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The 9 Best Snowboards for Rails

Published on 09/08/2023 · 6 min readLooking to ride rails for the first time or due for an upgrade on your park board? Snowboard Expert John Arnold details his top 9 snowboards for rail riding.
john Arnold, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert john Arnold

Photo by Felipe Giacometti

Riding rails is a big part of freestyle snowboarding. There are rails all over most terrain parks, and street riding—which is dominated by rail tricks—makes up a large piece of the freestyle snowboarding culture! If you are looking to get into rail riding, or just want a board that matches your ambition to progress your rail riding, here are some amazing choices.

1. Lib Tech Skate Banana

The Lib Tech Skate Banana is the pioneer of the classic Lib Tech board profile. It has rocker underneath the feet with camber at the tip and tail, giving the board a super skate-like feel while also keeping some pop in the board. It is fun to ride, versatile, super jib friendly, easy to press, and great for butter tricks.

This deck has been a favorite of many different freestyle riders on the Lib Tech team. It is perfect for somebody who is looking to get into the freestyle scene and trying to progress on rails. It is super forgiving and helps the rider find their feet in the park!

2. Nitro Optisym

The Optisym is designed for the rider who likes to get crazy creative without catching too much air-time. Nitro packed this board with serious pop and amazing edge-to-edge control. It has a camber shape and an urban flex profile, which makes it super easy to press on anything.

Not only is this board full of pop and equipped with great flex, it also is designed with an asymmetrical heel edge. This makes the board super responsive on heel-side turns, meaning quicker last-second adjustments before the lip.

The Optisym also features Nitro Rail Killer edges, which are twice as durable as normal edges, and are designed to hold up against rails. The board also comes with a premium extruded base that is much tougher than the sintered-style base that is common on other snowboards.

3. Arbor Relapse

The Relapse is Erik Leon’s Arbor pro-model board. Erik is an incredible street rider, so it only makes sense that the relapse is a rail-killer. It has a soft flex that makes it pressable and super playful, but it is also built to be durable and to stand up to the demands of rail and street riding.

This board has a parabolic camber under feet that helps it lock onto rails. It also comes with an extruded base, which is super tough and durable, making it perfect for rail riding. If you are looking to step up your rail game, the Relapse is a great option.

4. K2 Medium

The Medium is a K2 board designed for street rider Jake Kuzyk. It is a traditional camber, true twin board that is perfect for the freestyle rider.

It comes with a medium flex profile and K2 technology that allows for a larger effective edge. This means that you can ride a shorter board than usual and not feel a difference in edge control. This is a big advantage for rail riders who need a maneuverable board for throwing down insane rail tricks.

The Medium also has a core made from bamboo and aspen, making it super lightweight and durable. K2 also added a carbon insert in between the bindings to give this board a crazy amount of pop.

5. K2 Spellcaster

The Spellcaster is a women's-specific board that is built for the park and the streets. The flex pattern is designed specifically for female riders, and the core is made from wood materials that dampen vibration and absorb heavy impacts.

The camber underneath the feet gives it great pop and the rocker out at the tip and tail makes it more playful, easy to press, and easy to do butter tricks. The core is also built to give the board a lot of torsional flex, which makes it super jibby and great for rails. The Spellcaster is a go-to board for the lady who is looking to shred the rails.

6. Rome Artifact

The Rome Artifact is a classic board from the Rome line. It has been around for nearly 20 years and has stood the test of time. It was designed to be a jib-happy, flexy board for the freestyle rider who loves progressing on rails and smaller features. The Artifact features a camber, true twin shape, and an amazing throwback graphic.

In terms of technology, the Artifact comes with bamboo inserts in the tip and tail to give it some snap while still keeping it super pressable and playful. It also comes with flax insert plates under the binding inserts. These impact plates increase board durability and dampen impacts for a more comfortable ride. The Artifact has been a go-to board for rail riders for a long time and will continue to be at the top of the list when it comes to rail boards.

7. Capita Space Metal Fantasy

The Space Metal Fantasy has been recognized as one of the best ladies' park boards ever made. It has a flat profile between the feet with reverse camber at the tip and tail. This makes the board super playful and pressable while still keeping it poppy. It is softer than the average board which makes it great for riders who are stepping up their rail game, but it is also super durable.

The Space Metal Fantasy is used by the women on the Capita Team in the streets as well as in the park. However, this board is more than a park deck. It performs well all over the resort, making it a perfect fit for the ladies who love to ride park and rails but also need a board that performs on the whole mountain!

The Ride Burnout is the favorite board of many of the street riders on the Ride team. It combines camber underneath the feet with rocker at the tip and tail and gives the rider a medium flex pattern that combines pop with press-ability.

The Burnout features oversized edges that know how to take a beating. It also has a sidecut design that gives the rider a wider underfoot base and a greater ability to cruise into features straight and confident. Additionally, there are impact plates underneath the binding inserts to prevent board breaks and dampen impact for the rider. The Burnout is a great board for rails in the park or the street!

9. Ride Zero

The Ride Zero is a unisex board design that is a favorite of Ride team member Jill Perkins. Jill, a rail expert, is known for absolutely shredding in the streets and at the park. The Zero is her preferred choice because of its camber shape, thick steel edges, and lightweight, performance-oriented core. This board also comes with carbon inserts and impact plates underneath the bindings that improve durability and make hard landings feel smoother for the rider. The Zero is a freestyle exclusive deck that will perform on rails better than almost every board out there.

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All of these boards would be fantastic choices for the rider looking for a deck they can take on rails, will help them progress in the park, and will stand up to the abuse of rail riding every day. If you are interested in any of these boards, have any questions about other great freestyle decks, or would like some personalized recommendations about which snowboard gear is right for you, reach out to one of our Snowboarding Experts. We can set you up with everything you may need for the upcoming winter!

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