Are Skateboard Rails Worth It

Are Skateboard Rails Worth It? Answered

If you’re a skateboarder grinding away, you may have thought about adding rails to your board. Rails, those little plastic or metal strips that attach to the underside of your skateboard, are often a subject of debate. Are they just for show, or do they offer some real benefits? Let’s dig in to find out.

Skateboard rails can be a valuable addition to your skateboard setup, depending on your riding style and preferences. Here are some considerations to help you decide if they are worth it for you:

how do deck rails affect the overall performance of a skateboard

Deck rails play an important role in the overall performance and experience of skateboarding. Here are several ways they affect performance:

Enhanced Slide Control

Deck rails are primarily designed to improve slide control. When performing tricks that involve sliding along surfaces, such as boardslides or lipslides, the rails provide a smooth, consistent surface. This reduces friction and allows for more controlled, longer slides.

Deck Protection

Rails help protect the skateboard deck from damage. Sliding directly on the wood can wear it down quickly, leading to chips, cracks, and a shorter lifespan for the deck. Rails take the brunt of the wear and tear, preserving the deck’s integrity.

Increased Durability

By shielding the sides of the deck, rails contribute to its overall durability. They prevent the edges from getting chipped and reduce the impact of hard landings and collisions. This makes the skateboard last longer, which is especially important for skaters who perform aggressive tricks and stunts.

Grip and Stability

Rails can provide an extra point of contact for the skater’s hands during grabs and other maneuvers. This additional grip can enhance stability and control when performing aerial tricks or complex moves.

Weight Considerations

Adding deck rails does increase the overall weight of the skateboard. While the added weight is minimal, it can affect the performance for some skaters. The increased weight might make the board feel more stable, but it could also slightly hinder the ability to perform certain flip tricks that require a lighter board.

Customization and Style

Deck rails also allow for customization and style. They come in various colors and designs, enabling skaters to personalize their boards. This aesthetic aspect can be important for self-expression within the skateboarding community.


Consider a skater who frequently performs slides on rails and ledges. Without deck rails, their board might quickly show signs of wear along the edges, impacting both performance and appearance. With rails installed, they can slide more smoothly and protect their deck, maintaining performance and extending the life of their board.

Are Skateboard Rails Worth It?

Skateboard rails are a popular accessory among skateboarders, but are they really worth it? Well, it depends on your personal preferences and style of riding. Skateboard rails, also known as grind rails or coping rails, are typically made of metal or plastic and are designed to be attached to the edges of ramps or other skateboarding obstacles.

A variety of beginner-friendly skateboard rails, including Rib Bones, Shorty's Plastic Rails, and Black Diamond, showcasing their features and suitability for new skateboarders.

They provide a smooth surface for grinding, sliding, and performing various tricks. For skaters who enjoy grinding and sliding, skateboard rails can enhance their overall experience and allow them to explore new tricks and techniques. However, for those who prefer a more traditional style of skateboarding or focus more on street tricks, skateboard rails may not be necessary. Ultimately, whether skateboard rails are worth it or not is subjective and will vary depending on the individual skateboarder.

Types of Skateboard Rails

Impact on Performance

Speed and Balance
Rails can affect your board’s performance in several ways. For starters, they can make your board slide faster during grinds. Plus, their even weight distribution can help with balance.

Long-term, rails can protect your board from the wear and tear of grinding. This extends the life of your skateboard, saving you money in the long run.

Best Rails for Beginners

Rib Bones
They’re made of plastic, easy to install, and won’t break the bank.

Shorty’s Plastic Rails
These offer a good balance between durability and price.

Black Diamond
If you want to try metal, these rails are light and relatively easy to set up.

Skateboard with visually striking rails, used in an urban environment to smoothly navigate rough terrain, illustrating the practical and aesthetic benefits of adding rails to a skateboard.

Cost vs Benefit

Let’s do some simple math. Quality skateboard rails can cost anywhere from $10 to $30. Considering they can extend the life of your $50-$100 skateboard deck, that’s a win in terms of investment.

Practical Uses

Beyond skate parks, rails are handy in urban settings where surfaces are only sometimes smooth. They can help you glide over rough spots without getting stuck.

Personal Style

Pay attention to the aesthetic aspect! Rails come in various colors and styles, adding a touch of personal flair to your board.

The Verdict

So, are skateboard rails worth it? They offer increased speed, balance, and board longevity, all for a relatively low cost. Plus, they look fantastic. If you’re a beginner, plenty of affordable, easy-to-install options exist. Considering all these benefits, it’s hard to see why you wouldn’t want to add rails to your skateboarding setup.

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