By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
The first step is the hardest one. Ollies could be defined as the most basic shit for pros and the first goal to achieve for every rookie out there. It is the trick that defines a before and after in the history of a skater’s career as that precious moment where he or she lifted from the ground and graduated from gravity. We can help you with it, there’s no weakness or embarrassment to deal with because it’s only natural to be precarious and self-conscious your first time. Have no fear, we got you covered; this is how to properly do an ollie.
The Nose and the Tail During an Ollie
Photo: Tina Stephenson (Unsplash)
Most skateboard designs have these two parts integrated into the deck. The nose is the front of your deck and its slightly broader and higher than the rest of the board. While skating the nose directs your direction. The tail is your steer, like the ship’s helm of your board, that serves for both steering and maneuvering the grip of your dominant foot to the deck. Both nose and tail are the ones to use to get an ollie done.
While rolling, you place a foot under the nose and the other one completely filling the space of the tail, then the trick is that you snap with it the whole tail in order to get the board’s nose aiming high and lifting with it ¾ of all the deck. At this stage, if your snap is strong enough the amount of force made on the ground should’ve been enough to get you up in the air. But it is not just the snap of the tail.
Immediately after the snap, and this is when timing becomes crucial, your frontal foot must slide into the nose’s area and push it upwards too. The design of the nose was made for that moment, the slightly upward curved shape makes it possible to shove it with your toes to gain air. That is the combo.
Ollie: Jumping into Success
Once you’re in the air, your sole purpose is trying to get your board horizontal and in parallel with the surface; that is a 180° angle. When gravity starts doing its thing sooner or later you’ll start free falling; do not be scared, if both of your feet are well centered on the deck, you should land without any inconvenience and still roll along the way.
Different skaters have different learning stages and time spent getting to this point, and many have tried to do their first ollie after a year of practice. There’s no real deadline to it. It will come to you when you’re ready after you trained enough. The jump made in an ollie is the foundations of further tricks and it will accompany you until the very end.
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