If you’re new to skateboarding, an Ollie is generally one of the first tricks you want to learn. However, although experienced skateboarders make it look easy, it actually takes practice to get the timing and coordination down right. Don’t expect to get it right the first time; that’s probably not going to happen. In addition, you’ll probably make mistakes, maybe even a lot of errors. Don’t sweat it; learn from your mistakes just like all the best skateboarders learned from theirs. Don’t stop trying; only those who stop trying fail. If you want to know how to get better at doing ollies, just follow these simple instructions.
First, be sure your foot placement is correct. Many who have just started trying Ollies often have incorrect foot placement. If you don’t have your feet in the right place, you can’t control your skateboard, and the Ollie, and maybe even your board, will get away from you. You need to be in complete control of your skateboard so that when you Ollie, it’s practically stuck to the bottom of your feet. Your back foot needs to be smack in the middle of your tail. Kicking straight down will get you a clean, crispy pop. Your front foot needs to slide upward to the nose in order to give the skateboard some height. Leveling out your board at the peak of your Ollie, land with your feet over both bolts.
Next, be sure to make a proper pop. Getting your skateboard to pop may be tough for beginners, but once you get the hang of the technique, learning it will go much faster. Crouch down, jump up, and kick down with your back foot to pop your board, sliding your front upwards to the nose. Then, bringing your back foot up, level your skateboard out when coming down. This is the specific part of the Ollie that needs the most practice to get the timing and footwork down. Watch skateboarding trick tip videos; it helps to watch others who have their technique down and just keep working on your pop until you get it right. When you do, you’ll feel it snap through your body.
Don’t chicken-foot! This psychological problem causes some skateboarders to attempt tricks only to bail continually. If you don’t think you can land a trick, you’re more likely to chicken out before you’ve even tried. Don’t do that. Commit to your trick. Close your eyes and visualize yourself successfully landing the trick. Imagine the feeling of landing the trick. Do this in your head as many times as you need to for gaining confidence. The more confident you become, the less you will think of failing. The less you think of failing, the more you will try. The more you try, the better you will become. Practice makes perfect.
Another mistake newbies often make when first learning to Ollie is shifting. When this happens, skateboarders who attempt it will land on a slight angle. Either their shoulders weren’t squared up correctly, or their foot placement was off. To work on this issue, just be sure to line your shoulders up with your board when you Ollie. Where your shoulders go, your board goes. While keeping your shoulders lined up with your board, look over your lead shoulder; your Ollies will become a lot straighter.
Lastly, another problem skateboarders new to Ollies have is just doing them too low. Improving the height of your Ollies can be fixed in a couple of different ways. Before your Ollie, crouch low and jump high. Pop quickly, snapping your Ollie like it bounces off an air wall. Pull your knees up to your chest for maximum height. Keep your leg muscles in shape; working them out often. Strengthening your calf muscles will also help you gain height.
To summarize how to correct these often-made mistakes when first learning to Ollie, first of all, find the best stance that works for you. Crouch low, jump high. Visualize successfully landing your trick; commit to doing your trick. Look over your shoulder. Work out. That’s about as simple as we can make it. Just for good measure, however, here are a few more tips:
- Avoid leaning- don’t allow your upper body to lean very much in any direction. Stay straight over your board, square your shoulders. Try to bend only at your knees and waist. Don’t lean forward to forward, or backward, or sideways, just pop straight up and down.
- Don’t overdo it- don’t let yourself get too excited that you over pop your board. Don’t push the tail down with all your force. Try a light, snappy motion instead.
- Make sure to slide- don’t leave your foot flat when sliding up. You need to turn and drag your foot up towards the front. During this step, it is critical that you use the side of your foot. This is from where you really get your height and movement.
- Keep practicing- don’t give up after a couple of tries. It takes time to learn new tricks. Just keep visualizing landing it and think about what a feeling that will be when it happens.