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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Skimboarding Tricks: Ollie

How to ollie a skimboard.
In order to ollie, you need to find some deeper water or dig an ollie pit. It should be at least 4 inches deep. As you approach the deeper water, your feet should be about shoulder width with your back foot as far back as you can put it. Your knees should be bent quite a bit, keeping your center of gravity low. Once you get to the deep water, slam down with your back foot and then explode upwards, with your front leg coming off the board first and most of your force being generated by your back leg. Once your back foot is off the board, pull both legs up towards your chest. Flatten out the board with your front foot while it is in the air. As you come down, make sure the board is as flat as possible. When you land absorb the impact with your legs.

Squat down and bend your knees!
It is very important to have your knees bent dramatically when approaching your ollie. The reason for this is because you can only ollie as high as you can jump, and if you don’t bend your knees, you can’t jump very high. Let’s try an experiment. Stand up. Lock your knees straight. Now jump as high as you can, keeping your knees locked…or at least try to jump. If you used some momentum from your arms and have strong calves, you may have gotten off the ground a few inches. Now bend your knees so your hips drop a few inches. Jump as high as you can without bending you knees any further. You probably got a bit higher. Now squat down and jump as high as you can. You can jump much higher when you bend your knees and are able to use your upper leg muscles. When you ollie, make sure you squat down and bend your knees! You can only ollie as high as you can jump.

Keep your center of gravity over the center of the board.
Do not lean back when you push down on the back of the board. This will pop the board out from under you making it impossible for you to land your ollie and ride it out. Keep your body straight up and down. If you were to draw a line straight down from your head, it should hit your board half way in between your front and back foot. If your head gets over, or past, your back foot, you’ve leaned back. Don’t! Press straight down with your back foot.

Speed is crucial.
The faster you are going, the higher you will be able to ollie. Most of your speed is generated in your running approach. Some extra momentum can be gained as you step onto your board. Practice going fast!

Ollie over something.
Having something to ollie over helps with a number of different aspects. First of all, it gives you a goal. It will help you get your timing down. It will also help you hit your ollie pit. Start out small and work your way up.

Use your front foot to level out the board.
Leveling out the board in the air will do two things for you. First, it will increase your overall height. Second, in order for you to ride out your ollie, you need to land with the board flat on the water.

Now it’s time for a quiz. What is wrong with the following ollie attempt?

Yup, you got it.
Knees are not bent enough and leaning too far back.

How to ollie higher.
There are three keys to ollieing higher. Go faster, push down quicker and harder with your back foot, and jump higher. Building strength in your legs will help with all three. You will be able to run faster and get more speed on your skimboard. When you're going faster, it becomes more difficult to push down on the back of the board. Remember, when you push down on the back of the board it needs to be a quick pop with lots of power. Increased leg strength will help with the pop. Finally, as your legs get stronger, you will be able to jump higher.

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