This Snowboard Trick Guide is designed to teach you all about snowboard tricks on rails and boxes in the park.
It looks really confusing with all the weird names and terminology but in reality it’s quite simple once you learn the basic building blocks. If you are a skateboarder then you will notice a lot of similarities as many of the names come from skating.
We are going to go through all the tricks you can do on a rail or box but instead of explaining each and every trick(that would be a very long read!) we are going to teach you how they are named so you can work it out easily. I will refer to the features as Rails but they all work on any sliding feature. All these tricks work the same if you are regular or goofy, if you do any of them switch(opposite to natural way) then just put ‘Switch’ in front of the name for extra points.
Check out our Feature Guide to explain all about these features.
Getting on to a Rail
There are three ways of getting onto a rail:
Most beginner parks and features have what we call Ride on rails. This is where the feature has a kicker built onto it so that you can ride straight onto it without doing an Ollie or Jumping. They are the easiest to get started on so that you can get used to the feeling of sliding along a rail without the added difficulty of jumping onto it.
As you get comfortable with sliding on rails you will naturally want to progress to Side on rails. These rails have a small kicker built on the side of them to jump up onto the rail from the side. These are more like street get ons that come from skating, they look daunting but once you give them a go they are not as hard as they look.
Hitting a rail frontside means that you are jumping onto the feature from the side with the rail in front of you(on your toeside). Approach the rail at a slight angle so that you can see it in front of you and Ollie up onto the rail.
Hitting a rail backside is the opposite to frontside. You are jumping onto the feature with the rail behind you(on your heelside). Approach the rail at a slight angle aiming for the rail behind you and Ollie onto the rail. Because it it harder to see the rail, most people would learn frontside first.
On the Rail
Now that you’re jumping up onto the rail there are many different ways you can land on it that defines each snowboard trick. We will talk about each of the positions you can slide in now.
The 50-50 is the most basic snowboard rail trick. You stay in line with the rail sliding down nose first and ride straight down it.
A Press is where you put your weight over the nose or tail of your board which bends the board so that only that section is touching the feature.
The Nose Press is the same as a 50-50 but land on the nose of your board and slide down with your tail kept off the feature. A scary but stylish and fun trick.
The Tail Press is the same as a 50-50 but you land on the tail of your board with your nose kept off the feature. An easier start.
As you jump onto the rail you turn your feet 90 degrees to the rail and slide down on your front foot. At the end of the rail, pop back straight. The Boardslide can be done in two ways Frontside and Backside.
The Frontside Boardslide is one of the most stylish tricks in snowboarding. Approach from the frontside, turn your feet 90 degrees, place your front foot on the rail and slide down backwards(heel edge first).
The Backside Boardslide is much easier and a great one to progress from 50-50’s. Approach Backside, turn your feet 90 degrees, place your front foot on the rail and slide down forwards(toe edge first).
A bluntslide is where you put your back foot on the rail instead of the front like a boardslide. Again they can be done both frontside and backside.
The Front Blunt is where you approach frontside and jump over the rail, turning your legs 90 degrees like a Front Board, and placing your back foot on the rail. A great trick to learn to spin out of.
The Back Blunt is where you approach backside and jump over the rail, turning your legs like a Back Board, and placing your back foot on the rail. A relatively easy but stylish trick to learn.
A Lipslide is where you place your front foot on the rail but pass your back foot over to the other side of the feature, sticking it out the other side at 90 degrees to the rail. It can also be done both frontside and backside.
The Front Lip is another relatively easy but stylish trick to learn. Approach the rail frontside and turn you feet 90 degrees, the opposite way to a Front Board so that the tail of your board goes over the rail and sticks over the other side. Much like being in a back board but from the frontside.
The Back Lip is a gem to learn, if you get it you will be the style master of the park. Approach the rail backside and turn you feet 90 degrees, the opposite way to a Back Board so that the tail of your board goes over the rail and sticks over the other side. You are landing in the position of a Front Board.
The Tail slide is where you put you back foot on the rail but your front foot stays on the same side. It can again be done frontside and backside.
The Front Tail is where you approach the rail frontside and turn your legs 90 degrees to the rail but you are simply placing the tail of your board on the rail, keeping your front foot on the same side as you got on.
The Back Tail is one of the hardest tricks in snowboarding. Approach the rail frontside and turn your legs 90 degrees to the rail but you are simply placing the tail of your board on the rail, keeping your front foot on the same side as you got on.
Spinning on to Rails
You can spin onto a rail anyway you like, check out 8 Ways to spin on a snowboard for more about snowboard spins. Spinning onto a rail changes the name of the trick in a fairly fundamental way. Think of it like a top trump, instead of approaching the rail frontside or backside, spinning overrides that and which way you spin determines whether it is frontside or backside, make sense? here’s an example:
A Backside 270 on is where you spin 270 degrees onto the rail, spinning backside. The thing is that you would approach a rail from the frontside to do a backside 270 because you are spinning off your toe edge.
Similarly, for a frontside 270 on you would approach the rail backside but you are spinning off your heels so it is a frontside spin on.
Once you have completed a spin you can land on the rail how you like for instance you could do something like a backside 270 on to front blunt.
Still with me? Remember to ask any questions at the bottom.
Spinning off of Rails
Spinning off rails is fairly simple to name, It is also much easier/less scary to spin out than onto a rail. There are two ways to spin out:
Pretzel – A Pretzel spin out is where you spin out the opposite way to the way you spun on. This is true even for normal slides, so a back board pretzel 270 you would spin out the opposite way that you spun your legs to get into the backboard position.
Sameway/Danish/Bagel – Whatever you want to call it, this is where you spin out but in the same direction as you went on. So for the back board you would then continue the spin from when you got onto the rail to get the 270 at the end and keep spinning the same way.
A few last things
A few other things you can do on a rail:
These look really cool, it is basically when you switch from one trick to another on a rail. It could be anything from a 50-50 to switch 50-50, or a back board to front board or whatever your imagination tells you to do.
Gapping on to a rail is supper fun. Just approach the rail with more speed and aim to clear part of it or just tap the end. Go Big or Go Home!
So Hopefully you now have a pretty good understanding of the snowboard tricks on rails and boxes.
Remember, you can split the name of a trick into three sections:
- How you get on
- How you are on the rail
- How you get off
Combine them to get your trick name and claim it. Now get out there and learn some!