An ollie is one of the most fundamental skateboarding tricks that many future tricks are built on. With that being said, it can take some time to fully master. It actually took Aaron Kyro 6 months to finally get his ollie high enough to get it over a garden hose!
Don’t be discouraged if you have been working on it a while and can’t seem to get your board off the ground. Let’s see if we can help you with that.
Now, it’s easier than ever to learn how to ollie how to ollie higher. YouTube is filled with countless videos on the above. If there was ever a time to learn how to ollie, it’s now.
Let’s break it down!
The key is breaking the trick down and working on each step over and over until your muscle memory just clicks in.
A quick first step you can take is starting with your back wheels in a crack in the sidewalk. This will help you from slipping and makes it easier to focus on getting the Ollie down and not worry about the balance as much.
As with any skateboarding trick, the foot position is very key. Your back foot is going to need to be at the center of the tail with your foot hanging off the edge just a little bit. You’ll be right on the ball of your foot, so that you can snap it down hard. This action will cause the board to pop off the ground propelling into the air.
Your front foot is going to need to be just down from the front bolts, pretty close to the center at a perpendicular angle. You are going to want enough room to get a nice drag with your front foot. That is why the front foot position is so very important.
When you’re trying to ollie higher, your front foot will be slightly farther back than it normally is. This lets you drag more on the board, helping you get the height you need. So getting proper foot placement for your ollie is vital to being able to perform a good ollie that you can use for later tricks.
Popping the tail
Your next step is going to be popping the tail of the board down onto the ground. When you pop the board you are going to want to push straight down with your back foot.
This is going to need to be a sharp hop with your back foot. The point of this action is to snap the tail of the board against the ground so that it pops back up, starting the motion of the board going into the air.
One of the most common problems with getting higher ollies is with the back foot. If you’re having trouble getting them off the ground, this might be the key to helping you. When you pop the back foot, you have to use your ankle to pop it and be ready to pop the board up. You don’t want your back foot to act as an anvil that prevents the board from elevating into the air.
You are going to want to practice just this step to get use to this motion alone. Put your wheels in a crack to make it easier. Practice pushing the tail into the ground with your feet in the ollie position. You should practice this for at least 15 minutes straight. Yes, 15 minutes. Putting the time in now to practice it will greatly help you in the long run.
The front foot drag
Another common problem is with the front foot drag. When you’re starting out, you may think your toes are dragging with the bottom of your shoe. It’s actually the outside-center of your foot, and with the side of your shoe.
When you pop the board, roll your front foot ninety degrees to the side of your shoe. Then, slide your front foot forward towards the nose of the board.
To practice, this you are going to be standing still with the tail of the board on the ground and your front wheels in the air. You are going to practice sliding your foot up the board using the proper part of your foot. When practicing this, you can slide your front foot from the middle of the board in order to get that height that you’re looking for.
You can actually check this by looking at your shoe and seeing where you shoe is starting to wear. Unfortunately, it is important that you shoe is wearing away. If it isn’t wearing away it means that you are not sliding your foot correctly. That can be a major error effecting your ollie.
If your foot is staying flat on your board as you are sliding it up you are not going to get the lift that is needed to get the board in the air. So make sure that your foot is rolling onto its side. Your shoe will show you.
Practice this step for another 15 minutes.
Positioning the board
Now the next part, after you have done those first two major steps of the ollie is, you want to push the board forward slightly and lift your back foot up off the ground. This motion of pushing your front foot forward will get the board to level out in the air.
When you see pro skaters performing high ollies, you’ll see them bring their knees up to them as close to their upper body as possible. This is important to high ollies. You have to actually jump and allow your board to stay under you and slightly in front of you.
Now, it is very important that this push forward with your front foot occurs at the same time that you lift your back foot off the ground. If your back foot does not come off the ground, your board won’t either.
Now you are in the air with you board leveled out underneath you. This is the last step, but without this one the trick doesn’t count. This, of course, is the landing.
Extend your legs down till your wheels hit the ground. Once they touch the ground absorb the impact by bending your knees slightly. You are going to want to make sure that you are not leaning back at this time, which can sometimes be hard to do especially when you are learning.
You want your weight evenly distributed so the board doesn’t shoot out from underneath you. So make sure that you are learning forward over your board so that it stays where you want it, under you.
Putting them together
Now you want to practice these steps individually and then practice these steps individually and then practice these steps individually. Then once you feel comfortable with all these separate motions you want to put them all together, going for the full ollie. Practicing it all together will also give you an idea of what you can be better at.
If you can’t land it after awhile, go back to each practice step and go through the motions of each for about 10 minutes. This is all about getting used to the muscle memory that’s necessary for this trick.
Learning How to Ollie Recap
So let’s go over those steps again:
- Place the ball of your back foot right on the end of your board in the center of the tail. Place your front foot behind the bolts with enough room for your foot to slide up.
- Snap the tail of your board down with a quick hop from your back foot. Remember to lift it so the board can actually go up.
- Sliding the side of your front foot up the board with the center of your foot.
- Kick your front foot forward while simultaneously lifting up your back foot. Creating the actual jump of your ollie and leveling out the board under you.
- Extend your legs for landing and absorb with your knees on impact. Make sure you are not leaning back.
Once you learn the ollie, everything else will be a lot more fun. Even jumping up and down curbs when cruising around town makes it a lot more fun. The key is to practice them, and practice getting them higher. Once you do that, you’ll be able to ollie gaps, stairs, cones and whatever else you want.
For the full break down on exactly how to ollie with all the practice steps, get Skateboarding Made Simple Volume 1. This is an incredibly detailed lesson plan that will always keep you progressing and getting better on your skateboard!! Fast.
As always, we want to see your ollies! The ollie is one of the most common tricks that new skaters have trouble with. We want to put out as many tutorials as we can to make it easier to learn. Film a quick video of your ollies and tag @brailleskate, #brailleskate and #brailleskateboarding on Instagram. We love seeing you guys progress! So go out there, keep skating and land those ollies!