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What up shredder?
Have you ever seen those riders that seem to be able to make the whole mountain their park? They can catch air off of anything, and even when you try to hit the same feature, it just doesn’t turn out the same way?
Or maybe you want to learn how to hit small park jumps, or hit a rail from the side.
Maybe you want to learn to butter.
The point is, If you want to do anything cool on your snowboard, you have to learn how to Ollie. It is the foundation for everything else, and you’ll forever be stuck if you don’t learn the proper technique laid out in this video.
And yes, you can learn to ollie, even if it’s your first day riding a snowboard. In fact, regardless of what level you ride, this video might just change your riding forever.
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What is an Ollie?
Now first, let’s address the elephant in the room. What the heck is an “ollie” and why does it have such a weird name?
Well, an ollie is a skateboard trick named afer Allan “Ollie” Gelfland. Yeah, the name ollie is just the nickname of the guy who invented the trick.
On a skateboard, an ollie is required to get off the ground, because unlike a snowboard, a skateboard doesn’t stick to your feet.
The ollie is performed by kicking the board with your back foot, and dragging your front foot up the grip tape, and then pulling your back foot up to bring the rest of the board with you.
Keep in mind that this is the proper form. While much easier on a snowboard, we still want to follow the basic form and timing of an ollie on a skateboard.
It’s going to allow us to use the power of our tail on the snowboard to snap off the ground and the tail will propel us in to the air.
Whether you’re on flat ground, jumping over a sign, hitting a jump, or a street rail, the ollie is the key to making it happen.
When I told my friend I was starting a snowboard course, he told me he’d be my first customer because he wanted to “jump like me.”
What he means is, he sees me flying off everything and anything on the mountain because I know how to pop an ollie.
And after today, you will too.
How to Ollie on a Snowboard
There aren’t many prerequisites for this trick. Just that you have a snowboard, can strap in and get off the lift – you don’t even have to go in the park for this one.
In fact, the best place to start practicing this is at the bottom of the mountain on the flat ground.
To ollie, you want to rock forward just slightly and Apply weight to your front foot, then rock on to your back foot slide the board out in front of you to load the tail, your hips will move back over the tail.
Press down on the back foot to load the tail up your board will spring you in to the air, – when done properly, the board does a lot of the work for you.
When you spring off the tail you want to launch your body straight up in to the air, going from a crouched position, lengthening the body, throwing the arms up in the air, and then pulling your legs up in to your chest as the last piece.
Your legs should come to be bent at a 90 degree angle in the air, so you’re actually leveled out with legs bent at the peak of your airtime like you can see here.
Now, don’t try to go directly to the angle of the landing, which is what a lot of people do, and then eat Sh**.
Even on a hip, i’m going to aim for level first in the air, and then shift for the landing. If you don’t do this, and you stay at the angle of the takeoff, you’re going to land tail heavy.
If you try to adjust to the level of the landing, you’ll lose your balance in the air.
It’s almost like we’re “landing” halfway through the air, in the sky. Shoot for the peak airtime to level out.
You can also keep your hands over the nose and tail in the air to keep your shoulders square so you don’t spin at all. We don’t want to open up our shoulders and spin sideways.
With this whole thing, It helps to think of it as pulling your knees into your chest. Again, you can see this so clearly on a skateboard, kind of like the legs are just sucking up into the chest, but you want to do the same thing on a snowboard.
When we come down to land, we’re going to land just ever so slightly on our tail. Your legs go from a 90 degree angle in your chest to extended down to the ground to land, and then back to bent.
Don’t make the mistake of straightening your legs out too early before landing. This is a common intermediate mistake. You want to keep your knees bent until you’re almost to the ground.
Once we land, we want to land flat based and ride straight out of the ollie. If you have a hard time losing control here, practice riding in a straight line then stopping over and over, and it will help you deal with the speed you have coming out of an ollie.
Snowboard Ollie Mistakes
Now, what usually goes wrong with this trick?
Number 1 is not jumping high enough. To combat this, make sure you’re using your tail to propel you higher in to the air. Again, if you give a little rock on to the nose first, it gives you more momentum to put your bodyweight over the tail.
Now beware that An ollie is NOT the same thing as a “hop” if you’re not using your tail to propel you, you’re not going to go very high. On jumps, the tail should be the last thing to leave the lip.
Next, if you still can’t go high, try dropping your arms, and then throwing them up in the air as you jump like you can see here. This will throw your momentum up in to the air and get you higher off the ollie.
Snowboard Ollie Tips
What can you do this on?
You can do ollies on the flat ground, off rollers, side hits and drops, you can ollie on to a rail or box, over an obstacle or off a jump.
Some variations on this trick include the ollie fronstide and backside 180, and the switch ollie, but really an ollie is present in every snowboard trick.
Another common variation of an ollie is to shifty your board, either frontside, or more commonly, a slight backside ollie with the nose pointing down towards the ground.
Notice that pulling the backfoot up hard is the sign of someone who really knows how to ollie. Most snowboarders who don’t skateboard, don’t pull their back foot up far enough.
Next thing that goes wrong is Hopping/jumping, just don’t do it. I don’t care if you’re on the flat ground or hitting a jump in the park, you should always be olliing.
Don’t hop off a jump or on to a rail which is where both your feet leave the ground at the same time.
It causes you to take off all at once, instead of letting the tail or your board finish taking off, losing the “snap” off the lip which sends you in to the air. Not to mention you’re more likely to catch your nose on a rail or over an obstacle.
Final Notes on this Snowboard Ollie Tutorial
o that’s the ollie, invented on a skateboard, but one of the primary building blocks of almost any snowboard trick. It’s how you turn the entire mountain in to your own personal terrian park, It’s how you go big off jumps, or ollie on to handrail, or just send it over a roller.
Make sure you pop off the tail, let your board do the work for you, throw the hands in the air, suck the knees in to your chest, level out at the height of your airtime, and bend those knees coming down.
If all else fails, practice the ollie on a skateboard and it will make you a 10x better snowboarder just from learning the true timing on this one trick.
Go out there, try the ollie and let us know how it goes.
Until next time…
Peace out shredder