands an ollie on their first try. Repetition is the most important part of learning how to ollie. Once you learn how to do an ollie, you can try doing them while rolling. Learning is one of the funnest parts of skateboarding. After you learn ollies, you can move onto 180s, Pop Shove-Its, and flips. Soon a whole world of tricks will open up.
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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.
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.
James Haden is one of the owners of the Skateboarder community, together with Nash Gibson – his co-owner. He works as a full-time copywriter for a private company and also a true adventurer. He is an avid reader, writer, traveler, and extreme sports junkie. During his free time, he researches interesting content for their blog and continuously writes for their audience.
The following descriptions cover skateboard parts that are most prevalent in popular and modern forms of skateboarding. Many parts exist with exotic or alternative constructions. A traditional complete skateboard consists of the deck (often with griptape applied on top to enhance traction), trucks (with urethane bushings), wheels (with sealed bearings), bushings, nuts and bolts to fasten the truck and wheel assembly to the bottom of the deck. Older decks also included plastic parts such as side, tail, and nose guards.
Also called the mounting hardware, the skateboard hardware is useful in connecting the trucks to the deck. Every truck is actually in need of 4 bolts and locknuts. If you are planning to buy hardware for your custom skateboard, then note that they are often sold in sets composed of 8 parts, though it is also possible for you to buy individual parts separately when required.
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.
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 ollie is a skateboarding trick where the rider and board leap into the air without the use of the rider's hands. It is basically the combination of popping, sliding, and jumping on the skateboard all at the same time. Originated in vertical skateboarding, and later on flat ground, it is not intuitively obvious how the liftoff is achieved, making the movement visually striking.
The Fakie is almost the same thing as a regular ollie-pop, but instead of going forward, the skater is going backwards when they pop the board up in the air, usually performed when you’re in a switch stance. A switch stance is when your feet are in the opposite stance of how you normally would stand, like when you write with your left hand instead of your right (if you’re right-handed).
You can learn to ollie while standing stationary, or while your skateboard is rolling. Ollying while standing still works the same way as while rolling, but I think rolling ollies are easier than stationary ollies. If you would like to learn to ollie with your skateboard stationary, you can place your skateboard on some carpet or grass to keep it from rolling. If you prefer to learn to ollie while your skateboard is rolling, don’t go very fast at the start. Whichever way you learn to ollie, once you feel comfortable you should try to ollie the other way as well.