The Ollie, is arguably the most widely used snowboard trick and is the essential building block you should have locked in before trying any other snowboard trick. The reason it is so important is because it is used everywhere; in the terrain park, off jumps, when you're free-riding, hitting side hits and even just cruising around the mountain. The more you practice your Ollie's, the better your freestyle riding is going to get.
(Narrating/Riding: Nev Lapwood & Jordan Decker. Filmed At: Whistler Blackcomb)
Start out on a flat area where you can learn the technique of an Ollie. So we're clear, jumping off two feet is not an Ollie. An Ollie is where you use the flex of your board to pop you into the air.
This is how it works:
- Start with a little bit of weight on your front foot
- Slide your board through until your weight is on the tail, at which point the nose of your board is lifting off the snow and you're in a tail press position
- Snap off the tail and bring your feet up evenly
- Absorb the landing with bent knees to ride away smoothly
Now do this all together and a bit quicker and you are Ollie-ing!
A lot of people when starting out Ollie-ing, tend to just pop off the back foot and the tail without the front foot motion. What that does, is it doesn't allow you to generate any pop through the tail and will mean you get little to no air for your Ollie's.
Go to a mellow run where you can try out Ollie-ing while you're riding. Believe it or not, most people actually find it easier to Ollie while riding. Remember, use the exact same technique as you learnt earlier; a little bit of weight on the front foot, slide it to the back foot, pop, both feet up together and landing.
Do this a bunch of times! Practice makes perfect.
As you start taking your Ollie's to your riding, it's important to remember one of the most essential aspects of them, the timing. To challenge your timing, try games like Ollie-ing over:
- A ball of snow
- A stick
- A glove
- A snowboard
- A person
- Or a fence
Games such as these force you to focus on your timing which makes your Ollie's bigger. Plus they're fun!
Another major reason why people cannot get high Ollie's is because they're not shifting the board underneath them much. As you want to get higher, the more you shift your board underneath you, the more flex you will get in the tail of your board and the higher it's gonna pop you off the ground.
Notice how to board is being shifted underneath the rider which allows the board to pop from the flex of the board.
It's An All Mountain Trick
Ollie's can be used all over the mountain which is why they're such a popular trick. But the best places to learn them once you've conquered them on a gentle slope, are the knuckles of jumps. Just make sure no one is hitting the jump next to you.
You'll be surprised how big you can go off a knuckle with a well timed Ollie.
Use the timing skills you have just learnt and Ollie into the downwards transition of the landing. Ollie a couple of feet before the knuckle and land smooth with the tranny, and this will effectively give you the feeling of what it's like when you jump.
Now, take it to an actual park jump. If you Ollie off the lip of a park jump, you're going to get a lot higher than you normally would. Plus it looks a lot better.
Boxes and rails are another place you can add Ollie's. It allows you to hit more features and it looks sick!
Ollie's are one of the most important tricks in snowboarding that add a tonne of fun to not only park riding, but also your free-riding. Because at the end of the day, Ollie's are used all over the mountain, all the time and on everything! Get it dialled now and shred the entire mountain today!
If you've got this dialled, it's time to learn how to hit Fall Line Jumps.
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