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Understanding the Resurgence of Skateboard Deck Rails

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Over the past few years, we’ve seen different skateboard trends come back, with skateboard deck rails being one of the most prominent. These once-forgotten accessories are experiencing a remarkable resurgence, captivating the attention of skateboarders worldwide. Embraced by both amateur and professional skaters alike, they’re making a strong comeback. Notable figures like Powell Peralta’s Andy Anderson and YouTuber Dan Corrigan have significantly contributed to their renewed popularity.

Skateboard deck rails have become increasingly popular, particularly among skateboarders who enjoy slappy tricks. These rails were originally invented in the early days of skateboarding, specifically in the 1980s, to protect decks and enhance trick execution. Checking old skateboard photos and videos, you’ll notice that almost every skateboarder in the 80s and early 90s used skateboard deck rails. As skateboarding progressed during that era, deck rails became a necessity, making slides easier compared to the traditional use of skateboard wax.

The mid 90s and 2000s saw a shift in skateboarding, and the popularity of deck rails began to lose momentum. In my opinion, one of the big reasons for their decline is likely due to changes in skateboard deck shapes and a shift in skateboarding trends. However, as is often the case in the world of skateboarding, trends come and go. In recent years, skateboard deck rails have made a significant comeback, especially among skaters who use shaped boards and those who skate curbs and transitions.

Advantages of Skateboard Deck Rails

  • Protection of Graphics: One of the primary benefits of deck rails is their ability to protect skateboard graphics from getting scratched and damaged. This is also why we see vintage skateboards online that have been used with the graphics still intact.
  • Ease of Sliding: With deck rails, skaters can slide effortlessly without relying on skateboard wax, offering a smoother and more consistent experience. Check this Instagram clip of Andy Anderson and see the difference how skateboard deck rails make sliding more easier.
  • Easier to Grab: Deck rails provide greater control and precision, making them ideal for transition skateboarders who rely heavily on grab tricks.
  • Added Durability: Deck rails can reduce the risk of snapping your skateboard, providing added durability and longevity to your deck. 

How to Install Skateboard Deck Rails: 

  1. Position the skateboard deck rails: Place the rails along the edges of your skateboard deck, ensuring they are evenly spaced for a balanced feel. While some skaters prefer using just one rail, others choose to position one rail slightly closer to the side for customized control.
  2. Mark the Holes – Mark the screw hole positions through the rails onto the deck.
  3. Screw the Pilot Holes – Using a screwdriver or drill, carefully create small pilot holes at the marked spots.
  4. Attach the Rails – Securely screw the rails onto the deck, but avoid over tightening them as this can cause problems over time.
  5. Final Check – Ensure the rails are securely attached and properly aligned. Time to do those long boardslides like Andy Anderson. 

As skateboarding continues to evolve, the return of skateboard deck rails highlights the community’s appreciation for both innovation and nostalgia. Whether you’re a seasoned skateboarder or just starting out, adding deck rails to your setup might just be the enhancement you need to elevate your skating experience. Might grab one of these Powell-Peralta Rib Bones Skateboard Rails for my setup soon.

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