How to Ollie: Mastering the Basic Skateboarding Trick

How to Ollie: Mastering the Basic Skateboarding Trick

If you’re new to skateboarding, learning how to ollie is an essential skill that you must master. The ollie is the foundation for many other tricks and maneuvers, making it a fundamental trick for any skateboarder. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of mastering the ollie, from understanding the technique to practicing the necessary skills. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to improve your ollie technique, this comprehensive guide will help you develop a solid foundation and take your skateboarding skills to the next level.

Getting Started with the Ollie

Skateboarding is an exciting sport that requires a combination of balance, skill, and practice. One of the most fundamental tricks every skateboarder should learn is the Ollie. In this article, we will guide you through the process of mastering this basic skateboarding trick. Before we jump into the technique, let’s first discuss the importance of choosing the right skateboard, mastering the stance, and understanding proper foot placement.

Choosing the Right Skateboard

Selecting the right skateboard is crucial when it comes to learning the Ollie. Consider the following factors before making a purchase:

  • Deck Size: The size of the skateboard deck plays a significant role in stability and control. Beginners usually find it easier to learn on wider decks, around 8.0 to 8.5 inches, as they provide more stability.

  • Deck Material: Skateboard decks are typically made of wood, but different types of wood can affect the performance. Hard maple wood is the most common and offers excellent durability and pop.

  • Truck Width: The width of the skateboard trucks should match the deck size. It is recommended to choose trucks that are slightly narrower than the deck to allow for better maneuverability.

Mastering the Stance

Before attempting the Ollie, it’s important to establish a comfortable stance on your skateboard. Follow these steps to find the right stance for you:

  1. Regular or Goofy: Determine whether you are regular (left foot forward) or goofy (right foot forward) by standing on a skateboard without moving. Whichever foot naturally feels more comfortable in front will be your lead foot.

  2. Shoulder Width: Position your feet parallel to the skateboard, approximately shoulder-width apart. This balanced stance will provide stability and control as you learn the Ollie.

  3. Bend Your Knees: Keep your knees slightly bent to absorb any impact and maintain balance. This flexed position will also help you generate more power for your Ollie.

Understanding Foot Placement

Proper foot placement is essential for executing a successful Ollie. Follow these guidelines to ensure you have the correct foot positioning:

  1. Lead Foot: Place your lead foot’s ball just behind the front bolts of the skateboard. This position provides leverage and control for popping the board off the ground.

  2. Back Foot: Position your back foot on the tail of the skateboard, with the toes hanging slightly off the edge. This placement allows you to apply pressure and create the necessary upward motion.

  3. Angles: Both feet should be angled diagonally across the skateboard, with your lead foot slightly angled towards the nose and your back foot angled towards the tail. Experiment with different angles to find what feels most comfortable for you.

By following these tips for choosing the right skateboard, mastering the stance, and understanding foot placement, you will be well on your way to mastering the Ollie. Remember, practice makes perfect, so dedicate time to honing your skills and soon you’ll be effortlessly popping Ollies like a pro skateboarder.

Learning the Ollie Technique

Bending Your Knees

To successfully execute an ollie, it is crucial to start by bending your knees. This initial step helps you generate power and stability throughout the trick. As you approach the trick, lower your body by flexing your knees, ensuring they are slightly bent. This position allows you to have better control over your board and provides a solid foundation for the following steps.

Popping the Tail

The next step in mastering the ollie is popping the tail of your skateboard. This action involves using your back foot to forcefully strike the tail against the ground. As you bend your knees, focus on rapidly extending your back leg and applying pressure on the tail. This quick motion creates a spring-like effect, propelling your board into the air. Remember to execute this movement with precision and power to achieve maximum height during your ollie.

Sliding Your Foot

Once you have popped the tail, it’s time to slide your front foot towards the nose of the skateboard. As you slide your foot, aim to drag it upwards along the board’s grip tape. This action is crucial for leveling out your board and achieving a balanced ollie. The timing of the slide is vital; ensure you initiate it just after popping the tail. By sliding your foot smoothly and swiftly, you will create the necessary motion to bring the board off the ground while keeping it level.

By following these steps – bending your knees, popping the tail, and sliding your foot – you will be well on your way to mastering the basic skateboarding trick, the ollie. Remember, practice is key, so keep refining your technique and gradually increase your height and control with each attempt. Happy skating!

Perfecting the Ollie

Timing Your Movements

Timing is crucial when it comes to mastering the ollie, the fundamental skateboarding trick. To achieve maximum height and control, it’s essential to get the timing of your movements just right. Here are some tips to help you improve your timing:

  1. Foot Placement: Start by positioning your back foot on the tail of the skateboard, with your toes hanging slightly off the edge. Your front foot should be placed near the middle of the skateboard, perpendicular to the board.

  2. Weight Distribution: As you prepare to ollie, shift your weight to your back foot. This will create the necessary leverage to pop the board off the ground.

  3. Popping the Tail: To initiate the ollie, quickly snap your back foot down on the tail of the skateboard while simultaneously jumping off the ground. The timing of this movement is crucial, as it determines the height you can achieve.

  4. Sliding Your Front Foot: As your back foot pops the tail, slide your front foot upwards towards the nose of the skateboard. This sliding motion is what levels out the board in the air.

Remember, timing is something that improves with practice. Experiment with different timings and adjust your movements accordingly until you find the sweet spot.

Leveling Out in the Air

Once you’ve mastered the timing of your movements, it’s time to focus on leveling out the board in the air. This step is vital to maintain balance and control during the ollie. Here are some tips to help you level out:

  1. Front Foot Control: As you slide your front foot towards the nose of the skateboard, exert pressure on the board’s edge with the inner side of your front foot. This pressure helps in leveling out the board.

  2. Keep Your Eyes Focused: Maintain a steady gaze on the horizon or a fixed point in front of you. Keeping your eyes focused helps you maintain balance and better judge the board’s position in the air.

  3. Practice Timing and Muscle Memory: Achieving a level ollie requires repetition and muscle memory. Continuously practice the timing of your movements and the sliding motion of your front foot to develop the necessary control and consistency.

By working on these techniques, you will gradually improve your ability to level out the skateboard in the air, leading to more controlled ollies.

Landing with Control

The final aspect of perfecting the ollie is landing with control. A smooth and controlled landing ensures that you maintain balance and can immediately transition into your next trick or maneuver. Here are some tips to help you land with control:

  1. Bend Your Knees: As you approach the landing, bend your knees slightly to absorb the impact. This will help you maintain stability and prevent any jarring motions that might throw you off balance.

  2. Focus on Staying Centered: Aim to land with your feet positioned over the bolts of the skateboard. This centered position allows for better stability and control upon landing.

  3. Rolling Away: As you land, focus on rolling away smoothly rather than abruptly stopping. Use your momentum to continue moving forward, keeping your body weight centered over the board.

  4. Practice Falling: Falling is part of skateboarding, and learning how to fall safely can prevent injuries. Practice falling techniques such as rolling or bracing for impact to minimize the risk of injury during a landing gone wrong.

Remember, landing with control takes practice and patience. With time and dedication, you’ll develop the skills necessary to consistently land your ollies smoothly and with confidence.

By following these tips and techniques for timing your movements, leveling out in the air, and landing with control, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the ollie, the basic skateboarding trick. Keep practicing, stay determined, and soon you’ll be able to execute stylish and powerful ollies like a pro!

In conclusion, learning how to ollie is a fundamental skill for any skateboarder looking to master the basic tricks. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, beginners can gradually build their confidence and technique. Remember to practice consistently and be patient with yourself, as perfecting the ollie takes time and dedication. With persistence and determination, you’ll soon be able to execute this trick effortlessly and move on to more advanced skateboarding maneuvers. So grab your skateboard, put on your protective gear, and start practicing your ollie today!