When you watch snowboarders doing rail tricks on television or in the snow park, you might think that it looks easy, but it's actually fairly hard to learn. It involves precise timing and great balance to make those tricks look easy. Before you hit the rails yourself, learn some snowboard rail tips.
Prior to climbing on your snowboard, train yourself to the thin size of the rail by practicing your balance on a long piece of duct tape stuck to the floor. Then practice on a 4-by-4 piece of wood or board. Place your snowboard on the wood piece and stand on the board to practice your balance and concentration. Also consider taking a class specifically on snowboard tricks or rail riding.
When you attempt a 180 turn, try doing the same move on the ground first, to ensure you can jump high enough in the air to turn around before you jump on the rail. Then work your way up to just one move on the rail, either at the beginning or the end of the rail. Once you get your balance and timing worked out, you can start doing more 180 turns along the rail.
Even if you have experience in snowboard rail riding, you should still practice safety by using the proper safety gear. Knee pads and elbow pads are helpful at preventing scraps and bruises, while a helmet is absolutely necessary. If you plan on doing any snowboard tricks, then invest in a helmet to guard your head against any moves that land you on the ground.
A rail slide involves jumping on the rail from the ground and sliding along the rail. While it looks easy, it actually takes some time to learn the move. You need to gain speed before you reach the rail and bend your knees to get high enough to land on the surface. Then let your body push you forward instead of trying to force yourself down the rail. Make sure to cushion yourself for the fall at the end of the rail when you land back on the ground.