Skateboard Legends: Who Invented the Skateboard Ollie?

Join our skateboarding journey as we unveil the fascinating history of the ollie trick. Discover the pioneers behind this iconic move and the evolution of skateboarding.

who invented the skateboard ollie

Hey there, fellow skate enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving headfirst into the exciting world of skateboarding history. Our quest: to unravel the mystery of the legendary trick known as the “ollie” and, more importantly, to answer the burning question – who invented the skateboard ollie?

Understanding the Ollie

Before we embark on our journey to identify the ollie’s creator, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what an ollie is.

The ollie is arguably the most fundamental trick in skateboarding. It’s the move that allows skateboarders to leap into the air, clearing obstacles, and bringing style to their rides. Without the ollie, modern skateboarding as we know it would be fundamentally different.

The Pioneers of the Ollie

Skateboarding, as we know it, didn’t start with ollies and kickflips. It was a sport born out of creativity and a desire to push boundaries. The early days of skateboarding were characterized by freestyle tricks, cruising, and carving.

But as skateboarding evolved, so did the tricks. The ollie is no exception. The origins of the ollie are somewhat shrouded in mystery, with multiple skaters from the 1970s claiming to have invented it.

Rodney Mullen: The Ollie’s Evolution

One name that inevitably comes up in discussions about the ollie is Rodney Mullen. If you’re a skateboard enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of him. Rodney Mullen is often credited with revolutionizing the ollie and its variations.

Mullen introduced the concept of flatground ollies, where the skater pops the tail of the board on a flat surface and brings it up to their feet. This innovative approach opened up a world of possibilities for skateboarders, leading to the ollie becoming a foundational trick in street skateboarding.

Alan “Ollie” Gelfand: The Ollie’s Namesake

Now, let’s talk about Alan Gelfand, the man whose nickname eventually became synonymous with the ollie itself. Alan “Ollie” Gelfand is known for his contributions to skateboarding in the late 1970s.

Gelfand is often credited with popularizing the move that he would later be named after. His approach involved grabbing the skateboard’s rails while launching into the air, a technique that was distinct from Mullen’s flatground ollie.

The Ongoing Debate

So, who invented the skateboard ollie? The truth is, it’s challenging to pinpoint a single inventor. Skateboarding’s history is filled with creative minds who contributed to the evolution of tricks like the ollie.

Multiple claims and testimonies exist, each with its own perspective on how the ollie came to be. While Rodney Mullen and Alan Gelfand are prominent figures associated with the ollie, it’s important to recognize that skateboarding’s progression is a collective effort.


In the end, the mystery of who invented the skateboard ollie is part of what makes skateboarding so fascinating. It’s a reminder of the sport’s organic and creative roots, where innovation can come from unexpected places.

As skateboarders, we celebrate the legacy of those who pushed the boundaries, whether they’re named inventors or not. The ollie’s origin may remain a subject of debate, but its impact on skateboarding is undeniable. It’s a reminder that in skateboarding, as in life, it’s not always about who did it first – it’s about the ride, the journey, and the collective love for the sport. So, keep shredding, keep pushing, and keep the ollie spirit alive!

Leave a Comment