What are Skateboard Deck Rails?

October 25, 2019 2 min read

Today we will be discussing skateboarding deck rails. Deck rails, more commonly and simply known as rails or ribs, are used to protect your skateboard from chipping, cracking, splintering, as well as protecting the graphic on the underside of your board from scratches.

Perhaps most importantly, however, is the use of rails to improve the sliding capability of your skateboard. Whether it be frontside or backside, lipslide or boardslide, rails will add stability, control and smoothness to your slide tricks.

Surfaces that may not slide well can all of sudden feel very slide-able just by slapping some rails on your deck. This brief explanation may have broken down what rails are used for, but what exactly are rails? 

We’re going to explain what rails look like, how to install rails, as well as looking at some of the most popular skateboard deck rails on the market. So if you’re looking to protect your board and experience some smooth boardslides, you’ve come to the right place! We’ll go over for everything you need to know about skateboard deck rails to get you sliding in style… FIRST TRY!

Defining Skateboard Deck Rails

Skateboard deck rails are generally defined as thin strips of hard plastic, usually rectangular in shape, that screw in to the underside of your skateboard deck. As explained above, rails are used to protect your skateboard from splintering, cracking, and to protect the graphic of your skateboard deck.

On top of the protection rails offer, another benefit associated with the use of rails is their ability to make boardslides and lipslides feel smoother, slide faster, and slide further than a board without rails. Also, the surface that you’re sliding won’t need as much wax as you would typically need when sliding without rails.

If you think about it, rails will end up saving you money in the long run. Your board will be more durable with rails attached, and you won’t have to spend as much money on wax! It’s a win-win situation!

If boardslides and lipslides aren’t your thing, rails still may be of use to you. Skateboard deck rails provide additional grip for grab tricks, as you will be able to securely grab the board and lock in the grab by holding on tight to the rail underneath. 

Installing Skateboard Deck Rails

Before you install skateboard deck rails onto your skateboard, you will need a Phillips head screw driver or power drill. While the power drill will make for an easier installation, a basic Phillips head screw driver will still do the trick. The rails you purchase should include all of the screws you’ll need to properly install the rails. 

With the appropriate tools at your disposal, you’ll need to figure out the placement of your rails next.  While rail placement ultimately comes down to personal preference, Braille Skateboarding does have a couple of recommendations to ensure you get the most out of your rails. 

Alec O'Grady
Alec O'Grady

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