Wired has run a rad little piece explaining the physics behind an ollie… Wait, don’t go. I swear it is interesting.
They took an ollie from the video above, shot at 1,000 frames per-second (side note – while this may have been shot at 1,000 fps, I don’t believe it’s being played back at that rate. Any film nerds out there agree?) by Adam Shomsky, then used an open source physics video analysis tool called Tracker to take a closer look.
I won’t go into a tonne of detail here, you should hit the full post for it, but take a look at the below gif, it shows the arcs from both sets of wheels and the centre point of the board. You can see it’s not a smooth arc and the article describes this as showing how a board is steered in flight as opposed to something purely gravity driven, like a soccer ball. This adds a lot to the complexity of what the rider is trying to do… So now consider the forces involved in the more complex tricks we’re seeing, and it gets crazy.