The Ollie Challenge: Rebuilding Muscle Memory

If you have read some other post on my blog you know that my main problem is that I can’t really ollie. I can kind of ollie, stationary, or over a very very small twig. Most people learn the ollie pretty quickly, or without major problem. I don’t, it has been a long struggle and it is definitely not finished.

I watched millions of videos on Youtube, tried different trucks, wheels, decks, shoes. Practiced for hours on fake grass, on concrete, hanging to a gate. With different positions, the back foot either in the tail pocket or nearly hanging at the end of the skateboard. Same for the front foot. I tilted my balance in each and every directions. I tried to slide my front foot higher, lower, harder, softer, earlier, later.

And this is one of my best attempt:

An ugly ollie due to bad muscle memoryYeah, I lifted the four wheels, but it’s not really an ollie. My front foot slide is done with the sole of my shoe and so my board doesn’t really level and my back foot keeps hovering it. My back wheels don’t lift high enough to land farther than where the front wheels lifted from (so not really a “jump” as I wouldn’t even be able to ollie over a line). It looks ugly and awkward and as my back foot is not in contact with the board, I don’t have much control and usually land with my feet in wrong places.

Continue reading “The Ollie Challenge: Rebuilding Muscle Memory”

Tips to Overcome the Fear of an Ollie while Moving

Understanding the Fear

As for every fear, in order to overcome it you must find out what is actually scaring you. Obviously what scares us most when skateboarding is falling on the ground, and the pain that comes with it. But what makes you believe that you are going to fall ? Sometime we are not exactly scared about falling but scared about falling going fast because our brain is convinced that the faster you go the more painful the crash.

failed ollie falling skateboard
At this moment I though I was going to die.

It may be true in some case, if you step of your board at full speed you are probably going to fall harder that if you were static. Most of the time the scariest gap for a beginner is going from to performing a trick stationary to performing it rolling. That is perfectly understandable because as you are moving, physics are changing. Your balance will be challenged and the trucks are not going to respond the same way.

Continue reading “Tips to Overcome the Fear of an Ollie while Moving”

The Physics of a Skateboard Trick: Why my Ollies are Garbage ?

Ollie video analysis

Today I spend a good time trying to achieve my main objective: pop a decent ollie, preferably while ridding. I shot some videos with my camera so that I could analyse them at home.

I used Tracker to track and model the trajectory of my front and read wheels and my front and back feet, here are the results :

Continue reading “The Physics of a Skateboard Trick: Why my Ollies are Garbage ?”

Progress on ollies

Today I was supposed to go to the skatepark with a friend, unfortunately it was raining this morning so I didn’t.

But this afternoon, as the rain had stopped, I decided to go the parking near my house and practice my ollies. I had setup my board for pool/snakerun ridding so it was quite high for ollies (at least for a noob like me). Anyway it went well, I have managed to get a few low speed ollies, I guess watching Aaron Kyro videos helped me.

surf rodz TKP and Losenka wheels
Surf Rodz TKP trucks

This is  the setup I used :

  • Diy deck 8.25″
  • Surf Rodz TKP
  • Losenka wheels (I dont usually use them on pool skating, too soft.)
  • Bones Red
  • Khiro hard risers

I know I might sound cheap, using Losenka wheels but even though they are cheap, they are soft enough to use on rough asphalt (78a), really grippy and fast.

Cruiser wheels like that may no be the best wheels for street skating but where I live the asphalt is really rough.

I can’t ollie while ridding, why ?

As you may know, my main problem at the moment is getting my ollie to work while I’m actually moving. I have been able to pop decent height ollies, but only stationary. Every time I try to ollie while moving, even at really low speed, I seem to only be able to do “popless” ollies where the tail doesn’t even hit the ground but the rear wheels still lift just a little. Or I do pop the tail, but my front foot doesn’t slide and I do a rocket ollie and usually fall.

Why is it happening ? I guess there are several reasons :

  • Fear, I’m scared to fall and so I don’t commit completely
  • Foot position, my front foot is more near the front of the deck when I’m ridding than stationary, for balance purpose.
  • Poor technique, I have noticed on some videos that I dont slide the side of my shoe but more the bottom.

How I can solve it ?

Grow some balls and commit ? Yeah, but I need to be sure I’m doing it the right way to feel confident. But I definitely need to practice my ollie more.

So maybe I should practice ollies stationary until I’m sure I have a good technique and then try it rolling ?

If you have or had the same struggle, feel free to comment so I know I’m not alone.