Skateboard Tricks 101: How To Perform An Ollie

skateboard tricks 101 how to perform an ollie

Once you learn how to stand up and move on a skateboard, it’s time to grab a basic understanding of some tricks. An ollie is a fundamental skate trick, offering a foundation to bounce off of for additional tricks. You can move around on your board, jump over serious obstacles, and look suave while skating around the park in front of others. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the ollie, you’re in the right place. First, you must master the basics. Then, you can move to perfecting the trick. In no time, you’ll have a solid understanding of one of the most popular basic tricks. Read on to learn more about how to successfully perform an ollie to impress all your friends. 

Master the Basics

First, you need to master the basics of the ollie. Let’s dive into a few items you must master on the ground before you can kick the trick into high gear.

Find a Soft Surface First

It’s a good idea to start on a soft surface when learning an ollie, as it won’t hurt as much when you fall and will inspire confidence. Grass is an excellent place to go when mapping out the basics of the trick.

If you can’t find a patch of grass, consider a line or crack in concrete. Place your back wheels in the crack, and it will ensure the board stays in place while you figure out the motions of the ollie. 

Set Your Foot on the Board’s Center

Once the board is in place, take your frontmost foot and place it near the center of the board. This technique can be either foot, depending on which is your forward-facing one when naturally riding a skateboard.

Placing your foot closer to the front will make it simple to do a shorter jump while scooting it to the back will make a larger jump with less control possible. It’s best to begin with your foot in the middle and move it as you become comfortable.

Put Your Other Foot on the Skateboard’s Rear

With your front foot in place, put the other foot on the tail of your skateboard. Line your foot up perfectly with the rear of the skateboard and push it as far up the board as possible to provide the most control. The more you can press your foot back comfortably, the more leverage you will have when performing the ollie.

Ensure you keep at least half your foot on the back of the board when performing the trick. Also, keep the weight on the ball of your foot – placing weight anywhere else, such as the sole, will make it much trickier to slam it back down when you want to land the ollie.

Practice Lifting the Front of Your Board

Next, practice lifting the front of your board. Give the rear of your board a firm push and gently lift your front one to practice pushing the front into the air. Use your back foot to ensure it remains in one place and lift until the back of the board taps the ground.

This motion is critical in an ollie. Keep doing it until you’re comfortable with the motion.

Slide Your Foot Up and Down the Board

For the final portion of practice, get used to moving your foot up and down the board. Slide your foot on its side, pulling it up until it gets to the top.

Your sole should not touch the board, but keep your contact on the board. Again, practice this move until perfection to master the ollie. 

Perfect the Trick

Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to perfect the trick. Let’s take these basics to the next level to ensure you can perform a solid ollie in no time.

Stand and Bend

First, stand on the board with your feet in the positions we mentioned earlier. Ensure they are secure and you are confident before proceeding further. If they’re out of place, you will have a much trickier time mastering the ollie.

Once you’re ready, keep your feet in place and bend your knees. Keep your shoulders above your feet and keep your balance to continue the trick without fail. The most effective crouching is done on the balls of your feet.

Jump With a Leading Front Foot

Leap into the air, lifting with your front foot first. As you jump, lift the weight first from your front foot and then push down and lift your back foot into the air.

The best way to think about this step is to consider jumping with your back foot. If you think about leaping with your rear foot, it will automatically follow the suit of the front one. 

Kick Back While Jumping

Next, kick back while completing the jump. Push down on the rear and kick a little back as you jump, which will help the skateboard leap into the air along with you. Your goal is to make the skateboard jump and not try to push yourself off the ground.

Typically, the board should barely graze the ground before you add that additional kickback to make it pop up. Try not to allow the board to drag too much or you might slow down the ollie.

Slide Your Foot While Jumping

As you jump, slide your foot to the front of the board and then push down with your back foot. Your front foot will allow the top of the board to kick up the highest, and then when you go to kick back with your rear foot, the end will be at a high point for a moment.

The slide and push must all happen at the same time as the jump. Otherwise, the board will fall out from under you.

Pull Your Knees Up

Remember – as you jump, pull your knees up to your chest. You can only jump as high as you can pull your body.

It will take practice to master the knee pull. Practice it off the board, then move it into the board to make your leap higher.

Stretch Legs Out When Landing

Finally, ensure you straighten your legs out as you land. They shouldn’t be locked – but they shouldn’t be completely bent if you want to absorb the landing. 

Keep your feet at the front and back of the board. If you land in the center, you risk snapping it in half.


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