How to Ollie: A Beginner’s Guide – Step-by-Step Instructions

Skateboarding is a popular and thrilling sport enjoyed by people of all ages. One of the basic skills for any skateboarder to master is the ollie, which is the foundation for many other tricks. However, learning how to ollie can be a daunting task, especially for beginners who may not know where to start or what mistakes to avoid. In this blog post, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to ollie, along with tips on how to steer clear of common errors. Whether you’re new to skateboarding or looking to improve your technique, this guide will help you learn how to execute a proper ollie.

What is an Ollie?

What is an Ollie?

An ollie is a fundamental skateboarding trick that involves jumping with the board to clear obstacles, such as stairs and curbs. It is often considered the first trick a beginner skateboarder should learn because it’s the foundation for many other tricks.

The ollie was invented by Alan “Ollie” Gelfand in the late 1970s, hence the name. Before the invention of the ollie, skateboarders could only jump by lifting the board off the ground with their feet.

The ollie involves a series of movements that require coordination between the front foot, back foot, and body. It starts with the skater popping the tail of the board down on the ground while sliding their front foot towards the nose of the board. This causes the board to lift up into the air. The skater then levels the board out by bringing their front foot back to the center of the board and landing smoothly on both trucks.

While the ollie can seem daunting at first, it’s an essential skill that opens up countless possibilities for more advanced tricks. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can start combining ollies with spins, flips, and grinds to create your own unique style.

Overall, the ollie is a crucial trick for any beginner skateboarder looking to progress their skills and have fun on their board. With practice and dedication, anyone can learn to ollie and experience the joy of skateboarding.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Ollieing

Foot Position

Foot Position

When it comes to learning how to ollie on a skateboard, foot position is key. Proper foot positioning can make or break your ollie, so it’s important to get it right from the start.

To start, place your front foot near the middle of the skateboard with your toes slightly hanging over the edge. This will give you more control over the board and allow for easier movement when popping the ollie.

Your back foot should be placed at an angle with your toes pointing towards the tail of the skateboard. The ball of your foot should be over the tail, allowing for maximum leverage when popping the board.

It’s important to note that everyone’s foot position may vary slightly depending on their individual preferences and body type. Experiment with different foot positions and find what feels most comfortable for you.

Keep in mind that proper foot position is not only essential for executing an ollie, but also for maintaining balance and control while riding the skateboard. As you progress in your skateboarding journey, pay attention to your foot position and make adjustments as necessary.

With practice and patience, you’ll be able to master the proper foot positioning for ollies and take your skateboarding skills to the next level.

The Pop

The Pop

The pop is a critical component of the ollie and involves tapping the tail of your skateboard against the ground to create an upward force. This force is what propels you and your board into the air. Without a strong pop, your ollies will be weak and ineffective.

To execute a proper pop, make sure your back foot is positioned on the tail of your skateboard, with your toes hanging slightly off the edge. As you begin to crouch down, use the ball of your front foot to slide up the board towards the nose. Once your front foot reaches the top of the board, quickly stomp down on the tail with your back foot to create the pop.

It’s important to time the pop correctly in relation to the jump. If you pop too early, you won’t have enough time to jump and your ollie will be low. On the other hand, if you pop too late, your board won’t have enough momentum for a successful ollie.

A common mistake beginners make when learning to ollie is not using enough force for the pop. Remember, the harder you stomp on the tail, the higher you’ll go. Additionally, make sure to keep your weight centered over the board during the pop to maintain control.

Mastering the pop takes time and practice. Start by practicing stationary pops, then move on to rolling ollies. With patience and determination, you’ll soon be popping high and landing smooth ollies like a pro.

The Jump

The Jump

The jump is the heart of the ollie, and it’s what gives this trick its unique look and feel. To get started, you’ll need to have your weight balanced over the center of your board, with your feet in the right position (see previous section).

Once you’re ready to go, you’ll use your back foot to “pop” the tail of the board down towards the ground. This motion generates a burst of energy that will launch your board into the air.

As your board begins to rise, you’ll need to jump up off the ground as well. This part can take some practice, as you’ll need to time your jump just right in order to get the most height possible.

One common mistake that beginners make is jumping too early or too late. If you jump too early, you won’t be able to harness the full power of the pop. On the other hand, if you jump too late, your board will already be on its way back down to the ground by the time you leave the surface.

To avoid these issues, try to focus on timing your jump so that it happens at the same moment as your board begins to rise into the air. With practice, you’ll find that this becomes second nature, and you’ll be able to execute smooth, powerful ollies every time.

Remember to keep your knees bent and your body centered over the board throughout the entire jump. This will help you maintain control and balance, even as you soar through the air.

Overall, the jump is a critical component of the ollie, and mastering it is key to unlocking the full potential of this iconic skateboarding trick. Practice regularly, stay focused, and always strive to improve your technique, and you’ll soon be ollieing like a pro!

The Landing

The Landing

The landing is the final and crucial step in executing a perfect ollie. After successfully popping and jumping in the air, you have to land back on your board with stability. Here are some tips and techniques to help you master the landing:

  • Bend your knees – As you approach the ground, keep your knees bent to absorb the impact of the landing. This will also help you maintain balance and control.

  • Keep your eyes on the board – It’s important to watch your board as you land to ensure that both feet land firmly on it. If your weight isn’t distributed evenly, you risk losing your balance and falling.

  • Land with both feet simultaneously – Try to land with both feet at the same time to avoid wobbling or leaning to one side. This will give you a solid foundation to continue riding after the ollie.

  • Practice, practice, practice – Landing an ollie takes time and practice. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t nail it right away. Keep practicing, and eventually, it will become second nature.

Remember, landing an ollie takes time and dedication. But with these tips and techniques, you’ll be well on your way to mastering this fundamental skateboarding trick.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Not Sliding the Foot Enough

Not Sliding the Foot Enough

One of the most common mistakes beginners make when attempting an ollie is not sliding their front foot enough. This crucial step involves dragging your front foot up the skateboard deck to level it out in mid-air.

Without proper sliding, an ollie will result in a low jump or no jump at all. It can be frustrating for beginners who may struggle to understand the correct technique.

To slide your foot correctly, start with the ball of your front foot near the center of the board and slowly drag it towards the nose as you pop the tail. The motion should feel like scraping the grip tape on the skateboard’s surface. You’ll know you’ve done it correctly when you see the board rise off the ground.

Remember that timing is critical, too. The slide should be initiated right after the pop, so practice the two movements together until they become fluid.

A common mistake while sliding the foot is lifting it too soon or not sliding it enough. Beginners often lift their foot too early or do not slide it high enough, causing the board to pop up unevenly. This can lead to a lack of stability and control during the jump.

By not sliding the foot enough, you are missing out on the ‘pop’ created by the back foot and losing the potential height and air time of your ollie.

A helpful tip to avoid this mistake is to keep your weight centered over both feet, ensuring that the pressure is evenly distributed across the board. This also helps maintain balance and control during the entire trick.

In conclusion, sliding the front foot is an essential component of mastering the ollie. A lack of sliding can lead to frustration and disappointment for beginners who struggle to achieve the desired lift and height. By practicing sliding the foot enough, you can elevate your ollie game and execute this fundamental skateboarding move with ease.

Jumping Too Early or Late

Jumping Too Early or Late

One of the most common mistakes beginners make when attempting to ollie is jumping too early or late. This mistake can cause you to lose momentum and balance, making it difficult to execute a successful ollie.

Jump Timing

Timing is everything when it comes to executing an ollie. The timing of your jump should be in sync with the pop of your board. If you jump too early, you won’t be able to get enough height to clear the obstacle. On the other hand, if you jump too late, your board will already be descending, and you won’t get enough air to complete the trick.

How to Avoid the Mistake

To avoid jumping too early or late, you need to practice the timing of your jump. Begin by standing still on your skateboard and popping the tail while keeping your feet in the ollie position. Practice the motion until you feel comfortable with the timing of the pop and your jump. Once you feel confident, start rolling and gradually increase your speed until you’re ready to attempt the full ollie.

Another technique to help improve your timing is to use visual cues. As you pop your board, look at the tail and wait until it reaches its highest point before jumping. This will help you time your jump correctly and get the most height out of your ollie.

In conclusion, jumping too early or late is a common mistake that can hinder your progress in learning how to ollie. Practice the timing of your jump and use visual cues to help improve your technique. With persistence and determination, you’ll soon be able to execute a perfect ollie every time.

Not Keeping Shoulders Square

Not Keeping Shoulders Square

One of the most common mistakes that beginners make when attempting to ollie is not keeping their shoulders square. This mistake can have a significant impact on your ability to execute the trick properly and can even lead to injury.

When you’re preparing to ollie, it’s important to keep your shoulders parallel to the board. If you turn your shoulders too much in one direction or the other, it will cause your body to twist in the air, making it difficult to land properly.

To avoid this mistake, start by standing on your board with your feet in the correct position – your back foot should be on the tail of the board, and your front foot should be just behind the front trucks. From here, focus on keeping your shoulders straight and aligned with the board.

As you begin to pop the board and jump into the air, keep your gaze fixed on the spot where you want to land. This will help you maintain proper form and prevent your shoulders from twisting.

If you find yourself struggling to keep your shoulders square, try practicing in front of a mirror or filming yourself so you can see where you’re going wrong. It may also be helpful to have a friend or coach watch you and provide feedback.

Remember, keeping your shoulders square is essential for executing a successful ollie, so take the time to practice this fundamental skill and avoid this common mistake.


After going through this beginner’s guide on how to ollie, it is clear that mastering this trick requires a lot of practice, patience, and dedication. The ollie is a fundamental trick in skateboarding and serves as the foundation for many other tricks.

It is important to remember that everyone progresses at their own pace, and what may come easily to one person may take longer for another. Therefore, do not be discouraged if you do not get it right away.

One of the best things about skateboarding is that it is always evolving and there is always something new to learn. Even after mastering the ollie, there are countless variations and combinations that can be done with it.

In conclusion, learning how to ollie is an essential skill for anyone interested in skateboarding. With proper technique, practice, and determination, anyone can master this trick. So put on your skateboard and start practicing!
As you can see, the ollie is a crucial trick to learn if you want to progress as a skateboarder. With the right foot position, technique and practice, you can master this trick and take your skills to the next level. Remember, be patient and don’t get discouraged by mistakes. They are just opportunities to learn and improve. By following the step-by-step instructions and avoiding common mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an ollie master. So grab your skateboard and start practicing!

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