The ollie is a skateboarding trick where the rider and board leap into the air without the use of the rider's hands. Particularly on flat ground, it is not intuitively obvious how the liftoff is achieved, making the trick visually striking.
The ollie is a fundamental trick in street skateboarding, and is used to leap onto, over, or off obstacles, or over gaps of unfriendly terrain such as grass or stairs. As so many other tricks depend on it - for example the kickflip and heelflip - the ollie is often the first trick to be learned by a new skateboarder. The ollie typically takes considerable practice to learn.
In 1976, Alan Gelfand, nicknamed "Ollie", while skateboarding in pools and bowls learned to perform no-handed aerials using a gentle raising of the nose and scooping motion to keep the board with the feet.
In 1982, while competing in the Rusty Harris contest in Whittier, California, Rodney Mullen debuted an ollie on flat ground, which he had adapted from Gelfand's vertical version by combing the motions of some of his existing tricks. Notably, Mullen used a "see-saw" motion, striking the tail of the board on the ground to lift the nose, and using the front foot to level the board in mid-air. While Mullen was not initially impressed with his flat ground ollie, and did not formally name it, he realized it opened up a second, elevated plane on which to perform tricks.
Mullen's flat ground ollie is now considered to have transformed the practice of skateboarding. Rodney won the Rusty Harris con prop test, was afterwards asked by many riders to demonstrate the trick, and later in the year it would appear with the name "Ollie-pop" as a "trick tip" in the skateboarding magazine Thrasher.
The flat ground ollie technique is strongly associated with street skateboarding; mini ramp and vert riders can also use this technique to gain air and horizontal distance from the coping, but half-pipe riders typically rely more on the board's upward momentum to keep it with the rider, more similar to Gelfand's original technique.
 Execution of the flatground ollie
The rider begins the ollie by crouching and jumping directly upward. As the rider begins to leap, instead of lifting the feet from the board, he/she "pops" the tail by striking it against the ground, which raises board nose-first. Maintaining contact with the board, the rider lifts the front leg and bends the front ankle so that the outer or top side of the shoe slides towards the nose of the board. The friction between the shoe and the board's grip tape helps to guide and pull the board upward, while the rear foot only maintains slight contact with board to help guide it. When nearing the peak of the jump, the rider lifts the rear leg and pushes the front foot forward, which levels the board and keeps it in contact with the back foot.
The skater can gain greater clearance from the ground by jumping higher, popping faster, sliding the front foot farther forwards (starting the jump with the front foot farther back), and pulling the legs higher into the chest to raise the feet higher. Skaters attempting record-setting ollies even contort the legs so that board and feet are not directly below them, allowing the board to rise at or just below the level of the pelvis.
Very low ollies can be achieved using the same technique, but without the tail making contact with the ground. Even basic flip tricks can be achieved without the "pop" of the tail.
The highest official flat ground ollies are generally performed in ollie contests.
- The highest preferred stance ollie was 45.00 inches (114.3 cm) from the ground, performed by Aldrin Garcia.
- The highest switch stance ollie was 40.125 inches (101.92 cm), performed by Gavin Caperton.
The most common variation of the ollie is the nollie (short for "nose ollie"), where the rider reverses the roles of the two legs so that the front foot pops the nose to the ground, and the rear foot lifts and guides the tail.
The switch stance ollie uses a similar body motion, but the nollie is subtly distinct: For one, the rider is always moving forward, with the body positioned in a nollie stance--closer to the nose and with the front foot on the nose. Secondly the rider usually postures the body differently to compensate for this stance with respect to the forward motion.
 Other variations
- Switch Ollie, an Ollie performed like a Nollie but riding in the opposite direction (Switch Stance).
- Fakie Ollie, an Ollie done while riding backwards
- The Chinese Ollie - executed without "popping" the board, instead the skateboarder uses cracks in the sidewalk, by "bouncing" off them, to get air-time.
- Ollie 180, an Ollie where the skateboarder and the skateboard spins 180 degrees after leaving the ground. Both the skateboarder and the skateboard rotate in the same direction (Frontside or Backside) with the skateboarders feet sticking to the skateboard. This trick is usually referred to as a frontside or backside 180, or less frequently and more popular with older skateboarders and/or when performed on a bank/quarterpipe, a frontside / backside ollie
- Nollie 180, just like the Ollie 180 but done from a Nollie.
- Half-Cab, just like the Ollie 180 but done in fakie. If rotated 360 degrees the trick is called a Full-Cab or Caballerial, named after Steve Caballero who invented the trick. Cab and half-cab spins only include fakie backside. A fakie frontside 180 is not a half-cab.
- Switch Ollie 180, just like the Ollie 180 but done from a Switch Ollie.
- Ollie 360, is a full 360 rotation of the body and board together in one motion, whether front-side or back-side can be attained from this variation.
- Ollie North, an Ollie where the front foot is kicked forward over the nose of the board.
- Ollie South, an Ollie where the back foot is boned straight down (after popping the board) while the front foot levels out the board, and then the back foot is brought back up to catch the tail of the board to stop the momentum of the tail from rising too high above the nose of the board.
- Boned Ollie, an ollie where the board is dipped down and the legs are practically horizontal, like a "Melon Grab" but without the skateboarder actually grabbing the skateboard.
- Ghost Ollie, an ollie where the skateboarders feet are above the board but the board and the skateboarder are still in air.
- Pop-Shuvit, is an Ollie variation with the snap of the tail rotating the board 180 or 360 beneath the rider and catching it in mid-air. A Pressure-flip has a similar aspect from this trick, but only by applying pressure back-toe inward while jumping, will the rider make a rotation and inward flip successful.
- Excerpt from Mutt: How to Skateboard and not Kill Yourself by Rodney Mullen, Sean Mortimer
- Glossary of skateboard terms, about.com rodney muulen invented the street ollie
- "Maloof High Ollie Finals. Posted: February 16, 2011.".
- "ollie". Retrieved 2007-10-20.
- Guinness Book of World Records 2009
- Ollie defined, video tutorial, and tricks to help
- Ollie Video
- How to Ollie tutorial with pictures
- Ollie Trick Tip with video
- How to Ollie - A wiki article from wikiHow
- Learn How To Ollie Today