It’s best to start small, and low to the ground, when learning to ride rails. The 50/50 is the easiest and most intuitive way to ride a rail for a beginner. Be sure to scope out the approach and landing before committing, so there are no surprises. When you find a mellow rail, watch some other folks hit it so you can get a general sense of board placement and posture. There’s no shame in hitting up the kids’ park when you’re learning to ride freestyle.

To slide a rail 50/50, your board is balanced the long way on the rail. You don’t need a ton of speed, just enough get up the transition and pop onto the rail. Relax, stay centered over your snowboard, as you transition onto the rail.

Have your weight just slightly forward, keep your base flat and snowboard straight. Keep your eyes focused on where you want to go—off the end of the rail.

Pop slightly off the end, land with your knees bent and weight balanced, absorb the transition and ride away for another lap. Get comfortable with your 50/50 on progressively bigger rails and boxes, before dipping into more complex tricks. -MH


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