A Beginners Guide to Eating Shit on Rails - Onboard Magazine

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A Beginners Guide to Eating Shit on Rails

A while back, we thoughtfully penned a totally serious beginners guide to ragdolling in powder, which at least a few of you seemed to find informative and useful.

Well, we thought we’d go ahead and follow it up with a similar guide at the opposite end of snowboarding’s spectrum – eating shit on rails.

Everyone knows that actually landing rail tricks is overrated, and that it’s way more entertaining ending up in a heap of limbs at the bottom of the feature than riding away clean. Follow the simple steps below and you’ll be eating shit on rails like a pro…

Use a really long, stiff camber board

First off, you’re going to want to pick the longest, stiffest board you can get your hands on. A carbon-infused Xavier de le Rue big mountain number or a swallow tail will do the job just fine. The extra length will make your board nice and weighty and will also maximise your chances of catching your nose like a boss.

Sharpen Your Edges

Make sure your edges are tuned and sharp enough to decapitate a buffalo. A great way to test their sharpness is to lightly run your fingernail across at random points along the edge. If it leaves a mark, or even better, draws blood, you’re all set.

Hit street rails in cities with 2cm of snow coverage or less

If you’re going to be manufacturing the Hiroshima bomb of all slams, it’s important that you remove anything that could make it softer or more cushty for you in any way. It goes without saying that the steps will be shoveled out and the surrounding area should be as snow free as possible. A light dusting over straight-up concrete is what you should be looking for.

Look for the sketchiest looking feature

Perfectly smooth downrails are for pussys, and drastically reduce your chances of sticking a solid slam. Scope out the sketchiest possible rail in your area: the rusty one in that back alley that’s been skate stopped and almost precision manufactured as the snowboard equivalent of that freaky chick from ‘The Ring’ that crawls out the TV will do just fine.

5. Stretch Climb onto your drop-in ramp/prepare for the bungee whip and get a couple of good stretches in. You’re joints are gonna be bending in ways they weren’t designed to bend in fairly shortly, so you’ll need the extra flexibility.

6. When you’re set, drop in and pick one of the following 12 slam types, arranged, for your convenience, in increasing pain level:

Slam Type 1: The Sticky Box / Not-So-Slippery-Pole

This slam is a great one to warm up with at the start of the day. Take a run through the park to scope out the features and keep an eye out for dry looking boxes or rails.

Rails with fresh coats of paint are good ones to look out for. Using a board that has never seen a drop of wax and jumping straight into a nosepress provide the best chances of sticking and going over the handlebars.

The slam we’ve included here isn’t in the park, but you get the picture.

Pain level: 2

Slam Type 2: The Overachiever (Board Breaker)

The overachiever takes the ‘more is more’ approach and considers gigantic pop his friend at all times.

Big gaps onto rails are the perfect opportunity for a solid slam and the more you do them, the weaker your board will become so that eventually, you too can achieve snapped-board status like Vincent Grandmaison here.

Pain level: 3

Slam Type 3: Ribbed For Your Pain

Ribbed gas pipes are the perfect feature for eating shit on, with every perfectly formed plastic or metal nodule crafted for edge catching.

Simply apply a fraction of toe or heel pressure or slide at an angle anything less than straight or 90 degrees and you’re away. It’s so simple it should be banned.

Pain level: 3

Slam Type 4: Closed Out

Slamming is pretty damn straight forward when it comes to close-out rails.

Take a bunch of speed, come off inside the closeout and let the magic happen. Your body certainly won’t thank you, but the footage will be gold.

Pain level: 3

Slam Type 5: The Forward Lean

This one’s also incredibly straight forward: lean too far forward while sliding forwards down your chosen rail, catch your edge and savour the taste of snow, dirt, stairs, or if you’re extra lucky: the cold, salty taste of sweet, sweet steel.

Pain level: 3.5

Slam Type 6: The Backward Lean

Another one to master before stepping up to the big boys. The opposite of the forward lean involves leaning backwards while sliding back-first down the rail so that you catch your heel edge and go over backwards.

Pain level: 4

Slam Type 7: The Underachiever (Dead Man’s Click)

It’s all about ‘less is more’ for the underachiever. Barely pop at all for the chosen rail and end up either tacoing or faceplanting something royal.

Listen out for the notorious ‘dead man’s click’ and you’ll know you’re on to the right track. The one we’ve included here is as textbook as they come.

Pain level: 4

Slam Type 8: The Full Retard

“You filming? OK, I’m gonna SEND this one!”

This one’s best left for the stuntmen. Conjure up as much speed as you possibly can, hit your chosen feature and fly like an eagle.

A guaranteed head turner in the park.

Pain level: 4

Slam Type 9: The Premature Spinner

Spinning early before popping is a recipe for an incredible slam. Take this guy for example.

Premature spin, with additional bonus points for taking it to the face like a champ.

Pain level: 4.5

Slam Type 10: Taco / Reverse Taco

Impress your onlookers by turning an otherwise dull and lifeless trick into a truly slam section-worthy slam.

Slip out on a trick or catch your nose so bad that your feet shoot out from underneath you propelling you into a horizontal position, before reverse tacoing the rail like a boss. An advanced manoeuvre for sure.

Pain level: 4.5

Slam Type 11: Hook, Line and Sinker

Another cracking one to fool spectators with. It may look like you’re riding away from an early come-off but when they least expect it; you catch your nose on the handrail support and go down like a sack of potatoes.

WALLOP, bet they didn’t see that one coming.

Pain level: 4.5

Slam Type 12: Stair Massage

What this slam lacks in grandeur it makes up for in tooth-from-concrete plucking pain.

An extension of the hook line and sinker, it involves carrying some forward momentum from your otherwise stationary stair slam and travelling a short distance down the stairs (via face) before coming to rest.

Pain level: 5

Slam Type 13: The Shish Kebab

The Shish Kebab requires a certain type of rail to perform successfully. Look out for thin, unsturdy, exposed metal rails or rotten wood ones that are more likely than others to break on you while you ride on them.

If serious injury/death isn’t on your slam agenda, we recommend you think twice before trying this one. Shit can get nasty, like Fred Perry’s slam in Vierli here. Watch the full RK 1 edit here, it’s a fucking banger.

Pain level: Up to 10


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