Snowboarding: How to Ollie Off a Jump

snowboarder in distance

Useful Pointers on How to Ollie Off a Jump
by Alex Rider

Everyone who snowboards, at some time or another, will want to
make some progress with their riding skills. No progression tends to mean no fun, what's the point in simply doing the same old same old every day eh! It's got to get boring doing that.

With increased riding diversity comes a healthy dose of difficulty. Jumps look exciting and are a great way to improve your snowboarding. If done properly you may impress, the trick will also look stylish, in you own particular way of course!

A great place to start is with an 'ollie' off a jump. This is a non-rotational straight-line it type of jump. Follow the advice below to lean how it works:

When contemplating this jump remember to snowboard past the jump in question a few times to see what shape it is, e.g. a flat wedge of snow, or does it have more of a semicircular increasing gradient for take-off. If a beginner flatter jumps are probably easier since they involve less counteracting movements of the body as you move over them.

Ideally the landing should involve a gradient of sorts inversely equal to that of the take-off. Ensure that when you do start sessioning the jump that your speed is not too high that you fly off it out of control. On small jumps with this trick too slow is better than too fast. As with all freestyle tricks, gradual progression is the name of the game.

Make sure no-one else is about to use or positioned in the landing area of the kicker. Approach the jump dead on down the hill, controlling your speed now and then with sharp sideways movements. Next thing you'll know you are moving onto the jump.

Approach the point of lift-off with your legs bent hard, your centre of gravity really low and as close to the centre of your stance as possible. This is a very stable position, the stability continuing into the air part of this maneuver. For the whole ride along the ground up to the kicker you should try to keep the board in a straight line and flat on the ground, this will make your next set of movements easier,
your airborne actions not veering off the desired axis.

When your board is close to the end of the jump try and ollie off the
last meter or so of it. To ollie you need to crouch a little further, move your weight slightly towards the back of the board, then lift your front leg and spring up off the tail. The degree to which your board's tail is bending before the pressure is released determines the height you'll get off the kicker.

If the board has remained nice and flat of the ground until lift-off you should now be whizzing through the atmosphere in total control. On the other hand, any slight deviation on the take-off will be being felt now and a phenomenon known as 'winding down the windows' (stabilizing your body with arm movements) may be your best bet to reverse the errors. As you glide through the air remember to keep your legs reasonably bent, out stretching them slightly alongside any hand movements to increase stability.

At this point your focus should be on finding the landing spot ahead of you. Keep your arms low and your legs bent.

Aim to land with both feet hitting the ground at the same time, evenly distributing your body weight so that there is less chance the board will slide out from underneath. Legs should be partially bent and slightly tensed, ready for the impact. As you land feel free to absorb everything, your knees bending heavily. Once safely on the check out what lies ahead.

So there you have it a great basic jump to learn, master and eventually move on to other more ridiculous tricks from. Happy days.

Copyright 2006 Alex Rider. Knowledge is power with many things, e.g. snowboarding. If you want to avoid snowboarding injuries.

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