How to ollie with Tony Hawk

This is a story about how anything is possible. How you can make your wildest dreams come true. How you, a cowardly writer from Scranton, Pennsylvania, can learn how to ollie on a real-life skateboard. All it takes is patience, determination, and the most famous skateboarder of all time, Tony Hawk. To begin your ollie, pitch every editor you ever work with the story: Eventually, after a few years of rejection, one will say yes. Then ask Tony Hawk if he’ll teach you how to ollie. He’ll say yes pretty much right away. Next, get your editor to fly you out to Vista, California where you’ll get a skateboard, helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads. Feel yourself begin to transform. After meeting Tony Hawk, break it to him that you’ve never skateboarded before and that his task today is to teach you how to ollie in one hour. TONY: “If you’re going to learn how to ollie, I’m going to tighten these trucks a little bit, okay?” KELLY: “Okay.” “Thank you.” “Do you think you’ll be able to teach me?” you’ll ask. He’ll say: TONY: “Oh, no pressure. Yeah, I’m going to do that. That’s what’s going to happen.” But it’ll feel much more like he is saying the opposite. First, Tony Hawk will have you attempt to skate in a line. TONY: “Here’s how we start.” “You want to figure out what stance you are, and that means which foot is forward.” KELLY: “It feels like this one.” TONY: “Okay, you’re goofy-footed like me. That’s good.” KELLY: “Oh. Great. Just like Tony Hawk.” Then, Tony Hawk will have you attempt to do a kick turn. For this, Tony Hawk will push you into the ramp as if you are a baby, and you will attempt to maneuver your body and the board so that you might turn and keep on skating. You won’t be able to do it, even though it seems like it should be very simple, and you will fall. Eventually, you’ll do it halfway, and you’ll decide that that’s good enough. Tony will be disappointed. Then you’ll be ready to attempt an ollie. TONY: “The concept, the physics behind an ollie is basically snapping the board” “using your back foot so that you get it almost vertically in the air —” “you know, not quite, but close —” “and then your front foot slides forward right as it snaps, and that levels it out.” “And that brings it up to both feet.” You’ll watch Tony Hawk do it, and it will hit you now more than ever that what you’ve essentially signed up for is the opportunity to embarrass yourself in front of Tony Hawk and, later, the entire internet. TONY: “And that motion seems super easy — it’s real subtle — but it’s all in the timing.” Tony Hawk will tell you to stomp down on the tail and then lift your other foot up. You will try this many times, held back only by fear, and eventually you will improve… very slightly. Tony Hawk will be incredibly encouraging throughout the experience. TONY: “Oh, you’re right there.” “Ah!” At some point, he’ll claim that you’ve done a small ollie. TONY: “Yes!” “I’m not kidding. That was an ollie.” KELLY: “Really?” TONY: “That’s what I’ve been trying to get you to do the whole time.” Although you will not feel like you’ve done it, you’ll eventually decide to believe him because you’re tired and you can tell that this is probably the best you’re going to be able to do. Actually, can we look at that shot? Like, in slow motion? Oh my god! I did it. I did an ollie, and it was perfect. And it was a 10 out of 10. TONY: “10 out of 10 for effort, for sure.” Finally, Tony Hawk will ask you if you want to slide down the vert ramp on your butt. The idea will scare you, but he’ll hold onto your hands until you get past the vert part at which point, he promises, it’s essentially just a slide. TONY: “We’ll go 1-2-3-drop, okay?”
KELLY: “Okay.” You’ll feel like you’re a child, specifically one of Tony Hawk’s children, and it will feel extremely good. And that’s it! Now you’re ready to ollie with Tony Hawk. KELLY: “This is Tony Hawk. He just taught me how to ollie, and I was perfect at it.” TONY: “Yeah.” “Yes.”

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