For beginner skateboarders, ramps are a scary subject. These seemingly huge and incredible obstacles are, what beginners often avoid because they’re afraid of it. I used to be the same, the lack of a pleasant local skatepark made me a street only skateboarder. This resulted in me, even after 10 years of skateboarding, and having a proper board-control developed, still losing my mind over these ramps. The following guidance is for beginners, who have never skated a kicker or a jumpramp.
First, you want to find the right obstacle, don’t try to skate a ramp of which the appearance alone gives you goosebumps. A kicker about the height of your knees should be fine to start out. Make sure to start out with a kicker, and not a jumpramp. Since they genuinely launch you into the air. More than you’re willing to expect.
Once you’ve found a ramp, that is ready to be abused, you should start to figure out, how much speed you need to clear it. The best way of doing so is to accelerate to an extent, where it feels like it’s a bit more than necessary. You should approach the kicker, like a curb, just lift up your front wheels. You’ll be astonished, how relaxed and joyful it is, to drop off there. Once you feel comfortable doing that, it’s time for the next step.
Lastly, you need to learn how to ollie off of it. The most important thing is the right combination of timing and speed. The acceleration should stay the same as the one you’re accustomed to from the previous step. The trickiest part is finding the sweet spot to ollie off of it. The best advice I can give here is the following; As soon as you see your nose reach the edge of the ramp, start to ollie. Your shoulders should also go with the kicker. Always keep them parallel to the surface you are currently on. That also means that you have to level your shoulders out to the flat as you ollie, though that should come naturally.