Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Well everyone has to master this move. It is the core for most street tricks. You gota crawl before you can walk. You got to Ollie before you can skate. ( or something like that ). Named after it’s inventers nick name Alan “Ollie” Gelfand, the ollie has become the must learn trick for every skateboarder.

To put it in perspective the ollie is just a jump move. Yea! Like water is just a drink!

What is tricky about the ollie and the hardest to learn and master is that to make the board jump you must try to push it into the ground. That is because all skateboards have a certain degree of flex built into it. Board bounce or flex is the key element in the ollie. The better the flex the higher the ollie. It’s that simple. Everything else is nothing but timing and gravity. Physics 101 brah!

When you approach an ollie think of your board as a diving board. You jump, or push, down on a diving board to get it to spring, or flex, up. This is much the same mechanics used in producing an outstanding ollie.

But, you ask, how do I make a stiff little skateboard flex like a big diving board. Good question. You use the tail of your skateboard. This is where it gets tricky.

Let’s take it one step at a time.

Step 1

Bend you knees and concentrate your energy into the lower legs and feet. Keep you front foot just slightly ahead of the middle of the board and your back foot behind your back wheels. Now jump up.

Did it? Good. Did you board come up with you? Probably not, or at least not enough that you can notice. But anyway it is a good practice. Repeat this practice many times until you are comfortable at jumping off your board and landing back on it while it is still moving. Wax on, wax off, good grasshopper!

Step 2

Now alter your jump so that your front foot leaves the board first. This will force the front of your board up as all your weight is transferred to the back of your board behind your back wheels. You will probably do this many times until you get it right.

You will notice your board may stop or try to stop. This is because the tail is hitting the ground. This is what is supposed to happen. Not the stopping just the tail hitting. This is where you get the bounce or pop. You have to learn, through repetition ( wax on, wax off ) when is the optimum time to pop with your back foot to release the bounce of your board hitting the ground. Pop too soon and you just do a goofy jump. Pop too late and your board stops and you tumble. Pop just right and the board jumps with you! Your half way there!

Step 3

This is kind of a step back. As you begin the ollie with your front foot you must learn to feel your board through your shoe. Sliding your front foot forward and up as you jump will help pull the board even higher. This will also allow you to keep you foot in contact with the board though out the ollie giving you more control for later advanced tricks.

You will do the same with your back foot. That is you must feel the board come up with your foot. It’s all timing and nothing more. Your feet have to match the vertical movement of your board. Anymore you loose your board and loose control. Any less and it’s just a flub.

Practice, practice, practice, the ollie is not that easy but when you get it down, and I mean really nail it repeatedly you’ve just opened the door to some amazing tricks.

Happy carving!


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5:09 AM  
Blogger Donald Douglas said...

I skated with Alan Gelfand, "Ollie," the inventor of the "ollie pop," back in my younger days. I love skateboarding. Let's see some more posts on all the great skaters today!

7:08 AM  

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