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Physics in Skateboarding: The Ollie
Breaking the trick down

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At the beginning of the ollie all the forces on the skateboarder come together to equal zero. To prepare for the trick the skateboarder bends his knees to give him a lower center of mass allowing for a higher ollie.

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By pushing down hard on the tail of the board and bringing it in contact with the ground, the skateboarder is able to accelerate upward because of the force the ground has on the skateboard. If the force on the tail is not great enough, the skateboard will not accelerate upward.

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At this point the skateboarder slides his front foot up the board to even it out. This is possible because of the sandpaper-like griptape of the board, which has a high coefficient of friction on the rubber bottoms of the skate shoes.