[Jesse Paul made swivels cool again with this beast at The Loon Project. Video courtesy of Scott Stevens and his wonderful Instagram.]
Last winter Jesse Paul's Jedi rail skills blew our minds. When we saw him rotate a nose press a full 360 degrees and then carry on nose pressing a very large part of our snowboarding brain vanished as we knew we would had just watched the unobtainable, again. So while our mushy brains and bruised egos were taking time out to recover from all that rail jibbery ridiculousness we thought about how many times this has happened before. The rail tricks that we didn't think were possible; all the combos that were put together to make a trick entirely new; all the presses that went that little bit deeper than before; all the transfers that seemed a little too far; and all the fads that have come and gone over the last few years.
In this era of internet based snowboarding it's pretty hard to keep up and long and short term memory has never been a strength of even the most straight edged snowboarder, but for us, these are the ones that we just can't forget when we saw them first. We'll let you be the judge of which ones have stood the test of time, which have never been done again, and which got played out faster than your favourite Michael Jackson vinyl.
Scroll on down to see the tricks, but beware. Your brain might melt too. Don't say we didn't warn you.
Jesse Paul - nosepress 360 swivel nosepress
This was the trick that set this post idea off, so here it is in all it's glory once again.
jed anderson - transworld get real - bS 1 switch nosepress switch bS 1 out
This writer was probably at the peak of his rail game back in 2009 and Jed Anderson was (and still very much is) the go-to guy for pure rail technicality done with so much style it hurts more than a kick in the teeth. The trick in question comes in at around 4:40 but we'll forgive you for watching the rest of this huge part because quite frankly it's insane. Jed has been on one for far too long and still has it. The back one switch nosepress here was a true mind melter, even when seen as a photo sequence, which we spent many an hour gawping at when it was bluetacked to the wall of a room no bigger than your average bathroom shared by four smelly snowboarders. We didn't need any issues of Zoo or Nuts mag back then, just good old Jed and his massive bag of tricks.
Ethan Morgan - frontline rail jam - fs blunt 360 switch up fs blunt to fakie
Forgive us if the names of these tricks seem a little out there, when they've never been done before it's not easy to decide what to call them. This one sent shivers down our spine when we witnessed it go down at the Frontline Rail Jam back at the start of this winter. Skip to 4:30 to see the madness for yourself. We have a feeling that this trick may have been done even cleaner than here but it's proving harder to locate than Ethan's snowboard edges.
LOUIF PARADIS - BS 270 TO FAKIE
Let's face it, anyone who can do backside 360's and has access to a suitable downrail could potentially learn the first part of this trick, but to stop that rotation after 270 degrees, while sliding on metal and then land fakie is something else entirely. That takes some serious bodily awareness and next level board control, which luckily, Louif has in spades as demonstrated in his banger part in Transworld's 2008 full film 'These Days' (jump to 3:09 or watch the whole damn thing). This was the first time anyone had seen this trick and we've no doubt it caused thousands of snowboarders worldwide to completely destroy the rewind button on their TV remotes watching it back to work out how it was actually possible.
Sami Luhtanen - Step up waterfall
Waterfall rails are pretty run of the mill these days for most experienced jibbers, heck most rail parks will have one in some form or another but Sami took the piss with this one, flipping the whole concept on it's head, going full salmon on us, swimming upstream like his life depended on it. Not one, not two, but three ollies to get to the end of this beast and each step up was knee height, not a small ollie when you're 50-50ing up a skinny flat bar.
yawgoons - double jackson
If you've ever had the stones to try a Michael Jackson slide you'll probably have learnt the hard way that they ain't easy! The key to successful rail riding is to avoid edge contact at all costs, the best jibbers out there basically remove their entire edge between the bindings to avoid that fateful metal on metal frictionless death slide scenario, so when the Yawgoons posted this double Jackson slide in their latest video at least two members of the crew spent the best part of a morning researching PVC sheets to see if there was some kind of material trickery going on here. It's just plain madness. Brain melted once again.
some dude - erection plant slide
This one might be the cause of some heated debated but it had to go in because we've never seen anything else like it, done intentionally. And no one said these were all pretty, but it certainly made us WTF?! We've had our fair share of heart in mouth moments when rail tricks have gone wrong or edges have been caught but the fact that this was actually done on purpose is the reason it blew our minds. Why this guy thought it was a good idea will always be beyond us, even if it does make for some fine internet viewing. Some call it the candle stick, some call it the tamedog to headbonk, this writer is calling it the erection plant slide because you gotta be pretty hard to try this one. Nah, but seriously though, erection plants are actually a thing.
Pål Fredrik with the tamedog to headbonk. AKA The Candle Stick.
Posted by Onboard Snowboarding Magazine on Thursday, 28 May 2015
Max Lyons - Cab 180 on Backside 900 Off
SO next level, but at the same time, really quite ugly to watch. This trick epitomises the whole spin-to-win mantra in snowboarding that a lot of people hate. We're not saying that anyone who can't spin more than 720 will mention that at any opportunity given (us included) but it is pretty mental that this is now possible for snowboarders. Granted, a perfectly locked in backlip is way more enjoyable to see, but we've seen thousands over the years. Progression in snowboarding is important otherwise it would be boring, trends and tastes and tricks change over time so you got to accept and embrace the new when you see it. This one blew our minds whether we like to admit it or not. Max Lyons you must have grown up in a NASA training facility to handle those kind of G's... fair play.
jp walker - jibbing a car
Not so much a rail trick but it was groundbreaking nonetheless. The Don, the original jibber, the pioneer, whatever you want to call him, this writer had never even comprehended the possibility of a car being stuck in snow, let alone snowboarding on it when JP dropped this part from Mack Dawg's Simple Pleasures in 1997 - it's at 00:31 here. If there was any snowboarder who changed the game in the jib department, it was probably JP, in fact every single rail trick in this part was peaking on the unheard of scale, so if you're just venturing into the world of rail riding, start with this.
Jason BROWN - TRIPLE PIPE RAIL TRANSFER
People raving about events like the Red Bull Double Pipe need to cool their beans because in Technical Difficulties there was a triple pipe, with rails in between the two decks and Jason Brown killed it (skip to 2:35). Coupled with the fact that those tricks was in the middle of Jeremy Jones part makes it even more wild, because to stand out in the midst of all that high quality jibbery from the man himself is quite a feat, especially when Jones lays into presses deeper than you ever could on a board stiffer than an abandoned old folks home.