Snowboarding Rails - Rail Sliding or Grinding – Generic terms for sliding rails.
"Grinding" comes from the sound that skate trucks make when they grind the metal of a rail, ramp coping or concrete ledge.
"Jibbing" can be a general term for all skate influenced types of riding and often involves sliding and rotations, pressing, taping, bonking or jumping onto and/or off of random objects in the mountain or urban environment.
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Naming Snowboarding Rails and Jib Tricks by Approach Line
One aspect of SNowboarding Rails and Snowboard Jib Tricks that really confuses people sometimes is the way that rotations onto rails can be names the opposite of rotations off of jumps. In fact I was totally confused on this subject until just a few years ago. Again, as it should, the terminology comes from Street Style Skateboarding.
While some sliders, rails and boxes especially in public terrain parks are set up with a take off that leads straight over the front end of the sliding surface, that is really more beginner or intermediate in terms of urban or skate style riding. Most of the time in sliding rails the skater would come at a slight angle and hop onto the feature from the side. This is where the confusion comes into play.
In urban or street style rail sliding the names of most tricks are based upon which side of the rail or box the rider jumps on from, and is not determined by the direction of rotation while sliding.
*Frontside* – Applies to snowboarding rails where the rider approaches the feature from the front side of their body, usually hopping up onto it off of their toes.
*Backside* – Applies to snowboarding rails where the rider approaches the feature from the backside of their body, usually hopping onto it off of their heels.
A Few Snowboard Jib Tricks
Board-Slide - A board slide is performed with the board perpendicular to the sliding surface.
Frontside, the rider hops off toes and brings the front foot up and over the rail, to slide down it heels first. The riders must twist their body position on the rail, to keep the end of the rail and landing in view, so they can untwist to land riding the same direction that they approached the rail.
Backside, the rider will hop or ollie off the heels to bring the front foot up and over the rail, to slide it toes first.
With a Straight over the Top Approach, most riders would call a board slide, the version going toes first, facing the landing with the front of the body, while a frontside would be the twisted version, sliding heels first.
Lip-Slide – Lip slide is another of the snowboard jib tricks with a morphing name like board slide. It is different depending on which way you come at the rail. The common thread that ties together a frontside or backside lip-slide is that the back or trailing foot during approach will come pr and over the rail into sliding position. Thought of as more technical because the rider needs a little more time to twist and get the back foot up and over the rail. This can add to the hang up risk of the move.
Frontside Lip Slide, consists of a frontside approach to the rail, and a hop or ollie off of the toe edge, before the rider sucks up legs and twists to get the tail of the board over the rail, then slide it toes first, facing the landing with the front of the body.
Backside Lip Slide, is one of the most popular snowboard jib tricks. I love it. Doing it or seeing it makes me smile. It consists of a backside approach to the rail, and a hop or ollie off of the heel edge, before the rider sucks up legs and twists to throw the tail around and out over the rail, then slides it heels first, in the twisted position of a frontside board slide.
50 50 – The 50 50 is just sliding straight down the feature, nose first, with weight evenly on both feet. The name come from skateboarding and pertains to having both truck evenly weighted and grinding.
5 0 or Tail Press – The 5 0 is basically a tail wheelie down the feature. On a skateboard the skater would lift the nose of the board to put weight on just the back truck. On a snowboard, this position translates to a tail press, with the snowboard in line with the feature.
Nose Press – The Nose Press is a popular trick due to the drastic shift of position to get the riders weight forward over the nose of the board. Keeping the board generally in line with the rail of feature, the rider pulls the tail up and shifts body weight over the nose of the board. The rider will press the nose and ride the flex of it across or down the sliding surface. A cool part of the nose press is the way the rider can bounce off of the pressed flex to release from the slider and bring the feet back underneath for landing.
Crooked Pressing – Crooked Pressing is just like a nose or tail press only the rider does a rotational twist through the upper and lower body to rotate the board out at a crooked angle in relation to the rail or feature. Crooked Pressing can be very stylish and a useful tool, because if you are not perfectly over the rail and don’t want to come off many times just twisting your lower body into a crooked press will keep you on it.
Hot Garbage or Iika – This is one of the Snowboard Jib Tricks names that I am not totally certain on. I think this is basically just an over crooked frontside where the rider twists and winds the lower body all the way around while sliding so that the board is pointing up hill at the end of the rail, then as the they drop off the rail the rider would untwist to land going forward.
Salad – Salad is a specific type of press. It is a tail press with a frontside twist and the nose of the board lifted up while pressing. So, the heels lead the slide, toes point uphill and the rider twists to maintain view of the landing, while keeping weight over the tail to press it into the slide. The Salad can look amazing and some riders do it in a really super low position that adds to the flair.
Smith – The Smith Grind is a lot like the Salad, except that the nose of the board is boned out and shifted down. Its name came from the skateboard trick. On a skateboard, the skater will do a crooked 5 0, with the nose hanging down below the rail, sliding heels first.
Tail Slide – A somewhat generic term, the tail slide can be done backside or frontside, in many different ways. The Tail Slide usually involves the board being perpendicular to the rail, with the riders weight balanced over the tail of the board.
Nose Slide – A somewhat generic term, the nose slide can be done backside or frontside, in many different ways. The Nose Slide usually involves the board being perpendicular to the rail, with the riders weight balanced over the nose of the board.
Rotations On and Off 270, 450, etc… - Spinning on and or off of rails obviously adds to the technical difficulty in a major way. Some features are great for twirling onto, across and off of, while others are terrifying to even think about spinning onto. I have huge respect for Rail technicians that dominate these kinds of moves.
Change Up – Changing the direction of rotation mid slide, like getting on the rail with a 180 one direction, then doing a 180 the other way off. As you can imagine there are a thousand variations of change-ups. When you add a couple kinks to the feature the possibilities expand further.
Pretzel – Taking the change up a step further, a pretzel is an opposite direction 270, done in a quick snap as a rider exits the rail or feature.
Gaps and Transfers – Some Rails and Urban Style Features have gaps and transfers that lend themselves to the trick doing. These environments can become super dangerous and must be given due respect. Be smart and progress towards more difficult attempts with caution and patience.
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