Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Skateboard Ollie

Skateboarding has taken off as a sport over the last decade and the tricks being performed are often incredible. To perfect these tricks skateboarders spend hours practicing and falling over and over again.

Video analysis is the perfect tool to learn how to do skateboard tricks. If you are learning a trick that someone else has already perfected you have the advantage of watching them do the trick and learning from them. You can also get video of yourself performing the trick and compare your technique to theirs.

Another benefit is that it is easy to setup a camera to get the best view for analyzing the video. Because most tricks are done over a defined area and in a specific direction, you can easily setup a camera to get the best field of view and angle to analyze the trick.

One of the more basic skateboarding tricks is the "Ollie" (jump). The Ollie is the basis for most aerial tricks in skateboarding and therefore it is important to learn how to do a great one.

Here is a really good video with a lesson on how to do an ollie. The video of the ollie itself is excellent because the camera is setup well and looking directly at the skateboard and movement and not at an angle.

The video gives a comprehensive description of how its done. We can get some other tips from analyzing the video more closely.
  1. At the beginning of the ollie, the rider applies pressure to the tail of board. He does this to force the front of the board up into the air to start the movement. However if he only applied pressure to the tail he would simply fall off the back of the board. Watch how he also maintains his weight over his front foot so that the front of the board will only move up as he lifts and shifts his front foot.
  2. Coming to the take off, the rider jumps up into the air but notice that he does not use his arms to jump. The idea with an ollie is to stay connected or at least close to your skateboard throughout the trick. If you use your arms to jump, you may jump too high above your board and end up having a long way to fall back onto your skateboard.
  3. The rider in the video also lets us know that to make your ollie higher you "suck your knees up to your chest after you have jumped". This helps you to raise your center of mass and of course the height of your feet and therefore allows the board to lift higher into the air. Your center of mass is the center of all the limbs of your body, and is usually somewhere around your navel. You can move your center of mass by moving limbs. Therefore if you raise your arms you raise your center of mass. If you jump and lift your knees up higher you will also raise your center of mass.
  4. Your center of mass is also important for maintaining your balance when landing the ollie. In the video note how the skaters right arm ends up behind him on the landing while his left arm is in front. He is balancing his center of mass over the center of the skateboard by opposite and equal balance of his arms. This does not mean that you need to have your right arm back and left arm forward when landing your ollie, but you should be aware that you need to balance your weight over the center of the skateboard (both forward and back as well as left and right) so that you do not fall off on landing.
Good luck with learning to do an ollie. You can try practicing your ollie first on grass or softer ground before moving to the cement. Remember to also wear a helmet, all the pros do.

No comments:

More Recommendations