The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

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The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby bazza5070 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:47 pm

Back end of last year I bought a longboard for cruising around the streets and then started using it to commute the 2 miles when I had to go to my main office, really enjoyed it but it's a cutaway with no kicktail. I have now put my 70mm Red Kryps onto my 32 inch Grosso double kick as there is the obvious need to ollie up kerbs rather than looking like a complete twat keep getting off the board everytime I come to one.

However, despite watching numerous videos and spending time with very tolerant teenagers at the local skate park the ollie remains elusive.

I have tried it on the tarmac, concrete, carpet and grass, stationary and rolling, I just can't do it! Thought I had it just the once but landed, board shot out backwards and there was much laughter from spouse and teenage daughters as I writhed around in agony on the patio.

Does anyone out there have the easy magic formula for the 'Ollie', if so please hand it over and receive my enternal gratitude. :(
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby Fumanchu2 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:57 pm

No magic formula, that is for sure. It is kind of like driving a stick shift, no matter how much someone tells you how to do it until you get the actual mechanics down on your own it never makes any sense. I am teaching my son how to ollie and I am realizing that I can explain to him forever but he has to figure out a certain amount on his own. Just practice with the front wheels in the grass and tail on concrete so you can get a good pop and build confidence. Just really work on hitting the tail popping the board almost vertical and kicking it forward with your other foot, don't even try to land it. Once you get that down then you can work on pushing the board forward with the your front foot after making the popping motion and being on top of the board. It will one day click. I spent an entire summer as a kid doing this and then one day it just clicked. I hope that helps.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby bazza5070 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:10 pm

Thanks for the reply Fumanchu2, guess it's just down to perseverance.... :shock:
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby Fumanchu2 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:21 pm

No problem. I am still trying to get better at them myself. One thing that I have to mentally tell myself is to try and make it all flow and not to be too mechanical. That might be hard now because it is all mechanics when you are first starting off, but try and relax when doing them.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby parker_knoll » Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:36 pm

what's going wrong? not getting off the ground or not landing them, turning etc.?
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby Bogey » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:24 pm

This is where I am myself. Started on the longboard. I just keep going in fits and jerks and can only just get the rear wheels off the ground. I've just been trying on carpet though. I think like already has been said its down to plenty of practice.


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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby TW1ST1 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:31 pm

I can just about get airborne but even after 2 years they are still very much slight hit or miss
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby parker_knoll » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:35 pm

lift your knees up

pay close attention to foot position

pop on a hard surface, it's easier

rear foot right on the edge of the tail

front foot in the middle of the board
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby Bogey » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:38 pm

It seems like my foot position is correct, perhaps the deep shags not helping.


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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby JadedOlive » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:49 pm

If you have any smaller wheels, you might want to practice with them. With the tail closer to the ground it can make it easier to get the snap.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby parker_knoll » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:09 pm

yes, rereading the OP heavy 70mm are not the ideal wheels to be learning to ollie with
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby JadedOlive » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:27 pm

I've been learning to ollie as well, and I've found that I can do mini ollies up and over small driveway lips. I don't even truly snap the tail, just cruise up with speed, lift the front trucks and kind of hop without snapping the tail. The basic motion is the same as an ollie, however my front foot is further forward and doesn't really slide up. I just try and roll my ankle and use the side of my foot to push the nose back down.

I've done it with 54mm 78a Ricta clouds, and bigger heavier 60mm 85a rat bones.

With the soft wheels even if I clip the lip they will bounce over, and the tail comes back up under my back foot.

It's a real quick motion, and it's starting to make me more comfortable with the crouch and prep for the moving ollie.

Now I've been seeking out bigger cracks and trying to work my way up.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby parker_knoll » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:55 pm

that's called a Chinese Ollie :)
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby JadedOlive » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:02 pm

Haha, good to know it has a name!
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby bazza5070 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:55 am

parker_knoll wrote:what's going wrong? not getting off the ground or not landing them, turning etc.?

Yh, just not getting airborne, and have tried with all sorts of wheel sizes


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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby parker_knoll » Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:27 am

don't stand flat footed, kind of hover on your toes, with your knees bent, can be quite awkward at first.

Your front foot lifts up before your back foot.

if u can take a vid it will be easier to see.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby GarethV » Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:23 am

sounds like your not kicking your front foot up the board enough when you attempt them. You should have your front foot half way up the board when you start however when you land it will be much further up and very close to the nose.

Push the tail down, jump and kick in to the board to push the tail off the ground and level the board out.

its a simultanous jump and kick

Actually screw my poor description there must be a 'Braile" tutorial which are usually excellent just like Warwicks transitions trick tips are.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLVraCnI5Kc

you'll be ollieing in no time bazza (seriously) this guys videos are great.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby misterbleepy » Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:31 am

ta for that link - going to try and make a proper effort to learn to ollie this year
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby GarethV » Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:22 am

misterbleepy wrote:ta for that link - going to try and make a proper effort to learn to ollie this year



No problem you'll get them. Then before you know it you will be finding different obstacles to ollie starting small then working up to decks on decks :wink:

I had a great session at Harrow last summer with some younger skaters I say in their 20's. We found a cone and were just messing around on the platform. Hours of fun just because we found an obstacle to put on the flat platform. despite having th whole skatepark to skate.

Thats why skating is so great. I want to learn to manaul when I get back. Again hours of fun just rolling and trying to stay on your back wheels... always used to be in awe of Mike V's manuals when I was a young skater.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby bazza5070 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:36 am

GarethV wrote:sounds like your not kicking your front foot up the board enough when you attempt them. You should have your front foot half way up the board when you start however when you land it will be much further up and very close to the nose.

Push the tail down, jump and kick in to the board to push the tail off the ground and level the board out.

its a simultanous jump and kick

Actually screw my poor description there must be a 'Braile" tutorial which are usually excellent just like Warwicks transitions trick tips are.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLVraCnI5Kc

you'll be ollieing in no time bazza (seriously) this guys videos are great.

Cheers Gareth, I will give this a watch and make the Middle Age Elusive Ollie my main aim for this summer :D
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby Bogey » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:34 pm

Here's my most recent attempts from last week. I would recommend extra supportive underwear for viewing as its quite laughable and lame[GRINNING FACE WITH SMILING EYES]
https://vimeo.com/125241050


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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby Bogey » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:38 pm

GarethV wrote:sounds like your not kicking your front foot up the board enough when you attempt them. You should have your front foot half way up the board when you start however when you land it will be much further up and very close to the nose.

Push the tail down, jump and kick in to the board to push the tail off the ground and level the board out.

its a simultanous jump and kick

Actually screw my poor description there must be a 'Braile" tutorial which are usually excellent just like Warwicks transitions trick tips are.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLVraCnI5Kc

you'll be ollieing in no time bazza (seriously) this guys videos are great.



That's one of the better tutorials I've seen. Am I also right in thinking it fooks ya shoes up as several of mine have now big holes in them from sliding me foot.


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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby Beigebomber » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:13 pm

There's no magic formua, but there are some tricks to it.
One is to get some really crappy rusted bearings just for learning. That way you can learn on a hard surface without worrying about the board slipping away. The more seized they are, the better.
Remember to jump UP, not forward.
Bend your front knee so that as you jump it faces forward.
You have to get your body to lift a bit, not just your legs, which means you want a decent up-push from your feet. You won't get that if your back foot is hanging off the tail. It needs to be further in.
You do, however, have to bring your knees up to your body. The ollie will only be as high as your BACK foot lifts, so concentrate on it.
It's a bit of a see-saw motion. Don't drag your front foot towards the nose until you've heard the tail hit the ground.
Personally, I'm much better at ollies onto higher ground than I am at going over something and then coming back down to the same height. You might be too. Removes a certain amount of trepidation (for me anyway).

It IS very difficult, nomatter how basic people say it is. It's only basic in that it is the basis for much more stuff, but it's by no means easy. Don't be disheartened, it's do-able, it just take more time than it looks like it should.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby Beigebomber » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:34 pm

Bogey wrote: it fooks ya shoes up



Oh yars, definitely. Ruins 'em: Image

Got to chuck these out. Horrible bruising on my foot where it slipped sideways wearing those and hit the floor with all my weight coming down on it. Been limping for two days now.

And, sorry to say, it was whilst doing an... ollie. :(
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby parker_knoll » Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:57 pm

[quote="Bogey"]Here's my most recent attempts from last week. I would recommend extra supportive underwear for viewing as its quite laughable and lame[GRINNING FACE WITH SMILING EYES]
https://vimeo.com/125241050

I'd get off the shag carpet - it'll be easier!
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby Martin-d » Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:25 pm

Bogey wrote:Here's my most recent attempts from last week. I would recommend extra supportive underwear for viewing as its quite laughable and lame[GRINNING FACE WITH SMILING EYES]
https://vimeo.com/125241050


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I'm not that much further on than this allthough as has been said moving onto concrete and getting over that fear helps with the height. I'm currently struggling with the timing. Getting the force of the pop to lift the board without my feet stopping the board coming up. I'm finding constant practice really helps especially in groups of 5. Got this from another thread from Steve (Gor64) and currently just able to manage 5 in a row at some point in an hours practice. Really getting frustrated with not enough height to get up a curb though!

I haven't filmed mine for a while so will make it an aim for this weekend and will hopefully surprise myself. Will stick it on this thread if i get round to it. Keep at it mate, good to know there are others at a similar level as me with flat ground. Keeps me motivated to think we're all at it together.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby parker_knoll » Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:53 pm

get your knees up and the board will come up higher than you want

practise just jumping without the board and practising the motion while going nice and high
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby GarethV » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:48 pm

bazza5070 wrote:
GarethV wrote:sounds like your not kicking your front foot up the board enough when you attempt them. You should have your front foot half way up the board when you start however when you land it will be much further up and very close to the nose.

Push the tail down, jump and kick in to the board to push the tail off the ground and level the board out.

its a simultanous jump and kick

Actually screw my poor description there must be a 'Braile" tutorial which are usually excellent just like Warwicks transitions trick tips are.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLVraCnI5Kc

you'll be ollieing in no time bazza (seriously) this guys videos are great.

Cheers Gareth, I will give this a watch and make the Middle Age Elusive Ollie my main aim for this summer :D


No problem its just practice mate you'll get them . also it's something you can do pretty much anywhere. Like in your garden etc
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby mjlally » Fri May 15, 2015 8:57 pm

I've been trying to learn to ollie while I chicken out on doing my first drop in on a small quarter pipe.. I think I'm starting to get there, video I've taken shows all 4 wheels leaving the ground but it is very blurry footage off my phone and i can't see whether the tail actually leaves the ground. Even if it does the max height would be no more than half an inch and that is probably a gross exaggeration!
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby tom.hoffman » Sun May 17, 2015 9:12 pm

It is difficult enough that it took a few decades for people to realized it was possible.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby #skatedog » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:23 pm

This thread was really good, thanks for posting , I am trying to learn too, watching
Lads of Braille and other videos, was trying to do them on friends lawn other day
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby Jeroen » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:41 pm

Bogey wrote:Here's my most recent attempts from last week. I would recommend extra supportive underwear for viewing as its quite laughable and lame[GRINNING FACE WITH SMILING EYES]
https://vimeo.com/125241050

Try standing more on your toes before you jump (that'll automatically put your toes more to the center of your board, not on the edge)
Jump UP instead of sideways (or in the direction of your board)
Pull up your knees once airborne... it'll give the board room to move further off the ground
When coming down, don't straighten your legs as much but keep your knees more bent, making your body come down with the board instead of pushing the board back to the ground. It'll buy you more air-time.
Keep it up, you're close!
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby mr_sooty » Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:38 am

Agree with the above post. You want to be more on the balls of your feet, kind of on your toes a little, heels off the deck. Your feet are too flat. And that front part of both your feet needs to be more in the center, so wiggle your feet back a bit, so your toes aren't over the edge of the board. It's all in the front of your feet. If you're making a hole in your front shoe, see if you can get that hole a little more towards the toes.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby MrPhilicorda » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:58 pm

To give my two cents:

I think most tutorials only focus on two things: kicking down the tail and dragging the front foot forwards. Those are important steps but they are not going to make your board magically fly with you on top of it. It's important to realize that what you actually are doing is jumping to get your BODY up in the air. The whole "kick down tail & drag front foot" thing is just a technique make your board follow you when you jump.

I think you could benefit from also practicing ollieing without a board just to learn how to get your body up in the air when doing the ollie motion.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby mudslinger » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:14 pm

MrPhilicorda wrote:To give my two cents:

I think most tutorials only focus on two things: kicking down the tail and dragging the front foot forwards. Those are important steps but they are not going to make your board magically fly with you on top of it. It's important to realize that what you actually are doing is jumping to get your BODY up in the air. The whole "kick down tail & drag front foot" thing is just a technique make your board follow you when you jump.

I think you could benefit from also practicing ollieing without a board just to learn how to get your body up in the air when doing the ollie motion.

I agree with Mr Phil and here's why. Two years ago I blew my ACL at the young age of 41, I didn't skate for an entire year trying to recover from the surgery. I have spent the last year trying to learn how to jump again. The push down drag your foot part was a no brainer after skating for 31 years but my muscles just didn't remember how to jump anymore

It's still a work in progress trying to find any sort of pop like I had two years ago but as anyone will tell you just keep practising.

Jump, jump and jump some more.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby Plainsman » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:55 pm

New guy here. Great topic, I'm 45 and just returning to skating. I used to be able to Ollie pretty good. I've since had back surgery, and now my body (I'm healed) is reluctant to jump. Ollies are a struggle for me right now too.

Agree those Braile vids are great! I'll be following this thread for more tips. Good luck everyone!
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby Unciano » Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:03 pm

Been wrestling with this since starting again if I'm brutally honest and my ollie has certainly got worse since a bad ankle fracture about a year ago. Mine is good enough to get me up a curb, over little bumps etc but as soon as it comes to skatepark blocks, jump ramps or anything higher than 6" I struggle. I have since found that kicking the tail down much harder helps as the nose snaps up a little higher allowing me to control it a bit better. However I am now under the impression that my steep kicktail probably doesn't help. Thinking of going a little mellower on the next purchase. SIGH
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby MrPhilicorda » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:13 pm

Lower trucks, smaller wheels and a not-so-steep tail makes it less of an effort to ollie. That setup won't give you maximum height but I think it might help you learn.

I had a 21 year break in my skating and picked it up again this summer. After a while my ollies were almost back to what they were but just recently I changed to a lower and lighter setup and it certainly made it easier and more fun!
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby MrPhilicorda » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:13 pm

*double post, contents deleted*
Last edited by MrPhilicorda on Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby The Reptile House » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:52 pm

Kyle Duvall did a great article on this:

http://parkingblockdiaries.blogspot.co. ... am-to.html

I was particularly interested in what he says about the impact of tail shape.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby Unciano » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:09 pm

Hmmmm. Square tail it is then???? Looking at shapes as we speak!
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby The Reptile House » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:25 pm

I was toying with buying a Street Plant Street Axe, but I'm a long way off popping ollies.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby Jimmycakes401 » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:49 pm

I need to get back to practicing ollies. I use a smaller set than my usual ride and it helps significantly. I'm hoping eventually after much practice, that I'll be able to ollie my ramp setup. Like when I used to snowboard; once I got good I could do tricks on any sort of board. Not always with extreme style. : )

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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby Red Beard » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:05 pm

The Reptile House wrote:Kyle Duvall did a great article on this:

http://parkingblockdiaries.blogspot.co. ... am-to.html

I was particularly interested in what he says about the impact of tail shape.


Interesting read. After promising myself I wasn't going to get frustrated by trying to relearn ollies, I've started trying to get them!
Can get some decent pop with the back wheels wedged in a crack at the local skatepark or agains a tuft of grass in my patio at home but as soon as I try it with the wheels free to move, either the board try's to come out from under me as I pop or I pull my back foot off the board and put it on the floor - which is gonna lead to me doing the splits if I'm not careful! Got a mental block about trying to land on the board when it can move about...


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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby rexmtl » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:34 pm

Hello all,

Very new here and pleased to see so many great tips on this topic - something I was also struggling with like so many. I Skated in the early 80's and never learned to Ollie so this was a challenge to say the least. I seem to be able to get the board off the ground 5 inches or so now so it's coming along.

I wanted to share a video I thought was very useful - Braille is good but for Ollies I found this one the best out there (sorry if it's already been shared)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arDVW-aWWys

Also just wanted to point out a couple of things that helped me :
- Stand on the balls of your feet – think about it, you can’t jump from your heels right?
- Your back foot should be on the tail and in the pocket – not on or slightly off the edge. This is what worked for me at least. Because I was on the very edge of the tail, my foot was sometimes hitting the ground. As soon as I backed it off the edge and in the pocket, it made a world of difference for me.
- Use you ankle to pop that board – just takes a good snap (so –to – speak) of the tail to get a good pop. Get off the board test it out and just pop the board with your back foot using your ankle. It doesn’t take very much at all.
- MANY folks I see learning the Ollie seem to get the idea fairly quickly and pop the board while dragging the front foot upwards. The main issue I was having - and what I see so many people doing is that after they pop and drag the front foot up to raise the board up, their BACK foot (the one they just popped with) stays down and PREVENTS the board form going up. You then have your feet applying forces in different or opposite directions. The result is the board doesn’t rise –It can’t right? You’re preventing it :cry: I was doing this for a month before it was pointed out to me. Once you pop and drag your front foot, you must remember to raise your back foot up (bending your knees up towards your chest) to allow clearance for the tail to rise up.

It looked to me from Bogeys video (Many thanks for posting!!) that a) his back foot would hit the ground (too far back on the tail) and b) he was not lifting his back foot after popping the board and thus preventing it from rising. So, so close!!!!!

In any case, I hope what I have written is clearer than mud and thanks again all sooo much for all this input and sharing ! :D
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby mjlally » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:02 pm

rexmtl wrote:Hello all,

Very new here and pleased to see so many great tips on this topic - something I was also struggling with like so many. I Skated in the early 80's and never learned to Ollie so this was a challenge to say the least. I seem to be able to get the board off the ground 5 inches or so now so it's coming along. :D


Welcome aboard. I've not seen that video before so thanks for that and the tips. I'm definitely going to see if I can use this to get my ollie into better shape.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby mr_sooty » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:47 pm

I must admit that at 41 I can't ollie anywhere near as high as I used to be able to. Ollie's were pretty much the only thing I was good at as a kid, I could ollie higher than most my friends and other skaters I knew. Fact of the matter is that even if your technique is good, your joints get stiffer and you get less flexible. I guess yoga and stretching and shit like that would really help. On the plus side I can skate a bowl better now than when I was a kid.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby mjlally » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:18 pm

mr_sooty wrote:I must admit that at 41 I can't ollie anywhere near as high as I used to be able to. Ollie's were pretty much the only thing I was good at as a kid, I could ollie higher than most my friends and other skaters I knew. Fact of the matter is that even if your technique is good, your joints get stiffer and you get less flexible. I guess yoga and stretching and shit like that would really help. On the plus side I can skate a bowl better now than when I was a kid.


I didn't realise just how stiff my joints had gotten until I started skating again. Been doing lots of stretching, some of it yoga stretches off the internet, which has definitely made me more flexible.
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby rexmtl » Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:22 pm

mr_sooty wrote:I must admit that at 41 I can't ollie anywhere near as high as I used to be able to. Ollie's were pretty much the only thing I was good at as a kid, I could ollie higher than most my friends and other skaters I knew. Fact of the matter is that even if your technique is good, your joints get stiffer and you get less flexible. I guess yoga and stretching and shit like that would really help. On the plus side I can skate a bowl better now than when I was a kid.



Very true! That's a great point and one I need to remember. :-(
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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby Red Beard » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:57 am

Beigebomber wrote:There's no magic formua, but there are some tricks to it.
One is to get some really crappy rusted bearings just for learning. That way you can learn on a hard surface without worrying about the board slipping away. The more seized they are, the better.


I just got some new bearings that seem to be a bit stiff, and they definitely help with trying to pop without the board moving from under me. Was gonna send em back but they could make a good 'training aid' as they also make me work harder to gain speed haha.!



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Re: The Elusive Middle Aged Ollie

Postby dorsetvdubster » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:32 pm

I haven't ollied in 30 years so after reading this thread I thought I would give it a go on my sons modern board. First of all the modern trucks must be set up for eight stone kids so I wrentched them tight, it was difficult even balancing my 14 stone and size 11 feet, really wobbly. Well let's say it didn't go to plan.....I fell on my ass and almost smashed my patio doors; and that isn't a euphemism!!

After about about 25mins I managed to get it about an inch off the ground and land it. I now need to rest as my hip, knees and back are killing - it sucks getting old!!!
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