How to Pop and Ollie on Skis and Snowboards

With over five terrain parks that have something for everyone and a long history of progression, there isn’t a better place to begin your journey into riding the terrain park than Mammoth Mountain. It doesn’t matter if you want to learn how to ride like the pros or just want to have fun with your friends in the park, you’ll need to start by mastering the basics.

To help make as much progress as possible as safely as possible, the team at ASO Mammoth has put together a short list of techniques you have to master before you can move on to bigger things. Before we go any further though, we’ll take this moment to remind you of how important it is to ride within your skill limits. While there is always some risk, you should eliminate as much as possible by practicing your techniques and tricks until you’re completely confident in yourself. Never push a trick you aren’t ready for so you can continue to progress all season long!

Terrain Park Essentials for Skiers

Even though some of the techniques are similar, don’t be fooled into thinking that skiing and snowboarding require the same skills. For example, even though you need to pop and ollie for both skiing and snowboarding, the techniques are completely different.

The first thing you’ll want to get down is popping. Popping is the skill you’ll need to get the height required to throw tricks, so this is a great place to start. Popping requires keeping your weight centered under you, bending your knees, and then jumping up. When you’re first learning, especially at slow speeds, don’t put too much effort into the jump as it will throw off your technique. As you practice at faster speeds, the height will come and when you’re comfortable enough popping on flat ground you’ll be able to do it off the lips of drops, bumps, and jumps.

Next thing you’ll want to master is ollieing.  While ollies have a similar goal, the technique is very different. When you ollie on skis, you’ll want to start in the same stance as popping but then shift your weight to the back of your skis and pop from there. Ollies can be used to clear obstacles as they give you more height than a pop and they are especially useful when jumping on top or rails and boxes.

Terrain Park Essentials for Snowboarders

The goal of popping and ollieing are the same on a snowboard, but the techniques are different. For example, popping on a snowboard has the same guidelines as popping on skis. You’ll want to center your weight, bend your knees, and lift up off the ground. Again, don’t focus so much on getting height when you first start. Focus on your technique.

To properly perform an ollie on a snowboard though, you must first get comfortable with moving your hips back and forth while riding. You’re going to be using your tail to pop, so the first step is to ride while putting pressure on your tail by shifting your hips back.

Once you can do that, you’ll be able to pull your front foot off the ground and press your tail. The next step is as simple as popping off your back foot, flattening out your board, and then landing flatly. Like skiing, you’ll want to use popping at the lip of jumps to get height and ollies to get on top of rails and boxes. These skills may seem simple, but they are vital to progressing in the terrain park so take them seriously and stay safe!

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