The ollie is one of the first tricks that beginner skateboarders learn, and not without reason.
Not only is it a fundamental skating skill, but it’s also relatively easy to learn when compared to many other skateboard tricks.
Of course, if you’re a complete novice and have only just figured out how to push, stop, and avoid falling over, even a simple Ollie can feel like an impossibility.
If you’re a beginner skater struggling to get to grips with how to ollie on a skateboard and you want to find a way to make it easier to get your skateboard off the ground, then this is the guide for you.
Table of Contents
How to Ollie on a Skateboard
Follow these steps to perform an Ollie on your skateboard:
- Place your front foot in the middle of the skateboard and your back foot near to the tail.
- Bend your knees.
- Keep your shoulders straight.
- Push your back foot against the tail and press it against the ground in a rapid and fluid movement.
- When the skateboard tail hits the floor, quickly shift your weight and jump.
- Slide your front foot toward the nose of the skateboard while you are in the air.
If you can perform this move quickly and fluidly, you should be able to land the ollie and achieve some air without requiring a lot of speed.
It’s a simple hopping action that can be incredibly useful and great fun to your skating.
Of course, once you achieve that verticality, you will also need to remain stable on the skateboard in order to land the ollie.
Just bend your knees to soften the landing and help you to remain steady on the skateboard.
Where To Begin With Your Ollie?
Beginner skaters can start to get comfortable with the ollie by simply jumping and landing on your board when the skateboard is stationary.
Once you are comfortable with that, do the same thing when the skateboard is moving.
How Do You Do An Ollie On A Beginner Skateboard
You can perform ollies on any skateboard made for tricks, including beginner boards.
If the board is the right size for you and is not too narrow or too wide, you should be able to perform an ollie.
Why is an Ollie so Hard?
Everything is difficult when you don’t know how to do it.
You don’t become Eric Clapton as soon as you pick up a guitar, you’re not David Beckham the first time you kick a soccer ball.
If you are brand new to skating, you’re going to fail, and you will probably fail quite spectacularly.
Skateboard Ollie Tips To Help Make it Easier
Keep your shoulders straight, place your back foot in the middle of the tail of the skateboard; place your front foot in the middle of the board, and perform the hop/jump action outlined above.
If you’re still struggling, check out a few videos of pro skaters performing the move and tutorials on YouTube.com.
You can see how they do it and try to copy their moves.
Ollie In Slow Motion
Take a look at an ollie being down in slow motion to better see the mechanics and the details of the ollie.
Once you learn how to ollie and fully master this skateboard trick, you can turn your hand to other popular tricks.
At that point, the world will be your oyster and there is a wealth of fun tricks out there to learn.
How Long Does It Take to Learn an Ollie?
There is no defined set time limit to learn how to ollie.
Some skaters will ollie on their first attempt and others will need to keep practicing for week, month and even years before they land their first ollie.
With that said, you need to put in the time if you want to ollie.
The skater who practices 3 hours a day will most likely learn more skate tricks than the skater who put in 1 hour a week.
But as we stated above, how long it takes to learn to ollie really depends on the individual skater.
How Often Should You Practice Your Ollie?
The general rule of thumb is: the more time you spend on your skateboard the quicker you will learn to ollie and do other skate tricks.
This is mostly true, but when you are experiencing fatigue or frustration it may be time for a break.
When you hit a high frustration level with your ollie, or any trick, step away from it.
Practice another trick or call it a day.
Your frustration is your brain telling you that you need to step away and come back at it another day.
Just keep practicing your ollie over a period of time and you will start to perfect it.
Common Ollie Mistakes Beginner Skaters Make
How To Ollie Without Falling
Falling on concrete hurts and when you learning to ollie, you are going to fall a few times.
Get yourself some elbow and knee pads, a helmet and gloves and keep on practicing.
If you have a greater chance of hurting yourself if you don’t fully commit to the ollie or any other skate trick.
Practicing An Ollie Stationary
An ollie is meant to be executed when you are moving on a skateboard.
It may feel safer to work on your ollie when you are standing still, but the reality is that you have a greater chance of rolling an ankle.
Trying To Ollie Too Soon
Beginner skaters seem to want to start to ollie the day they get their first skateboard.
This is a mistake.
Newbie skaters are better off spending their time simply learning how to ride their new skateboard.
Not Using the Right Skate Shoes To Ollie
Get yourself a pair of proper skate shoes when you get your skateboard.
Your running sneakers or will not help you ollie and you will only end up damaging them and/or yourself.
Not Getting Enough Height With Your Ollie
If you need to go higher on your ollie you will need to work on popping your tail more.
The easiest way to improve your pop on your skateboard is to push your skateboard at a moderate speed, push down with your back foot and jump off of your back foot.
Concentrate on the jump of your back foot by pushing it down fast and jumping up fast and high.
Keep practicing the kick and your ollie will start to get higher.
Ollie Foot Placement – Preparing To Ollie
You want your front foot in the middle of your skateboard deck or close to the front bolts when you prepare for your ollie.
You also want your back foot sticking out a bit from the tail, with heal hanging over the tail a bit.
It’s important to keep your shoulders in line with your board and to look over your lead shoulder because as soon as that alignment is thrown off, your foot placement will follow.
Foot placement in general is one of the most common mistakes when performing ollies, so just make sure they are in the right positions and remain there throughout.
Landing Your Ollie Not On The Bolts
When you are beginning to ollie you may find that you are pushing your skateboard to the left or right or even landing your back foot on the pavement.
If you want to keep your skateboard straight when you land your ollie you need to keep your feet as close to or directly on the bolts above your trucks.
Landing on the bolts and keeping your knees bent will help you land properly and will save your skateboard and body from injury.
The ollie is fundamental to a skater’s bag of tricks. So many skateboarding maneuvers use the ollie. If the ollie is new to you, keep practicing and you will be jumping over stacks of skateboards soon enough.