Pop Vs Ollie – Which Is Better When Snowboarding?

XL Jump - Whistler Park Park

Today’s reader question:

When should you pop vs. an ollie? For hitting jumps should I be popping or doing an ollie off the take-off?

So, as mentioned above, there are 2 methods to generate air using your snowboard:

  1. Pop
  2. Ollie

Both methods have their uses, BUT you want to be using the right method for the right features to get the best stability and air. So let’s explain which you want to use and when you want to use them.


What’s a pop and what’s an ollie?

Basically, ollies are done by using the tail of your snowboard as a spring and popping is basically just jumping by pushing evenly off both feet at the same time.

If you want more detailed explanations and how-to’s for both techniques, you can check out my previous blogs on both:

When should I pop?

Popping should be your go-to method anytime you hit any jump type feature. These features include jumps, hips, spines and basically anything using some sort of ramp or slope to launch yourself into the air.

Pushing off with both feet into a nice clean pop allows you to get an even and stable air off the take-off ramp. This is why we use pop instead of an ollie when hitting jumps.

When should I ollie?

Ollies are usually used when you want to get some air while riding on reasonably even/flat surfaces.

So if you’re riding down a cat track or mellow green run and you want to air over a tree (beats me with it’s doing there…) in the middle of the run, you’d be using an ollie to spring yourself over the tree.

You can also use ollies to get some air when riding over mini dips/rolls and bumps on a ski run. If you ollie as you go up the incline of a roller, you’ll get a nice little air.

You can also use ollies to pre-ollie off drops such as cat tracks or on bordercross tracks (How To Pre-Ollie On A Snowboard). This allows you to keep your speed better in certain circumstances.

Ollies can also be used in some advanced spins tricks (such as nollies into spins), but I’m not going to cover that because that’s a very special use of ollies and it’s a advanced trick that 99% of people wouldn’t be doing anyway.

The very basic explanation of pop vs. ollie

Use pop when hitting any jump type features with sloped take-off’s and use ollies when riding on even surfaces like ski runs.

– Jed

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  1. Use ollie with a cambered board (lots of spring capacity 🙂 ), pop with a rocker board (because they lack ollie power :p ). Just kidding 🙂

    You’re right for the jumps, it’s way more stable to use pop. If you have to ollie to make it to the landing, then you’re probably not going fast enough or your board needs some lovin’.
    When jibbing high rail features and you have low speed you’ll use more ollie to go onto them (unless they are ride on).

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