Learn how to do an ollie

This is a photo of a man doing an ollie on a skateboard

Here are the quick steps to do an Ollie on a skateboard:

  1. Pop the tail of the skateboard to the ground
  2. Jump off the popping foot
  3. Slide your front foot up and out towards the nose of the skateboard
  4. Bring your popping foot up to be level with your sliding foot
  5. Freeze in this crouched looking position
  6. Land the Ollie

Keep reading and we will break down each part in more depth. Be sure to watch the how to Ollie video to supplement this text.

The Ollie :
it's the single most important skateboard trick. The ollie is involved in just about every other trick you will learn.

Below we will go over how to do an ollie. You can also watch the video to help you see what you are up against.

This trick will eventually become second nature to you. Once you learn how to do an ollie you may be surprised how quickly you pick up on other tricks.

The Ollie is a must have trick. There are so many new possibilities that open up to you after you are comfortable with the ollie. Once you learn how to ollie you could now potentially land a 50-50 grind, then learn how to manual a bit and get comfortable riding on two wheels. Now you can 5-0 grind or ollie manual.

I was certainly hooked on skateboarding after I learned the ollie. I know that if you commit to learning how to ollie that you will find yourself learning new things every week for a long time.

Trying to ollie for the first time

When first diving into learning skateboard tricks. You might find yourself watching Youtube videos on how to Ollie, or reading awesome articles like this one. But all the videos and all the other articles are missing one thing.

They are not considering that an Ollie is not something that non-skateboarder does. Your average Jo doesn't Ollie. So the other Ollie trick tips are missing a very vital part of quickly teaching you how to do an Ollie on a skateboard.

They are going to tell you some of the same things that I have shared with you here.

  • Pop the tail
  • Lift your feet
  • Slide your front foot forward
  • Land

That is how you do an Ollie. But that's not an easy thing to do, so what we need to do is take away the name of the trick so you will stop focusing on HOW TO OLLIE. Rather let's just have you perform a physical action. Take a marker of some kind. A stick will work. Set it on the ground about half a skateboards length in front of your skateboard.

Get on the board and get into Ollie foot position.

Focus your eyes on the marker. What we are going to do is try and jump to the marker on the ground. We are not rolling so you will never make it. But watch what happens.

Jump off your back foot and try to land on the marker with your front foot.

What this does is provides a way for a new skater to perform the motion of the Ollie and not know it.

Don't tell them to just pop the tail and slide your foot forward and land. That is how to do an Ollie but, if you don't skateboard then you never make that motion.

When you jump off the back foot they will pop the board.

By trying to get your front foot to the marker on the ground you will slide your foot forward, thus leveling out the board.

Do you jump when you ollie?

YES! When you ollie you will get your footing to gain the center of gravity shared between you and your skateboard. Then you will be jumping with your weight balanced equally on both feet. If you do this with out popping the tail you will simply jump and leave your board on the ground. While this is an awesome trick in some situations, we are trying to ollie, so we need to POP the tail. Right at the point of lift off, or at the moment that you would leave your board behind you have to pop your skateboard in hopes to bring it with you off of the ground. Now your front foot slides in two directions UP with the jump and OUT to level out your skateboard and prepare for landing.

Foot placement for an ollie

Since you just started learning to ollie lets start by standing on the skateboard with each foot covering the bolt heads on the board.

This is pretty much the normal riding position but we will use it as a starting point for our trick tips.

foot position for standing on a skateboard

Now from regular stance pull your kick-foot back closer to your pop foot. The distance here is relative to how high you going to try to ollie.

Let's just put our kick foot any where you feel comfortable behind the four bolt heads.

kick foot placement for learning to do an ollie

Now move your pop foot into pop position.

Place the palm of your foot on the peak of your tail.

kick foot placement for learning to do an ollie

The motion for an ollie

how to ollie step 2 how to ollie step 3 how to ollie step 4 how to ollie step 5 how to ollie step 6 how to ollie step 7 how to ollie step 8 how to ollie step 9 how to ollie step 10 how to ollie step 12 how ot ollie step 13 how to ollie step 14 how to ollie step 15

Let's do an ollie!

Step 1

Bend straight down keeping your shoulders inline with your skateboard.

how to ollie step 2

Step 2

Begin to launch up with both feet but continue to launch with only your pop foot.

This is a little tricky to understand. Be sure to reference the slide show above.

I like to think that my front foot and back foot are in a race upward and my front foot always gets a head start.

how to ollie step 4 how to ollie step 5 how to ollie step 6

Step 3

Start sliding your front foot forward while your pop foot is (vertically) catching up to your kick foot.

At this moment your kick foot is leveling out the skateboard from vertical to horizontal.

Look at the four photos below. See how my kick foot is forcing my nose back down while my tail can only go as far as my pop foot.

how to ollie step 7 how to ollie step 8 how to ollie step 9 how to ollie step 10

Step 4

Stick the landing.

So you have done the physical part of the ollie, now you have to tackle the mental part.

When I first started learning to skate I noticed some fear for actually landing back on the board.

You have to be ok with the fact that you are going to fall.

Most of my skating injuries came from hesitation and lack of commitment for the trick.

The best way to think about it is that once you have leveled out you ollie. You are actually done.


how to ollie step 12 how to ollie step 13 how to ollie step 14 how to ollie step 15

How to ollie recap:

  • Get your footing.
  • Square up with the board.
  • Bend straight down.
  • Shoot yourself straight back up.
  • Pop the tail and slide your kick foot to the nose of the board.
  • Level your feet out.
  • Let gravity do the rest.

How do you ollie while rolling?

Doing an ollie while moving is exactly the same as doing a stationary ollie. Your thoughts and subconscious fears are what make you think there is a difference. Curiosity got us on the board and fear is holding us back.

Before you were learning to ollie on your skateboard while it was still and in place. Now you are rolling and you think everything has changed. Nothing has changed! The wheels are spinning now. That's the wheels business, and it has nothing to do with how you ollie. Skateboarding is not just a physical challenge, it's also a mind twisting mental challenge. Get back on the board and get rolling, and turn your head off and ollie just as you would if you were not rolling.

Remember you need to be sure to pop the board straight down! If you don't, the board will turn side ways on you when you ollie.

You need to mostly be focused on a solid pop and the lift of your back foot. . Don't focus that much on sliding your foot forward like everyone wants to tell you. I have watched so many new skateboarders try an ollie for the first time. If you forget about focusing on sliding your front foot forward, you will notice that your body kind of automatically does it.

Focus on the pop and lift your back foot up high. Don't just leave it down.

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