The ollie, one of the most fundamental and basic tricks in skateboarding, is effectively a jump while keeping the board stuck to your feet (ie, the board goes up and comes down with you). It's used as a simple way to jump curbs and over obstacles. It must be mastered before an adept can attempt more complex tricks. It is by no means the singularly most important trick. To say that would be akin to saying the heart is the most important organ in your body - you still can't live without your liver, or brain, lungs, etc.

It was invented (and named after) Andrew "Ollie" Gelfand in the mid-1970s when skateboarding was still developmental, although it had been around since the 1950s. It subsequently led to a dramatic evolutionary rise in skateboarding. The highest ollie is 113 cm / 44.5 inches performed by Danny Wainright in 1999 for a cool $10,000. Despite being a relatively simple trick, its mechanics are fairly complex.

The stance for the ollie varies, but the back foot must be on the tail of the board, and the front is generally somewhere in the middle. What happens is the skater pushes down hard with the front foot, lifting his body. Just as he is about to go up, he slams the back foot down on the tail of the skateboard (causing it to tilt up) while simultaneously lifting the front foot and sliding it up the board. This causes the front of the board to lift and attempt to back flip. However the front foot drags up the board and levels it, as well as adding further vertical lift. Upon landing, ideally the feet should land directly over the trucks, or you run the risk of snapping the board.

More complex tricks, such as the kickflip, heelflip shuv-it flip, hardflip, 180-ollie and others use an ollie combined with the flick of the foot. Of course there is much more to these tricks that simply that, I'm merely demonstrating the importance of the ollie.

See basic skateboard terminology to understand the skateboard, and note I referred to the skater as a male for simplicitys sake only - I discourage the idea that skateboarding is an exclusively male sport.
The solid execution of an ollie depends a lot on how you think about it. Slamming down on the tail of the skateboard will yield less result than compressing the body, smacking the tail down a little lighter, and using the decompression of your knees to add lift to the initial pop.

Another misconception about ollies is that the front foot does a lot of work. The job of the front foot is to guide the board. Trying to push out an ollie doesn't really work in these post-suicide bolts days.

Timing is also crucial. If the movements don't flow together the product is pretty durn ugly. You can watch little kids make this mistake all day. Slam down the tail, push with the front foot, back foot flies out, and there is no ollie.

This wu is intended to append the one above by Ads which is just fine the way that it is unless you're anal about these things, like me.


The ollie is a skateboard maneuver in which the rider jumps upward while using his feet to pull the board upward. There is a wealth of tutorials on the web relating the exact methods of executing an ollie, so I will not add to the clutter with one of my own.

I wish to briefly stress the most important things to be considered when attempting an ollie. The single most important part of the ollie is the slapping of the tail to the ground. This is most often referred to as the "pop" the idea is to get the nose of the board up and begin to suck the board up under you while not merely leaping off of it. The board is lifted and leveled out by sliding the side of the front shoe up the griptape and using the friction to pull the board into the air.

This will require much practice. Once you have achieved control over small ollies, you can begin to work up the height. A high ollie is well respected in the skateboarding world, and is the gateway to many other tricks. There are many variations of the ollie including but not limited to the fakie ollie(fakie means rolling backwards), nollie (nose ollie), and switch ollie(done in the foot positioning and rolling direction that is not your natural stance).if you have only done ollies standing still, you will find them more difficult to perform while rolling

The ollie was first done in empty swimming pools with curved sides by rolling up the side to the coping or lip of the pool, performing the ollie and then coming back down. The ollie was invented in the 1970's by Alan "Ollie" Gelfand, who was later discovered by skateboarding great Stacey Peralta, (professional skater, innovator, cofounder of Powell-Peralta skateboards, and became a professional skater. the ollie became one of the root tricks of skateboarding.

The ollie is easy once you have mastered the timing and drilled the movement into your muscle's memory, but the trick still needs your perfect balance on the skateboard, that or the outcome will not be desirable.

Your back foot should be as far back on the tail as stable balance will possibly allow, with your front foot shoulder's length apart from your back foot near the middle of the board a few inches away from the deck bolts. The more the back foot hangs off the edge the easier it is to pop the board off the ground. Body weight should be over the balls of your feet and centered in the middle of the board. This is for the best balance; it will keep the board straighter and can help in sticking the landing. Any improper foot placement can throw your weight off or tweak the board, screwing any chance there might be in a landing. The last thing is bend your knees. This does two things: it readies the knees for the upcoming jump, and it lowers the center of gravity adding a little more balance.

The next step is the hard part, to complete the trick successfully all these motions must come together simultaneously. You need to pop the board and jump using your back foot while dragging your front foot straightforward causing lift. The dragging of your foot should be with the side of your shoe until just past the bolts, subsequently this also raises the tail leveling the overall flight of the board.

The pop is a big part of adding height and control to the board. A good, firm pop will create the needed upward motion to get off the ground, making it so the front foot does not need to do as much dragging to obtain any measurable distance off the ground. The board, literally, is drug along with your front foot for the ride. Any extra foot movement can impart an undesirable change of direction onto the board, and because of the significant difference in mass between you and the board; you won't be able to change directions as fast to recover.

The extra foot movement is needed when doing other tricks, where the goal is to impart a slight tweak to the board from the combination of both feet to force rotation of different directions. An ollie is not like the other popular examples, like the kickflip or heelflip where the rider comes off the board and flips the board in a barrel-roll style. This trick is done by popping the board and flicking the front foot off either side causing the desired rotation. The heelflip uses the same technique but uses the heel of the forward foot. Other tricks use the combination of both feet working in perfect unison. The foot placement for these two tricks is also different from the Ollie, with the feet positioned closer to the edge and away from the center. It is important to keep all outside movements to a minimal on all tricks.

Now, let us quickly go over everything once again. Bend at the knees, pop the board firmly and jump with your back foot the instant the tail smacks the ground. Once done correctly, level out the board by dragging your front foot straightforward. Wait until you and your board return back to Earth. Bend your knees to absorb the impact and quickly shift a little bit of your weight to your front foot or the board will shoot out from underneath you.

Now try it while rolling if you have not already. Just remember momentum can be a tricky little bitch to take into account, and everything learned standing still could be adapted to the trick while moving but not easily. It is all about seeing the trick through and spotting the landing in your mind before even attempting it physically.

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