If you’re looking for a sure-fire way to improve your skateboarding skills, buying a skate rail would be a worthy investment for you.
Skate rails are incredibly versatile, providing a practice obstacle for beginners, professionals, and everyone in between. Generally speaking, skate rails are pretty light weight and require far less square footage – compared to other skateboard obstacles – which is ideal for skaters who have limited space for practicing at home.
Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about skate rails, what to look for when buying a skateboarding rail, and the types of skateboard rails you may want to consider.
24K Gold Rail
Green Monster Skate Rail - 6FT
Glow in the Dark - 8FT Round Rail
What is a Skateboard Rail?
If you have a grind rail or flat rail for skateboarding, you’ll have a lot more flexibility and opportunities to perfect your skills. You’ll no longer have to worry about going to the skatepark in order to practice your grinds.
This is great for new players because they have just started skateboarding and are learning and practicing. So they have to spend a little more time skating.
Types of Skate Rails
Skateboarding rails come in a variety of materials, sizes and shapes/forms. Here are the most common types of skate rails:
Metal Skate Rail
Metal is the ideal material for any skateboarding rail, as other materials are less durable. Most skate rails are made out of metal for this reason, as well as their ability to be waxed for a smooth grinding experience.
Plastic Skate Rail
Far less common, there are skateboarding rails made of the harder, and more durable, types of plastic. Usually this is due to the skate rail being homemade, or for special events that require a unique construction of skateboarding equipment.
A straight metal rail, round or rectangular circumference, used for sliding or grinding.
Handrail or Slant
Like a flat rail, except at a downwards angle – usually down a bank or set of stairs. This is meant to replicate the handrails you may see in street skating.
Rainbow or Curved rail
A metal rail which features a horizontal or vertical arch or curve.
One of the most challenging types of skateboarding rails, a kink rail banks part way through, requiring a skateboarder to “hop over” the kink in the rail (grinding “through the kink” can present quite a challenge).
What to Look for When Buying a Skate Rail
Before you start looking at skate rails to buy, there are a few things you’ll want to consider, as they will impact the type/style of rail you end up searching for.
First, take the age and skill level of the individual who will be using the skate rail into consideration. Younger, less experienced skaters will get more out of a rail that is shorter in height, seeing as it would be the best fit for their age and/or skill level. Seasoned street skaters might opt for a long-length rail with the ability to adjust height.
Height and length of the skate rail will play a major role in regards to what a skater is able to use it for.
For example, the length of a rail directly determines how long a skater can grind or slide on it. If you’re just starting to learn how to grind on rails, the length won’t necessarily be all that important. That said, if you’re experienced in the art of skating grind rails, you’ll want to look for one that provides significant length to perfect your grinding distance.
When it comes to height, skate rails are usually adjustable and stand between 9 and 14 inches. An adjustable skate rail allows riders to practice grinding obstacles of different heights and angles. Although it may be convenient, being able to adjust a skate rail is not a vital feature. That said, it is something to look for in a rail if the ability to adjust height is a feature you know you’d like to have.
Keep in mind, less experienced skateboarders will typically start grinding rails of a shorter/lower height, working their way up overtime.
Look for skate rails that are made of durable materials, particularly if you’re planning on getting a lot of use out of the rail. The more often a rail is used for grinds and slides, the more durable the material it’s made of should be. If you’ll be storing it outside where it will be exposed to the elements, make sure the rail is waterproof, or at least water resistant.