The fundamental freestyle maneuver is the Ollie; a good Ollie is absolutely essential for any trick. The Ollie is not a hop, as is commonly thought, but a technique which amplifies the power of the legs by exploiting the natural flex of the snowboard. A snowboard is essentially a flat, wooden spring with edges and a low friction base material; the wood core has elastic properties and can store and release energy which can be used in a variety of ways. Ollieing is one of them.
To Ollie, one must pressure the tail of the snowboard while lifting the nose upward and then jump. Executing an Ollie properly requires timing and coordination and though it sounds (and looks) simple, it is actually a complex series of motions that takes years to perfect.
The Ollie was developed and named after Alan "Ollie" Gelfand, a skateboarder who first invented the move in 1977 at a skate park in Hollywood, Florida. The trick has been influential to bank, vert. freestyle and street skating.
Obtain air without a jump by first lifting the front foot then lifting the rear foot as you spring off of the tail.