Today’s reader question:
How do I ride boxes and rails and make it all the way to the end without falling off to the left or right?
So beyond the basics which everyone will tell you (keep balanced, don’t use edges), a large part of making it to the end of the box is setting your approach line correctly.
Here are some basics for setting your approach line correctly:
1) It’s *almost* all in the approach
Yes, you do need to balance and keep your body steady on the box/rail, but beyond basic rail technique, a huge part of making it to the end of the rail is just making sure your approach line is correct.
If your approach line is aimed towards the end of the box/rail, you’ll have a good chance to make it to the end, if not, you’ll fall off early.
2) How to set your approach line for boxes/rails
It’s actually very simple. Look towards the end of the box/rail as you set your approach line. Where you look is where your snowboard will point and go, so you have to look at the end of the box to make it to the end of the box.
Don’t make the mistake of focusing so much on the start of the box/rail that you keep aiming at that point and end up angled off track because you won’t be able to fix your line once you’ve launched onto the box.
This includes once you’re on the box/rail. Don’t start looking to the sides because that’s where your body will angle and go. Look towards the end of the box/rail to keep aligned and set on the right line.
Here’s a diagram I did in a previous blog on this topic:
You get on the right course by making sure when you hop on you’re already set on that course, instead of aiming off course and trying to correct it once you’re already on the box/rail.
3) If you’re falling off, it’s okay, go with it
One more thing I’ll add is don’t try to fight against it if you get on the box and realise you’re not lined up properly and drifting off the box early. It’s fine. Go with it and just hop off early.
You can’t make major changes to your line once you’re already on the box/rail, so don’t try or you’ll end up crashing.
Remember, a lot of making it to the end of the box or rail is just making sure you set your approach path correctly by looking and aiming it towards the end of the box/rail BEFORE you launch into your 50/50 or whatever trick you’re doing.
Hope that helps