If there was a king for developing the worst razor tail, I’d be the one! My decks would get so bad they would turn into squares. If you’re having this issue, simple preventative measures can be taken to eliminate it.
You can prevent skateboard razor tails by learning how to stop properly. Tail scraping often is the most common cause of razor tails that can prevented. Using this method sparingly is ok in most situations. Jumping off your board, braking with your foot, and power sliding are techniques to eliminate the problem before it starts.
Many new skaters develop razor tails, so don’t feel you’re the only one. This is a simple bad habit that can be remedied by learning how to control your board. You’ll find yourself unconsciously doing the wrong thing many times in skateboarding. Ahead are some simple techniques you can use in your routine. Mastering these will eliminate the worry of having razor tails occur in the future.
Tail scrapping or dragging is the most common way to stop on a skateboard. It’s a pretty basic maneuver that most skateboarders use to assist in stopping. Doing this too often will cause razor tails faster than anticipated.
This movement is made when you’re non-dominant foot is pressing hard on the ground. Over time, friction will burn down most of your layers, creating sharp edges. Doing so will also increase the chances of your board chipping and squaring out. You’re probably doing this so often that you’re unaware of how much damage it’s causing. We’re all guilty of it, so don’t feel you’re the only one. Just apply this less often as this was my number one mistake.
Approaching objects too fast or with uncertainty is a common habit we as skaters develop. Committing to a trick can be daunting upon roll up, leading to scraping the nose or tail hard on the ground.
Similar to the tail scape, you are extending your non-dominant heel out to slow you, not allowing as much pressure on the board. This however over time wears out your shoe. You’ll find yourself using this more going down steep hills, or coming up to gaps too fast. I’ve created gashes in my shoe doing this too much.
Using the foot brake method is usually used on level surfaces. Going too fast down a sidewalk, or about to make a sudden turn are instances this comes in handy. You’re placing your non-dominant foot on the ground to stop. Again, this can wear down the bottom of your shoe pretty quickly.
Dropping in on a quarter pipe, losing control and speed, you’re automatic response is to jump off. Maybe you took a hard slam, this will happen! However, you can also jump off coming up to boxes, stairs, or rails without having to tail scrape. It’s not going to be as dramatic, but it’s my personal second-best way I use it.
A powerslide is a more advanced way to stop. Bombing hills, or just skating fast in general is applied. You’re shifting your weight to your heels, sliding into a 90 degree angle, concentrating weight on your back foot. This can be hard because you can catch your wheels and fall off. The downside is, this can cause flat spots on your wheels.
Fixing Razor Tail
If you’re at a point where your boards starting to slightly square out, get some 80-120 grit sandpaper. Sanding the edges softly will help reshape the board and soften the edges. Also, this is good if your nose or tail layers start splitting or have been smashed in.
If razor tail is bothering you, tail guards will technically solve your problem. However, I’d suggest against this unless you’re skating a cruiser deck, unlike your normal popsicle board. Take into consideration that you need to drill holes and screw them in. Adding additional weight to your board too will throw you off, and pressure cracks from screws can occur.
Does Razor Tail Cause Board To Lose Pop?
Yes, you’ll notice a slight difference when it gets really bad. I’ve gone through so many boards, being the master of razor tail and square boards. However, it’s not something that deems your board useless. I’d rather buy a new board that’s lost its concave over some measly razor tail. When my boards got really square, I had no choice but to buy a new deck.
You’re board will lose stiffness over time, keep that in mind as well. If a board is exposed to water enough, this warps the deck rather swiftly. Wood and glue separate, causing an unpleasant side effect.
Does It Matter What Deck You Have?
Damage to your skateboard deck doesn’t justify what brand deck you have. As a skater, you’ll snap decks the first day from landing wrong. No stronger material will prevent this kind of damage. Just being aware of how you’re treating your board is really the solution.
There are decks made with fiberglass layers, like the famous lib tech design. It’s durable and will say its only downfall is the potential to get shards of fiberglass in your skin. This only occurs if you happen to chip your board a lot.
When Should You Replace Your Skateboard Deck?
I recommend replacing your skateboard deck when it’s lost its shape and feel. When concave feels flat and the board isn’t as stiff as it once was. This can also happen if you’ve exposed it to water or rain, riding it will feel soft like riding a Toys R Us board!
There have been times I’ve purchased boards that were complete garbage. Either the board had no pop (concave) or the wood used was soft and brittle. Very rarely does this happen, just be aware of where you purchase from. You might be sick of your board, upset it didn’t last you as long as you anticipated. Maybe it’s because its performance diminished before your very eyes. I’ve had a couple of setups chillin’ at my place at one given time. It’s nice to have a backup and something that you might just for cruising. Don’t snap your board out of anger…(sometimes it’s just instinct.) I regretted this decision before realizing to keep it as a spare in the closet. Maybe a friend might need a board, now you have a nice gift for them!
Keep It Simple…
Razor tail is simply annoying! By applying these methods to your daily routine, you’ll see a significant difference. You’ll still be scraping the edges from doing tricks, but not enough to burn down all your layers. Not being able to land tricks….well that’s even more frustrating!