Ollie Problems

Miles Gehm/flickr/CC BY 2.0

Is this you?: "Whatever I do, I cannot ollie. I do what people say, and I try really hard, but I can't even ollie one centimeter into the air."

Ollie problems are extremely common for new skaters. Skateboarding is kind of cruel this way—the ollie is probably the most important skate trick to learn, and it's one of the first tricks skaters try. But it's also one of the toughest! You have to do three different things, all of them at the same moment. It can be tough! So what do you do?

The biggest thing with ollie problems is to stick with it. Don't give up! It can take a long time to learn how to ollie. I myself didn't really learn how to ollie until I had been skating for around a year! And I've talked to many skaters who took even longer. So, if you're comparing yourself to a friend who learned in one day, well, cut it out! It can take a while - learning to ollie is tricky, and some people will get it quickly, while some of us will need to work harder. But everyone can learn how to ollie - so stick with it!

Next, it depends on what's wrong. There are so many pieces and parts that make up the ollie, that a lot can go wrong. Here are some common problems:

Chickenfoot Ollie Problems 

This is where you pop up into the air, but when you land, for some reason one of your feet always seems to land on the ground. Read more about chickenfoot.

Spinning Ollie Problems

When you ollie, you turn in the air, sometimes all the way to the side. This can result in some nasty wipeouts if you're rolling!

Moving Ollie Problems

A lot of skaters have a hard time with ollying while rolling, while other skaters swear it's easier to ollie in motion! I personally think it's harder to ollie while moving - if you are having a hard time, read more about ollying while moving.

Low Ollies Problems

This can happen for a lot of reasons, but the biggest one is that you are not crouching low enough before your ollie, and not pulling your feet high enough after you jump. When you crouch down, try and touch the ground. When you jump, try to hit yourself in the chest with your knees. Both knees. Don’t worry about falling. That will happen sometimes – that’s just part of skateboarding! Read more about low ollies.

Losing Your Board in Midair 

Sometimes skaters lose their boards in mid-air while ollying. If this happens to you, you may be kicking the board away while in the air, or taking your feet off of your board. Try and make sure to keep yourself and your feet above the skateboard.

General Ollie Problems 

There are plenty of other problems that you might have. I recommend using the buddy system! Have someone else watch you ollie, and tell you what they think you might be doing wrong. This can be anyone, really. It can be a buddy who skates, but it can also be a friend who doesn't. It could even be your mom. If the person doesn't skate, then print out our how to ollie instructions and have them read through them first. People can understand how the ollie works, even if they can't do it. Have the person watch you as you practice your ollies, and tell you what they think didn't look right.