Rule the Rails

Words: JD Webb Photo:

Rail riding is all about adding a new element of style and fun to wakeboarding. It's been one of my biggest passions in the sport for a long time, and winning Rail Master at the 2008 Wake Awards has really motivated me to keep pushing boundaries. Building and hitting a rail with your friends on your local lake or backyard pond is a completely different vibe from the contest scene. It creates a community, and it's really cool to build something that reflects your personality. You can change it up and create new moves, and hitting rails will definitely help up the style factor in the rest of your riding. Keep these few things in mind and you'll have no problem tearing it up this summer.

Start small If you've never hit a rail, I recommend starting with a picnic table-type of box because they have a gradual up-ramp and a wide surface to help you get used to the feeling. Once you're ready, there are all kinds of rail designs out there, like the three-piece step-up and press boxes we built for the new Hyperlite video. There's always a chance to try something new with rails.
Focus on pressing Like everything else you do in wakeboarding, it's best to gradually work your way into pressing. Lean into it a little more each time so you can progressively get used to the feeling and avoid having the board slip out from under you. Always focus on holding your press across the entire rail.

Think about style I think it's much more important to do specific tricks with style, rather than just trying to muscle through something. I'd much rather see someone do a 3, fully pressed out and smooth, than see someone just trying to spin as much as they can across a rail