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Maximizing Ollie Height by Optimizing Control Strategy and Skateboard Geometry Using Direct Collocation


  • Jan T. Heinen Delft University of Technology
  • Samuel G. Brockie Delft University of Technology
  • Raymund ten Broek Urbansports Performance Centre
  • Eline van der Kruk Delft University of Technology
  • Jason K. Moore Delft University of Technology



skateboarding, friction, impact, optimal control, trajectory optimization, parameter optimization, direct collocation


The ollie is the base aerial human-board maneuver, foundational to most modern skateboarding tricks. We formulate and solve an optimal control problem of a two-dimensional simplified human model and a rigid body skateboard with the objective of maximizing the height of the ollie. Our solution simultaneously discovers realistic human-applied force trajectories and optimal board geometry. We accomplish this with a direct collocation formulation using a null seed initial guess by carefully modeling the discontinuous aspects of board-ground impact and foot-board friction. This leads to efficient and robust solutions that are 10 times more computationally efficient than prior work on similar problems. The solutions show that ollie height can increase 3% by decreasing the wheelbase and that a smaller board with a back-foot dominated force strategy can give 12% higher ollies. Our model can be used to inform jump strategy and the effects of changes to the essential board geometry.


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2023-08-14 — Updated on 2023-12-19


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