Thursday, March 6, 2014

Get to Know Your Surfboard's Rail

As you're shopping for your next surfboard, there are numerous design aspect you need to keep in mind. One crucial component that affects the performance of your surfboard and your surfing technique are the rails. Rails are the edge of your surfboard and run from the boards tail to nose. Like other parts, the shape of a rail regulates how your board interacts with the water while also dictating the types of turns you are able to make.

The first thing you should know is the difference between soft rails and hard rails. Soft rails have no edges and remain rounded from a boards nose to tail while hard rails have a continuous edge that runs the length of the board.

Soft rails are often found on long boards and are known for offering stability, but with that stability comes a lack of ease when making turns. On the other hand, hard rails make quick and tight turns less complicated and easier to accomplish.

Another characteristic you must consider while accessing a surfboard is where the top of the rail meets the bottom of the rail. For example, you can choose between a 50/50 which means the top and bottom meet in the middle, or a 60/40 which indicates the meeting point is lower than the middle. Before purchasing your newest surfboard ask the seller about the various heights rails come in and they will provide you with a list of options.

General Facts About Your Surfboard rail
  • A softer and more rounded rail makes your board slower and causes the handling to be on the more neutral side.
  • Increased stability and ease of catching waves usually goes hand in hand with a higher rail that has a large amount of volume.
  • While maneuverability is sacrificed with a lower and harder rail, your speed, on the other hand, is increased.
  • Hard rails are generally found on high performance surfboards
  • Due to the boost in stability, soft rails are often better for an individual new to the world of surfing.

While there are many more characteristics to consider when discussing surfboard rails, this basic knowledge can help you discover which type of rail is best for you and your surfing experience. If you're on the hunt for your next surfboard, please contact us, and we'll be happy to help you.

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