4 Keys For How To Do An Ollie On A Skateboard For Beginners
The ollie is the keystone trick. It unlocks the world of street skating, from board slides and grinds to gaps and stairs. The simple fact is that you need to be able to ollie if you hope to skate street.
Trying to figure out how to do an ollie on a skateboard on your own is like throwing darts in the dark, though. You can jump up and down over and over for months and never pull it off.
There is no need to wait to learn ollies. They are such a fundamental trick that learning them is the same as learning to push and turn. Of course, keeping your balance and knowing how to fall will help as you get your ollies wired. If you haven’t gotten down the fundamentals of skating yet, these skateboarding tips for beginners should help you with the basics.
For those newer skaters who are unfamiliar with the ollie, this Video showing ollies in super-slow motion should help make the motion clear.
To make things easier — and safer — you can set your wheels in a crack in the concrete to keep them from rolling. No matter how long it takes, just keep trying. Anyone can learn to ollie; it just takes some of us longer than others.
The setup for the ollie will serve as a universal setup position for most tricks as you progress in skating. Notice how, when you stand on your board while coasting, you will naturally stand sideways in relation to the direction the board is moving. To ollie, you will stand the same way.
Place your front foot a couple inches behind the front truck bolts. Setting up with your foot further back can enable higher ollies, but starting with your foot just behind the bolts makes it easier. The Back foot goes right in the center of the tail, but out toward the edge. You will be jumping at this spot. This YouTube video has more slow-motion ollies, but the setup is a little further back, so the ollies are a bit higher.
The key to the ollie is the pop. When you jump, use mostly your back foot to do get off the ground. There is a bit of jump off the front as well, but that foot moves up faster. For the most part, the back foot does the heavy lifting during an ollie.
A common fault is for new riders to try to press down the tail and jump off the concrete. That is not what’s happening, though. During the ollie, a skateboarder jumps up off the deck. The back foot continues down and smacks the tail on the ground, but then instantly rises back up. Trying to jump off of the concrete is a recipe to frustration. Refer to those earlier videos. The foot doesn’t stay close to the concrete for long.
Slide the Front Foot
Once the tail smacks onto the pavement, the board should go nose up, straight into the air. You should be rising with the board and your front knee should be bent. When you get to this point, start sliding the side of your front foot up the board, toward the nose as you bring your back foot up.
The purpose of the sliding motion with the front foot is to level the board. As the skateboard comes back to horizontal, it will be up in the air. Try to do everything in one smooth motion. At first, you will only get a couple inches off the pavement. That counts though; you’re ollieing.
Compress the Knees
To get higher off the ground, you will need to jump higher and compress your knees up toward your chest. The more you can exaggerate this motion, the higher your ollies will get. As you progress, it will become gradually more effortless to get into this tucked position.
Watch this Video of a skateboarder jumping over a trash can.
Notice how he tucks his knees up and lays his back foot sideways on the deck. This is the boned position, and it should be your goal. To land, straighten your knees back out and reach for the ground. When your wheels hit, compress your knees again to absorb the shock.
The Roll Away
Keep in mind that it can take some people months of regular effort to land their first Ollie, then you can move to the harder trick – kickflip – and we also have instruction of how to do a kickflip for you to follow Others can get the motion down in a day or two. Skateboarding is not natural for most of us, but it becomes natural over time. Just because you progress slowly at first doesn’t mean it will always be that way. You’ll get it.
If this article helped you in your quest for air and hang time, please share it so the next new skater can get some help as well. If you have a tip that I didn’t mention, please share it in the comments section. Let’s close out this article with a Video of Jaws clearing the Lyon 25 in France. There will likely never be a sicker leap in skateboarding. It is an example of what is possible.