Learning how to do an ollie on a snowboard is a great feeling – that first time you leave the ground and manage a landing is awesome.
Appreciate the Feeling and the Sound
If you like to listen to music while you ride I suggest turning the sounds off for a moment when you learn to ollie – not to help you concentrate (though it might do that to) but simply because it sounds cool!
The first time I learned to ollie one of the things I remember is how it sounded.
This may sound strange but hear me out!
You’re riding along the slope and you’re hearing the sound of your board as it caresses the snow. As you perform your ollie everything goes silent, for just a moment, before the sound starts up again as you land. Listen out for it as you ollie it’s a cool sound (well I thought so anyway :-))
Anyway let’s get onto the step by step technique for performing an Ollie
Step by Step Process for Doing an Ollie on a Snowboard
Before you start make sure you find yourself a gentle slope or a gentle part of a slope. You don’t want to be going a million miles an hour when learning this for the first time.
Also make sure to be on a reasonably un-crowded slope or part of the slope – for your own confidence and for the safety of others.
- Get up a bit of speed but not too much, then crouch down by bending at the knees and shift your weight onto your back leg. This will build up the energy (like pulling back a spring) for the ollie.
- Try to keep looking straight ahead as you do this – the tendency will be to look at your board.
- Keeping your weight on the back foot, lift the nose off the ground and spring up off the tail.
- Whilst you are airborne shift your weight so that your weight is centred over the board and the board is level. Raise your knees towards your chest as you do this. Raising your knees helps to keep you compact and balanced and should give you a bit more hang time.
- Straighten your knees slightly before impact (but they should still be slightly bent) and land on both feet. Once you are comfortable landing on both feet you can try landing nose first then settling back in.
- You should land with slightly bent knees and bend your knees some more on impact to absorb the landing. Once you feel stable again you can stand up into your regular snowboarding stance.
Here’s a great video to give you visual representation and more instruction
Step 5 is to keep practising until you feel comfortable. The ollie is a great way to learn how to be comfortable airborne and to practice good landing technique – and is just super useful for a number of other things including but not limited to:
- Jumping obstacles such as rocks and roots
- Getting extra air off jumps
- Performing other ground tricks such as 180s off the ground
The better you can get at the basic ollie the easier it will be transition into some more complex tricks later.
Over to You…
O.k. so now it’s time to get out there and practice. If you would like to learn some other foundation tricks check out the link below for manuals, butters and 180s. I would suggest mastering one trick first before moving onto the next one.
Note: I am not in any way a certified snowboard instructor and for best, fastest and safest results you should get lessons from a certified instructor.