Ollies are an efficient and effective way to get into the air on your snowboard and are one of the building blocks to freestyle progression. By shifting your weight over the tail of the board you can store energy in the board and spring into the air. This allows you to jump higher and further than just jumping off both feet.
1. On flat terrain, practice flexing your ankles, knees, and hips to drop towards the snowboard while keeping your shoulders parallel to the snow. As you reach the bottom of this flexing movement, begin shifting your hips towards the tail of the snowboard by flexing your rear knee slightly more than your front knee. As your hips move towards the tail you should feel more of your weight over your back foot, this is your cue to begin pulling up on your front foot while extending your rear leg. Extending the rear leg loads the pressure into the tail of the snowboard, and you’ll feel the board pop you into the air.
2. As the board pops you into the air, pull your knees up towards your center of mass – bringing the board further off the snow. You can then extend your legs to land with both feet simultaneously, flexing to absorb the landing. Really focus on maintaining a parallel relationship between your shoulders and the terrain. This is the time to dial in the two-footed landing. If you’re landing on the nose, you’re jumping too hard off the back foot and dipping your lead shoulder down towards the snow. If you’re landing on the back foot, your weight is too far over the tail at takeoff and you’re not getting the snowboard to level out in the air.
3. Once you’ve got the movement dialed, you’re ready to try it with some movement. Find a gentle downhill slope that allows you to ride straight down the hill without picking up too much speed. While sliding down the hill, begin just shifting towards the tail and pulling the nose off the snow. This gives you the initial feel of the flexion movement and how it stores energy in the tail, without worrying about the pop just yet.
4. When you’re comfortable flexing towards the tail and storing energy in the board, you’re ready to pop into the air. Just like you did in the flats, shift towards the tail and pop into the air. Keep those shoulders parallel with the terrain and as you pop pull the board into the air. Extend your legs to catch the landing, flex to absorb, and ride away!
5. Experiment with your Ollies by timing them off bumps, rollers, cat-tracks, and other terrain.
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