hit the rail

How to Hit Your First Rail at a Cable Park

How to Hit Your First Rail at a Cable Park

After you’ve learned to get up on a wakeboard at our cable park, you might be eyeing up some of our world-class obstacles. When we say world-class, we mean in construction and quality, not in ability level. We have obstacles for riders of all abilities and we pride ourselves on accommodating everyone from complete beginners to pro-level riders at Ski Rixen. Let’s explore how to hit your first rail at our cable wakeboard park!

How to Hit Your First Rail at a Cable Park—The Foundation

At Ski Rixen we have beginner obstacles that are very approachable for novice riders, but it’s still important to have a solid foundation of riding before approaching any obstacle. Make sure you have your helmet on (the cable operator won’t let you start without it, but it bears repeating!) and you have your strap tightened enough that the helmet won’t fall off or sit improperly on your head. If your helmet doesn’t fit, make sure you get one that does before you start. It’s also important to be able to comfortably edge on both your toeside and heelside. In other words, you should feel comfortable carving around before you consider edging into a rail.


How to Hit Your First Rail at a Cable Park—The Approach

Start with our easiest, widest rail. The direction you edge out to hit the rail will depend on whether you’re left- or right-foot forward, but the speed and trajectory should be the same. Edge lightly out toward the rail from the center of the cable, giving yourself enough speed to stay on your path for a couple seconds even after you let off your edge. You can practice this without the obstacle ahead of time to get the feel for how it will go. When you do this, visualize yourself going over the rail. When you’re ready to actually hit the rail, bend your knees as you edge out and the entire time you’re going toward the rail. Stay in an athletic stance with your center of gravity low. Come off your edge at the last second before your board makes contact with the rail.


How to Hit Your First Rail at a Cable Park—On the Rail

When you’re almost to the rail, bend your knees even more and get low to absorb the height difference of the ramp with your knees. It’s important to let off your edge when you’re at the rail because you won’t have the water’s resistance when you’re on the rail, so you need to have your weight over the center of your board. In other words, the rail is really slippery and you don’t want to slide out as soon as you get on it, so stay low, keep your weight even over your board and your handle into your waist for stability. From here, just ride it out and absorb the landing with your knees at the end. Remember to lean back to keep your tip up as your board lands back on the water.


That’s it! Your first rail is down. From here you can do a 180 to transfer to switch stance at the end, or a 360 to practice your handle passes, or even move on to more advanced tricks like presses, nose slides and tail slides. At Ski Rixen we have obstacles for all ability levels, so be sure to come on out and get your slide on with our world-class rails!  Come join us for a day of fun in Deerfield Beach, FL. Give us a call or come on out!