Take a ride with a pro (or a pro photographer) through the pages of the mag, and you’ll hear an academic history of each rail-who did what and the tricks that’ll top it. Can’t step up? Then keep turning the pages. The stakes are getting raised every year. We have some ideas of where it could go, but why not ask the guys who’re leading the charge.-A.F.
What is the current state of street rails and where do you think we’ll see progression?
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You can put the current rail riding into two categories. The first category I like to call “stunts,” where you either survive the trick or you’ll be on the next TV show for amazing crashes. The second category is the “technical” aspect, which are P.J. Ladd tricks but on a snowboard. A perfect example of this is Jon Kooley, who combines both aspects, which you’ll see in his part in People (MDP)-watch it and you’ll understand.
I’d like to see the progression of street rails going into a cleaner and more refined technical style, but still including big Jeremy Jones rails.
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Street rails are crazy right now. There are so many riders that are pushin’ it so hard. In order to get the shots these days you have to really scare yourself, but that’s also a big part of the fun in it. People are already hittin’ rails that are as big as they get. Progression is moving in the direction of switch tricks, as well as different ways of spinning on and off. That way you can take it back to some of the smaller rails and do tricks that are really tech-a little less consequence, but still just as fun to watch.
Another major factor in the progression of our sport should be credited to all the good filmers and photographers out there who get real creative with their angles and aren’t afraid to try new things. Keep it up everyone!
Age: 25 years young
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Big, natural backcountry riding is definitely getting more popular, because people know that it’s basically the hardest aspect to snowboarding, but I think street rails are still extremely popular and respected because rails are much easier to access than a powder jump for your average kid.
Progression with jumping is pretty slow, but there’re still so many tricks on street rails discovered every year: hardway back 270s, back 180 switch presses, and so many others that have never been done (except maybe once or twice). As far as size goes, I think it’s close to maxed-out, a rail with a 70-foot drop on the side is pretty hard to find, and once found, is it really worth the risk?
Darrell Mathes, Aaron Biittner, Eddie Wall
Photo: Andy Wright