Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Beigebomber » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:24 am

First off - my ollies are not spectacular. I can just about clear a single board on its side and roll on. Higher if I'm going onto a kerb or a ledge. I'm not an expert, so take all of this with a pinch of salt. Still, I've been watching 'how to ollie' vids for years now, and there are a couple of things that they never really emphasise enough, in my opinion. It's understandable - they're trying to make quick, snappy videos and just concentrate on the basics. They also assume you know certain stuff already.

However, as well as the standard stuff about popping the board, dragging the front foot, etc, etc, there are some other things I've figured out that make for better ollies. Here they are.

- Don't 'accidentally' shuffle your front foot forward when you're about to launch. I did this a lot at first. Rolling along with my front foot in perfect position an inch or so behind the bolts. Then, coming up to the obstacle, I'd do a little pre-ollie bounce and, without realising exactly, shuffle the foot a bit forward, onto the bolts, where it feels more stable and reassuring. Kills your ollie though.

- Keep your shoulders parallel with the deck. Turning your chest and head to face the obstacle seems normal, but robs your legs of power and twists your ollie sideways. Side-on approach works best. Your front knee should point forwards once you're in the air and have done the foot drag to the nose, but not before then.

- Keep your shoulders parallel to the GROUND. This one was an enormous leap forward for me when I finally figured it out. If your front shoulder is pointing down when you go for the jump, it compacts your body too much to lift that front knee right up. Get the shoulders perfectly above the board, and parallel with the ground and everything happens more easily. More lift in your jump, more freedom of movement for your front leg, more even landings.

- Really kick out that front foot towards the nose. It doesn't matter a damn how high you jump, how hard you pop or how high you get your knees up... if all you're doing is flaccidly dragging your front foot up to the bolts. You've got to kick that nose out, proper kung-fu style (or actually, a bit like cartoon cowboys kicking their boots together in the air). Flinging that front foot out is what lifts the tail up. The height of your ollie is all about how high the *back* wheels come up - and the ONLY way to get them to lift is with that front foot flingout.

- It all happens a bit slower than you'd think. Getting a bit more height is about making the whole action a lofty sort of lope, rather than an intense, fast jump. Delay between pop and drag is more than you initially feel comfy with.

- Your jump should be straight UP, not forward. The roll of your board will take care of forward motion, your job is the up bit. So jump up, not across.

- When you go for the pop, it helps to use the toe edge of your front foot to kick the board backwards a little bit. Not much, but just curl your foot a little and flick as you bring your knee upwards. Better pop.

- OK, we know we should suck our knees up to our chest when we jump, but that's scary and I'm still working on getting them right up there, particularly the back one. However, apart from that, the trajectory of the back foot on a good ollie is a little unexpected. It should kick the tail down, lift upwards, and then angle sole-forwards towards the nose of the board, before straightening out and landing. Difficult to describe, but if you watch a slo-mo vid it's really obvious. Kinda like a martial arts flying kick. Like all the above tips, it's easy to see on a vid, or written down, but goes right out of your head when you get on a board. This one was REALLY important for me and instantly heightened my attempts when I remembered to concentrate on it.

- Once in a while you'll do a really good ollie, amongst the million frustrating attempts. Here is the single most important thing those good ones have taught me: A really good ollie is almost effortless. It's so simple and quick and clean that you can't believe you just did it so easily. Therefore.... If the ollie you just did was difficult in some way, then something was wrong with it (usually the timing of one of the elements). I can practically guarantee that we're all putting in enough energy and power into our ollies to clear twelve inches at least, but that the power is getting lost somewhere in bad application. The good ones are easy, it's just the 100,000 bad ones we do beforehand that leave us so knackered.

Hope this helps somehow, and isn't just another obsolete post in the eternal search for the better ollie.
Last edited by Beigebomber on Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Noidear » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:48 am

Thanks for taking the effort to write this Beigebomber. My ollies are coming along slowly and I concur that kicking the front foot forward is so important in getting those back wheels up. Likewise when you land a good one it does feel effortless. Keep plugging away and it does come.


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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Jimmycakes401 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:07 pm

Here's a great look at slow mo ollies. I can ollie about two inches right now. I can't find time to practice. I wish I had a better driveway.

Let's see if I can embed this.

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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Andrew_Culture » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:11 pm

Thanks for taking the time to write this. There's a lot of new information in here that I've not read before.
My ollies are really hard work, like lifting weights at the gym type hard work, so I'll pay heed to the bit you said about them being effortless.
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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby tom.hoffman » Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:12 pm

Aye, this reinforces what I've been observing. I think getting the proper front leg action is particularly difficult for us who originally struggled to learn to ollie on nose-less pig boards in the 80's.
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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Jimmycakes401 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:28 pm

Yeah, all that info is great. The shoulders and the karate kick especially. I'm trying to ollie a pretty large deck and my body just feels heavy in general. Maybe I need a second setup for learning some ground work.
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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby irishlostboy » Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:31 am

My take-home on ollies is: low and solid before high and sloppy. People in the early stages overwork their ollie to death, trying for max height all the time. Try doing deliberately low ollies while rolling faster. It has a different feel, and is more conducive to going big later. My ollie warm up is to try not to use my upper body much in them, instead to just snap the tail a little and slide it up a little with barely any knee bending. Feels really good and after a few they are higher than you think. Also, never worry about the back foot tweak thing. That is only for mega ollies. Tey that on small ollies and you will injure your ankle
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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Andrew_Culture » Sun Jun 12, 2016 10:58 am

This does change my perspective a bit. I also noted that in videos of great ollies the skater looks like he's doing nothing at all to get air, whereas I look like a sumo wrestler failing at the high jump.

I've come to the conclusion I need to just roll, Ollie, hurt myself, roll, Ollie and hurt myself over and over until I get it :)
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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Jimmycakes401 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:56 am

Andrew_Culture wrote:This does change my perspective a bit. I also noted that in videos of great ollies the skater looks like he's doing nothing at all to get air, whereas I look like a sumo wrestler failing at the high jump.

I've come to the conclusion I need to just roll, Ollie, hurt myself, roll, Ollie and hurt myself over and over until I get it :)

Yep. I threw myself into it for a day and I improved much better than standing still. Tempted to get something like skate trainers or buying some fake turf rug like you see in the Braille videos haha
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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Beigebomber » Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:16 am

irishlostboy wrote:Also, never worry about the back foot tweak thing. That is only for mega ollies. Tey that on small ollies and you will injure your ankle


Yeah, I must admit, the thought had occurred. Particularly given that I've already broken my back ankle. It's a very vulnerable angle to put your ankle at.
Then again, when I looked properly at what I'm doing, it turns out that I'm only angling my back foot the tiniest little bit. In my mind, I've got my sole 90 degrees to the deck, but in reality, it's only about one or two degrees. But psychologically at least, it seems to gain me some back truck height.
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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Andrew_Culture » Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:33 am

Jimmycakes401 wrote:
Andrew_Culture wrote:This does change my perspective a bit. I also noted that in videos of great ollies the skater looks like he's doing nothing at all to get air, whereas I look like a sumo wrestler failing at the high jump.

I've come to the conclusion I need to just roll, Ollie, hurt myself, roll, Ollie and hurt myself over and over until I get it :)

Yep. I threw myself into it for a day and I improved much better than standing still. Tempted to get something like skate trainers or buying some fake turf rug like you see in the Braille videos haha


I have some skater trainers, they were useful for removing the 'oh shit' element of trying to Ollie

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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Andrew_Culture » Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:34 am

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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Jimmycakes401 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:47 pm

Haha! Good videos. I may pick up a set of those. Practice in the garage and maybe goof around with our grind box hopping on and off.
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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Mr J » Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:44 am

Andrew_Culture wrote:
Jimmycakes401 wrote:
Andrew_Culture wrote:This does change my perspective a bit. I also noted that in videos of great ollies the skater looks like he's doing nothing at all to get air, whereas I look like a sumo wrestler failing at the high jump.

I've come to the conclusion I need to just roll, Ollie, hurt myself, roll, Ollie and hurt myself over and over until I get it :)

Yep. I threw myself into it for a day and I improved much better than standing still. Tempted to get something like skate trainers or buying some fake turf rug like you see in the Braille videos haha


I have some skater trainers, they were useful for removing the 'oh shit' element of trying to Ollie



That's a very informative video 8) because it is made by someone who really is learning and can demonstrate just how difficult it is to learn on a board that rolls around.
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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Jimmycakes401 » Sun Jun 19, 2016 4:20 pm

I realized yesterday that my setup is not conducive to novice ollies. Thinking about getting a second setup that will make learning flat ground easier. Thoughts?

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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Mr J » Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:52 am

Jimmycakes401 wrote:I realized yesterday that my setup is not conducive to novice ollies. Thinking about getting a second setup that will make learning flat ground easier. Thoughts?

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Hi Jimmy, in the absence of advice from the ollie experts I will have a go at this question. I don't think the size of the deck matters much - as long as its in the standard popsicle to pool type board size range. It will need a decent nose kick - all modern boards will have this, so only if your board is a retro shape with not much nose do you need to get another one. For learning I don't think wheel size matters much either. If you are having trouble just controlling a stationary ollie and having trouble getting the back wheels even a few mm off the ground then putting your board on grass or carpet will help and have a similar effect to the skater trainers Andrew is demonstrating.
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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Plan9Customs » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:55 am

As Mr. J said the size doesn't matter. I used to be able to ollie up things a hair under 3' with a late 80's 10x30 pig. Also with late 90's 8" popsicles(no longer. A decade off did that in). Size doesn't matter in this case. Just practice and a whole lot of frustration.
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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Andrew_Culture » Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:54 am

Jimmycakes401 wrote:Haha! Good videos. I may pick up a set of those. Practice in the garage and maybe goof around with our grind box hopping on and off.


If you didn't live so far away I'd send you my set!
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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Jimmycakes401 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:06 pm

I have an 8.5-9 hammerhead deck. It's very large, but my trucks are also pretty high with my wheel height. It's hard to get the tail down for a pop. I can get higher on my son's popsicle, but it's set up for an 50lb (22kg) seven year old. LOL. I wobble those soft bushings like crazy. When I was younger I used to ollie my Tony Hawk Vert medallion deck over trash cans, but I think it was much closer to the ground than my current setup. Who knows. I won't stop practicing, but I don't think I want to do much street with my cumbersome ramp setup. Hopefully I build up some muscle and flexibility at some point too. Ha!
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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Plan9Customs » Wed Jun 22, 2016 2:19 am

Everything I've been riding is 8.62(so 8 5/8") with 149s for park, street, curbs, etc. Thats only 3/8" less than the sledgehammer(my street is a Welcome squidbeak. It has a shorter wheelbase than my Assault, so better response time). Not much difference in how they ollie or flip when compared to my old 8" with 139s. Maybe a hair higher, but definitely not worth the extra $100+ for a (maybe)few inches.
That said, if you can afford it and want to try, please do! Just giving my unsolicited $.02.
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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Jimmycakes401 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:18 am

Plan9Customs wrote:Everything I've been riding is 8.62(so 8 5/8") with 149s for park, street, curbs, etc. Thats only 3/8" less than the sledgehammer(my street is a Welcome squidbeak. It has a shorter wheelbase than my Assault, so better response time). Not much difference in how they ollie or flip when compared to my old 8" with 139s. Maybe a hair higher, but definitely not worth the extra $100+ for a (maybe)few inches.
That said, if you can afford it and want to try, please do! Just giving my unsolicited $.02.

I'm lucky enough to have a friend that owns a shop. Otherwise I probably would skip it. Would you say that when you were first learning that it would have been the same learning curve on all sizes?

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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby tom.hoffman » Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:01 pm

I don't think there is any question that the standard street popsicle is optimized for ollie-ing. You can get anything in the air, but in particular a quick response from the tail -- meaning low to the ground -- and a nose that is relatively close to your front foot make it easier.

It is like anything else. You don't need special wheels to slide, but it is easier to get the technique with really slidey wheels. Then your body says "Oh, that's what's supposed to happen," and soon you can do the same thing with any wheels.
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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Jimmycakes401 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:22 pm

tom.hoffman wrote:
It is like anything else. You don't need special wheels to slide, but it is easier to get the technique with really slidey wheels. Then your body says "Oh, that's what's supposed to happen," and soon you can do the same thing with any wheels.


That's my thought process. Cool
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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Jimmycakes401 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:47 am

Hopped on my daughter's 8" deck with smaller wheels and trucks. He bushings weren't as soft as my son's so I gave it a go. I was able to ollie over a foot. Another thing I noticed was that when I was trying to ollie, I was putting my pinky toe in the middle of the board for some reason. I centered my foot more and used some tips from the other thread that's circulating. Happy with the results. Now, I just need something with slightly stiffer bushings.
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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby balefulstare » Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:56 am

Jimmycakes401 wrote:Now, I just need something with slightly stiffer bushings.


Naaah.

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Re: Ollie troubleshooting kinda thing.

Postby Jimmycakes401 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:29 am

HAHA!!! That was awesome. Yeah. My kids are khiro whites. I like loose, but not THAT loose! HA! wow
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