If you enjoy snowboarding and know how to hit a rail, then it’s about time you built your own snowboard rail. This will help you practice in your own back yard and truly master the art of rail riding!
Here’s how to build a snowboard rail in 5 easy steps:
- Get the necessary tools and materials.
- Measure and cut your 2x4s evenly.
- Build the snowboard rail frame.
- Attach the PVC pipe.
- Test the built snowboard rail.
In this article, I’ll walk you through building a snowboard rail, starting with the tools and supplies you’ll need and ending with how to test it. I’ll also throw in a quick video tutorial on building a snowboard rail. Read on!
1. Get the Necessary Tools and Materials.
Start by getting everything you need to build a snowboard rail. The materials will of course depend on the type of rail you want. There are different snowboard rail types: ride-on rails, flat rails, curved rails, box rails, and curved rails.
I’ll show you how to build a flat snowboard rail because it’s easier than most other types.
Here’s what you need in terms of tools and materials.
- Cutting saw
- A drill with drill bits
- Measuring tape
- A pencil
- One 10 ft (3 m) 2×4 piece of wood
- Three 8 ft (2.43 m) 2×4 pieces of wood
- One 10 ft (3 m) long PVC pipe with 4-inch width
- One box of 2 ½-inch (6 cm) screws
- A roll of duct tape
Once everything is ready, it’s time to get down to business— building a 10 ft long PVC snowboard rail!
2. Measure and Cut Your 2x4s Evenly.
Cutting your 2x4s is the most crucial step. This must be done correctly or it can mess up the entire project.
To make the support legs and triangular braces, you need to cut the 8 ft (2.43 m) 2x4s into evenly sized pieces.
Note: The 10 ft (3 m) 2×4 wood will be used as the top frame, so don’t cut it.
a) Cut two 8 ft (2.43 M) 2x4s to make support legs.
Cut the first 8 ft (2.43 m) 2×4 into four equal pieces. Use the tape measure and the pencil to mark the wood, and cut evenly using the saw to get four 2 ft (0.6 m) 2×4 pieces. Do the same for the second 8 ft (2.43 m) 2×4.
You should now have eight 2 ft (0.6 m) 2×4 pieces. And you’ll only need to use six of the pieces to make three support legs. Use the remaining two 2 ft (0.6 m) 2×4 pieces to make the triangle bases (right angles).
b) Cut one 8 ft 2×4 (2.43 M) to make the triangle bases.
Take the remaining two 2 ft (0.6 m) 2×4 pieces above and cut them into four 1 ft (0.3 m) 2×4 pieces to build the triangle bases. Each support leg should have at least two 1 ft (0.3 m) 2×4 triangle bases on both sides.
So, you’ll need six 1 ft (0.3 m) 2×4 pieces for the three support legs.
Therefore, cut two 1 ft (0.3 m) 2×4 pieces from the last 8 ft (2.43 m) 2×4 wood to bring the total triangle bases to six 1 ft (0.3 m) 2×4 pieces. Then, shape the triangle bases on the top and bottom to form right angles.
Note: You won’t use the remaining 6 ft (1.83 m) 2×4 (remainder after cutting two 1 ft (0.3 m) 2×4 pieces).
You’re probably asking why are the triangular bases essential? It’s because they give your snowboard rail an added layer of stability. They must support your total weight to prevent the rail from collapsing!
By the end of the cutting stage, you should have the following:
- One 10 ft (3 m) 2×4 (uncut)
- Six 2 ft (0.6 m) 2x4s (for support legs)
- Six 1 ft (0.3 m) 2x4s (for triangle bases)
Let’s move on to the next step.
3. Build the Snowboard Rail Frame.
The best way to approach this is to start by building the support leg, then add the triangle bases, and finish off by mounting the top frame—in our case, that is the uncut 10 ft (3 m) 2×4 wood.
To build one support leg, start by forming a “T” upside down with two 2 ft (0.6 m) 2x4s and screwing them together. Make sure the vertical piece is screwed in the middle of the horizontal piece.
Then, attach the two 1 ft (0.3 m) 2×4 right angles (slant-cut on the top and bottom) on both sides and screw them to form a triangle base. Repeat two more times to make three support legs.
Lastly, mount the 10 ft (3 m) 2×4 top frame on the support legs and screw it on. Make sure one leg goes in the middle, and the other two legs are placed 12-inches (30.5 cm) from every end.
You should now have a stable snowboard rail frame.
4. Attach the PVC Pipe (Video Time)
The last step is to attach the 4-inch (10 cm) PVC pipe to the snowboard rail frame from step 3.
Place the PVC on the frame and tape it using duct tape. Ensure that the PVC is level and equally spaced on the 10 ft (3 m) 2×4 wood before screwing it down.
Flip the rail upside down. Drill two holes evenly spaced on each end of the frame and in the middle. You will have three pairs of holes to add the screws.
Then screw the PVC firmly on the rail frame, and remove the duct tape.
This YouTube video from Joe Clark is an excellent guide on building a backyard snowboard flat rail. He’ll show you what it should look like when it is complete:
5. Test the Built Snowboard Rail.
It’s time to put the snowboard rail to the test!
However, before hitting the rail, pour some water on the flat or steep runway to ensure you slide across with your new snowboard. You don’t want the board to stick on your first run!
The above steps are a detailed guide on how to build a snowboard rail. Whilst it might sound tricky, you can quickly build your functional snowboard rail in a few hours.
When building the rail, be sure that you cut all of your wood pieces precisely and that you screw each part in tightly.
If you decide it would be easier to simply head to a snow park (no judgement if so) then check out our top snowboard destinations.