Toeside rail is one of the basic positions in freestyle, but it isn’t very common; according to Lillis Åkesson, freestylers actively tried to avoid toeside rail in the 1980s.
Nowadays, toeside rail is just another option for the modern freestyler, but most people don’t play around with them too much as tricks from this position can feel somewhat awkward. That said, there are things we’re going to do from here, so it’s an important one to learn.
If you’ve come into freestyle from street skating, this might seem easier to you than heelside rail because it’s a flip and a catch. Unfortunately, it’s also this which makes it less consistent – you don’t have as much control when you get into toeside rail. Expect to miss this a lot at first!
The setup position for toeside rail is nice and straightforward; just place both feet over the trucks with your toes hanging over slightly. Keep both feet as straight as possible.
As you prepare to go to toeside rail, bend slightly at the knees, keeping your upper body straight and upright.
Push down with the toes on both feet, tipping the board forwards on its toeside wheels. The looser your trucks are, the more you’ll have to push here.
As the board gets past the tipping point, jump off your toes to allow the board to keep moving towards the rail.
This is the crucial part – you need to jump exactly high enough to land on the rail. Jump too high and the board will keep rolling forwards. Jump too low and your feet will stop the board before it gets into position.
Before you know it, you’ll be in toeside rail. You might have to shuffle a little bit when you get up there, but as long as you’ve not leaned forwards, you should be standing pretty solidly now.
To come out, start pulling your feet back and dipping your heels to rock the board back towards the wheels. You don’t have to go too far – just enough to make the board unstable.
As the board starts to fall, hop upwards slightly to let it drop to the wheels. You don’t need to jump much, and as long as you jump straight up, it should land exactly beneath you.
This frame is the textbook landing position. Because you started with your feet on the wheels, you should land on the bolts every time, making it a very solid landing.
As I mentioned over and over again in the video, this is one trick where your board setup will really make a huge difference as to how easy it seems. Loose and low trucks paired with small wheels is literally the worst case scenario with this one. The reason for this is simple: loose trucks will mean you’ll need to a lot more power into the flip, and low trucks and small wheels give you less to land on.
If you’re planning on doing a lot of stationary tricks, it’s worth getting some harder bushings, taller trucks and larger wheels. Some people will even set their boards up so that the board is as tall as it is wide to make it easier to land on the rail!