The skateboard rail was an invention that helped a skateboarder grab their board when doing vert tricks like airs and inverts. They also helped protect your boards graphic back when that mattered. I'm sure many skateboarders wish that they hadn't installed rails at all - much less skated their board with the prices some of these vintage decks are fetching now.
Rails also assisted with sliding on your board. Sliding on the surface of your board was a bit of a mission because the deck was pretty flat - they had little to no concave. The rails allowed a contact point for a more efficient slide.
Rails all but disappeared from skateboard culture in the 1990's with smaller boards that had concave but have recently made a comback - both for utilization and flare.
We want to thank Riff Raff Rails for stepping in to sponsor our Urban Explorer Knoxville event on October 7, 2022! This is their story:
Riff Raff Skate Rails spawned out of another project. After manufacturing large children's exhibits we were left with an abundance of plastic raw material of many different colors which was very expensive. Rather than sit on it and wait for a random project to come through our manufacturing doors we decided to utilize the material to make skateboard accessories and contribute to the resurgence of board rails. We could've thrown the material away but decided to follow our teenage dreams of creating a skate company within our supportive fabrication business. The creation of Riff Raff Rails has allowed us to sponsor skate events and skaters all over the country. We have contributed to many skate competitions, skate jams, and nonprofits to show support for the skaters who want colorful, creative, and edgy board rails! We design and manufacture the skateboard rails in our own fabrication and plastics shop. We love to see the comeback of the rails because skating's legendary forefathers all grew up skating on tricked out boards covered in plastics (rails, lapers, copers, nose bones, tail skids). Those were the glory days... Now we are doing our part to bring back the traditional rail with a modern design and extremely durable quality.