Louisa Menke, Real Quick
Setup: Independent trucks, Nomad Lee Smith board (size 7.75), Nomad wheels, Rock Star bearings, Billy's Nuts
Hometown: Hoogeveen, Holland
Sponsors: etnies shoes, Carhartt Clothing, Rock Star bearings, Nomad Skateboards
Riding for: 10 years
Before you can ollie over a gap, you need to be able to pull an ollie on flat ground. If you want to do more than bomb hills or skate to class, the ollie is the first skateboarding maneuver you should nail down--it's the building block of almost every other trick in the book. Basically, ollieing is like jumping with your skateboard attached to your feet. It's a hard trick to learn because it's the first trick you'll usually learn, and you're at the beginner level of skateboarding--you have to really want it. In the beginning it feels like you're not really progressing sometimes, but that's just because you're starting something new. You are progressing! Once you skate for a while and have this move mastered, you'll come to think of the ollie more as a basic trick, and can start doing more with it--like ollieing gaps.
To learn how to ollie, you need to feel comfortable on your skateboard and be able to keep your balance while riding around. Once you're able to land an ollie consistently, you can practice it in different situations: try to ollie over things, onto sidewalks, down or up stairs, onto or off of ledges, or over gaps. By doing this, you're learning how to control it. And once you control your ollie you'll be able to pull it down, up to, or over anything--it's all the same action. Just jump with it as high as you need to, and make sure your body is able to carry the weight. --Louisa
Steps 1-3: From a rolling start, bend your knees low enough that you'll be able to pop up with a lot of energy. Scoot your back foot over the tail of your board, but keep your weight centered (i.e., shoulders and hips lined up straight) and your front foot toward, but not on top of, your front truck.
Step 4: Get ready to smash your tail and pop that ollie.
Steps 5-6: Right before your front wheels hit the beginning of the gap, pop the ollie: push down hard on your tail with your back foot and jump while you slide the outside of your front foot over the grip tape up to the nose to send you and your board forward. Use your arms to add more power to the jump (just like how you use your arms when you jump without a skateboard). Your back leg will totally straighten out when you stomp on your tail, but will suck right back up into a bent position as you cruise through the air. Your front leg remains bent throughout the entire trick.
Step 7: While you're airborne, level out the board with your front foot and put your weight right into the center of your board; this moment is your highest point.
Steps 8-9: Now you're on the down part of the arc. The most important thing here is to keep your balance centered on your board. Spot your landing and prepare for impact.
Steps 10-15: Since when you land you're gonna get a little shock from the pavement, bend your knees just before you hit the ground so you don't absorb all that impact with your spine. Keep your balance centered so you can roll away smoothly.