Pull your knees up into your chest – How far you actually want to pull your legs up is totally up to you, but the higher your feet go, the higher your board will go too. By the way, the highest recorded preferred stance ollie-pop is 45 inches, done by Aldrin Garcia, and the highest switch stance ollie-pop is 40.125 inches, by Gavin Caperton. And if you’re going for endurance rather than height, the record for most consecutive hops is held by Rob Dyrdek, who did 215 of them in a row on his TV show Rob and Big. So those give you something to shoot for.
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.
This can be tricky to figure out, so just take your time and relax. The first few times you try and ollie, it helps to not worry about this part. You will end up doing a sort of half-ollie, popping just a little in the air. Or, you might fall! But, don't worry, this is all part of learning. If you want though, you can certainly start with rolling your ankle when you try and ollie - whatever works for you! Eventually, you will need to roll and drag, and you'll figure it out. Just take your time!
The ollie is a fundamental trick in street skateboarding, and is used to leap onto, over, or off obstacles, or over gaps of unfriendly terrain such as grass or stairs. As so many other tricks depend on it - for example the kickflip and heelflip - the ollie is often the first trick to be learned by a new skateboarder. The ollie typically takes considerable practice to learn.
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.
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