Read this and then smash some sets

          There is a right way to ollie down stairs on a skateboard, and a wrong way. When you learn how to skate through trial and error, you usually learn the right way, but not without several cuts and bruises to go with your newfound skill. This is why it is important to learn the concept behind smashing sets before you go take on the el toro 20 for yourself. 

           First off, if you cannot ollie down a good size loading dock, you are not ready for stair sets. Also, you are going to make sure you can ollie at least a foot high or so, and clear gaps around four feet long with ease. If you have checked off these prerequisites, and are prepared for some gnar, keep reading.

            The single hardest part of stair ollieng is commitment. This is why you often see skaters roll up to a gap and stop, cursing wildly and maybe even throwing their board. You must commit to the ollie and leave the ground. This is step one of two. The second step is actually committing to landing the trick. Hucking yourself down a set is mentally difficult because your brain will tell you not too with all its might, and landing the ollie itself requires physical skill and practice. Above all, the best way to commit your trick is to remember that past a certain point, bailing out will hurt much more than sticking a steezy landing. Keep repeating this to yourself as you visualize your ollie and you are likely to give it your all. If you still cant seem to commit, try simply pushing at the set at a speed too fast to stop. By doing this you can actually scare yourself into landing a trick, and believe it or not, speed often equals control in skateboarding.

           Friends are also a must when ollieng stairs.  They are the ones who will film you. They are the ones who will cheer for you and motivate you, and shove you into the back of a station wagon if you break your ankle.  Seriously though, skating is no fun without friends.

            Now it is time to discuss the actual act. The stairs you choose will play a big role in whether you are destined for success. Start with a three stair. Choose one with a good long run-up, which is the flat ground leading up to the set. Make sure the landing and run-up are smooth (no pebbles) and do not slope up or down, which will throw your balance off. Roll up to the edge a couple times and picture your ollie. This is important because visualization is proven to help endeavors such as this.     

           Now comes the pre-mentioned wall of commitment, because your going to have to reconcile yourself to actually trying this. Roll up to the three set with a good 2 or 3 pushes and pretend you are simply ollieng off a curb, and keep your shoulders over your bolts. It does not take a very high ollie to clear three stairs, so with any luck, you’ll have just nailed your first set!