Gapping Rails


Tips by David Ngiam
Video : Aum Thanatorn
Photo : Tatsanai Aye

Gapping rails is when you pop over a section of the rail or in some cases, there’s a literal gap between 2 rails. Gaps are most commonly performed on an A-Frame where a rider gaps from the up rail to the down rail, airing over the flat section.

If your comfortable with boardslides across the A-Frame, gapping shouldn’t be too difficult. As a start, approach the A-Frame as you normally would, but as you ride up the uprail, instead of absorbing the kink, you want to pop off it, like you would off a kicker. Make sure you pop straight up, otherwise you might slip out. When you are airborne just keep your handle in for control (you don’t have to pull it in, just lock it in, your handle should already be close to you as you ride it up).

I prefer to land into a boardslide rather than 50-50 because it just allows me more room for my board to slide on the rail should I get pulled off a little. Unlike landing on water (like going off a kicker), you are landing on a hard surface again, so you have to make sure you land straight over the rail and not on your edge (or you will slip out) and bend your knees to absorb the landing. Also, make sure you minimize your body movement while in the air (flapping like a chicken doesn’t help) and maintain good line control.

Since you are approaching it the same way as you would on a normal boardslide, you may not clear the whole flat section of the A-Frame at first, but thats ok. Get use to getting air and landing back on the rail. Once you get more confident, take it up a notch by approaching more aggressively for a bigger pop and soon you should be able to gap the entire flat section to land on the down rail.

Once you are more comfortable, try some spin variations as you gap.

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