How Do You Slide On A Rail In Snowboarding?

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As a snowboarder, you’ve likely heard the term ‘rail’ thrown around quite a bit – but what exactly is a rail? Well, simply put, a rail in snowboarding is an obstacle that is made up of a long, narrow piece of metal or other material that stands upright and is designed for riders to slide along. Rails come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be found in a variety of terrain parks and other riding environments. In this article, we’ll take a deeper dive into the world of rails in snowboarding, discussing their various types, how to approach them, and more.


What are the different types of rails in snowboarding?

There are a variety of different types of rails in snowboarding, each with their own unique characteristics. Here are a few types you may encounter:

– Down rails: These are rails that slope downhill, typically at a fairly steep angle. Down rails can be challenging, as they require riders to maintain their speed throughout the slide.
– Flat rails: As the name suggests, flat rails do not have any slope to them. These rails often consist of a basic metal or plastic tube, and are a great starting point for new riders.
– Kinked rails: Kinked rails feature multiple angles throughout their length, which can make for a technical and challenging ride. Kinks can range from subtle bends to sharp angles, and can be combined with other rail elements (such as a flat section or a down slope) to create even more complexity.
– S-rails: S-rails feature a gentle ‘S’ shape throughout their length, which can provide riders with a dynamic and varied ride.
– Rainbow rails: These multi-colored rails feature a shape that is similar to that of a rainbow. Rainbow rails can be a fun addition to any terrain park, and can also be found in a variety of colors and finishes.
– Tube rails: These long, narrow rails are often referred to as ‘pipes’, and can be made from a variety of materials. Tube rails require a strong sense of balance, as they often demand that riders maintain their speed and center of gravity throughout the ride.


How do you approach a rail in snowboarding?

Approaching a rail in snowboarding can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to the sport. Here are a few basic tips to keep in mind:

– Speed is key: When approaching a rail, it’s important to have a good amount of speed built up. This will help you maintain momentum throughout the slide, and will give you more control over your ride.
– Stay centered: As you approach the rail, aim to keep your weight centered over your board. This will help you stay in control and maintain balance throughout the slide.
– Keep your eyes up: Avoid looking down at your board or the rail as you approach it. Instead, keep your eyes up and focused on where you want to go.
– Be confident: Confidence is key when it comes to rail riding. It’s important to commit fully to the move, and trust in your abilities.


How do you slide on a rail?

Once you’ve approached the rail and are ready to slide, there are a few techniques to keep in mind. Here are a few tips:

– Bend your knees: As you initiate the slide, aim to keep your knees bent. This will help you maintain balance and control on the rail.
– Keep your board flat: Try to avoid leaning too heavily to one side or the other while on the rail. Instead, keep your board flat and centered.
– Use your edges: As you slide, you may need to use your edges to maintain balance. Pay attention to your body position and adjust accordingly.
– Stay focused: Riding a rail requires focus and concentration. Keep your eyes up, and stay aware of your surroundings at all times.


What are some common mistakes to avoid when riding rails?

Like any snowboarding skill, riding rails comes with its own set of challenges and potential pitfalls. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid:

– Going too slow: As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to have a good amount of speed when approaching a rail. Going too slow can make it difficult to maintain momentum and balance on the rail.
– Being too stiff: Riding a rail requires a good amount of flexibility and agility. Try to avoid being too stiff or rigid as you slide.
– Leaning too far over the rail: While it may seem counterintuitive, leaning too far over the rail can actually cause you to lose your balance. Aim to keep your board flat and centered throughout the slide.
– Failing to commit: It’s important to fully commit to the slide when riding a rail. Hesitation or uncertainty can lead to a loss of control or balance.


What are some tips for practicing rail riding?

If you’re looking to improve your rail riding skills, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

– Start small: Begin with basic, flat rails and work your way up to more complex features.
– Practice your technique: Take the time to work on your form and technique, both on and off the rail.
– Ride with friends: Riding rails with friends can be a helpful way to build confidence and get feedback on your skills.
– Watch videos: Watching videos of other snowboarders riding rails can be a great way to get tips and inspiration.


What gear do you need for rail riding?

To ride rails safely and comfortably, you’ll need a few key pieces of gear. Here are a few items to consider:

– Snowboard: Choose a snowboard that is well-suited for the type of riding you’ll be doing. Look for a board with a flex that matches your style, and consider investing in a board with a base that is designed for rail riding (such as a sintered or extruded base).
– Bindings: Snowboard bindings should be comfortable and secure, and should be adjusted to match your stance and riding style.
– Boots: Snowboard boots vary widely in terms of stiffness and support. Consider the type of riding you’ll be doing when selecting a pair that’s right for you.
– Protective gear: Riding rails can be dangerous, so it’s important to wear protective gear such as a helmet, wrist guards, and knee pads.



In conclusion, riding rails in snowboarding can be a fun and challenging way to test your skills and push your limits. By understanding the different types of rails, practicing your technique, and riding with confidence and focus, you can become a skilled rail rider in no time. Just remember to stay safe, have fun, and always aim to improve your skills. Happy shredding!

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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