What is a Razor Tail? (How to Fix it)
Do you know why it is called a razor tail? It's because they can often leave cuts or injuries when they hit you. When you have a razor tail, a minor impact can ruin your skating session, and I still have scars on my chin and ankle from sessions years ago.
You don't want to harm yourself but, most importantly, the people around you. If you fall off your board and send it flying towards someone, you should at least be sure that your board isn't going to cut them.
Skaters develop razor tails faster when they tail scrape, and if you combine that with all the popping you do with your board, you will get a compressed sharp edge.
The Most Common Reasons For Razor Tail
When you skate, you will eventually get a razor tail, whether you like it or not. Doing tricks, trying manuals, and scraping your tail is bound to happen. However, if you know what makes razor tails, you can prevent it easier.
The most common reason for razor tail is tail scraping or dragging. Tail scraping is a common way to brake while looking cool, but if you habitually do it, your tail layers will disappear faster than anticipated.
Tail scraping also increases the chances of chipping your board; a chipped board with a sharp edge will eventually hurt your legs.
Tail scraping is when you put the weight on your back foot and let the tail or nose of your board drag on the ground, it is OK to do sometimes, but you should use other means to stop your board as well.
popping with your board
Popping with your board is something every skater has to do if they want to learn tricks. When you pop, your tail scrapes on the ground and becomes compressed from the pressure.
When you begin to master popping, it doesn't scrape your tail as much, but when you start out, you often tend to scrape your tail instead of popping when performing tricks.
How to Prevent Skateboard Razor Tail
If you want to prevent skateboard razor tail, you need to avoid scraping your tail as much as possible, you can get protective products, but the best way is to know many variations of braking. Let's take a look at all the ways you can prevent getting a razor tail.
If you hate razor tail and want it to stop for good, you need a tail guard. The tail guard protects your tail from getting filed down, but I would only recommend this for cruiser boards. The tail guard adds extra weight, affecting your flip tricks and control. You will also need to drill holes and screw them in; if you are not careful, your board can also get pressure cracks.
If you have a regular skateboard and are considering getting a tail guard, I recommend putting carbon fiber on the bottom of your board. Carbon fiber is lightweight and strong; this will protect your board for a long time.
Tail guards are also called skid plates.
I find the heel brake most helpful when I have too much speed to do the trick. You extend your non-dominant foot out and let your heel scrape on the ground, this will slow down the speed, and instead of scraping your tail, you now damage your shoes.
Because you don't want your shoes to wear out either, you need to use more braking methods than this as well.
The foot brake is the most common way of slowing down on a skateboard; it is mainly used when you have high speed and need to slow down, if you need to do a sudden stop, or if you need to turn soon and have to much speed.
You do it by placing your non-dominant foot on the ground and applying pressure until you have lost speed or stopped completely. Foot braking wears out your shoe, but you can try to put pressure on different places to wear out your shoe more evenly.
Powersliding is the coolest way to brake; with powesliding, you don't harm your tail or shoes but your wheels. You usually powerslide when you skate fast; you start by shifting your weight to your heels while sliding into a 90-degree angle, concentrating your weight on your back foot.
Powersliding is an advanced way to stop; if you fail, you will catch your wheels and fall off. This time you only wear down your wheels, but you need to be careful that you don't do it too much. After a while, your wheels will develop flat spots. It is probably time to get new wheels when you get flat spots. If you want to learn more about when its time to change your wheels, click here
Jumping off is the best option if you have the opportunity. With all the other methods, you wear down your gear, but none of your equipment gets damaged when you jump off. Of course, if you ride at high speeds, you are better off braking normally, but if you can, I advise you to jump off the board.
How to Fix Razor Tail
The worst razor tail I have had was on my first board; I kept skating it until it didn't have a popsicle shape anymore, I didn't know how much pop my board had lost until I got my new deck, and after that, I started looking out for razor tail.
Let's take a look at how you can repair razor tail.
Sanding and wooden filling
Once your board has a razor tail, it is a higher chance for it to crack or chip, and this is why you should do something about it right away; luckily, there is a pretty easy fix to the problem.
You can shave off the sharp edges on the tail with sandpaper; if you have a sanding block, it will make it easier. After shaving your board down, you put wood filler in the cracks and chips and use clamps to hold the board together in case of delamination.
Keep in mind that the more you do this, the shorter your tail will get, and in the end, you need to get a new deck.
Does Razor Tail Affect Your Board's Performance?
When it comes to performance, a razor tail can be a bad thing. When your razor tail becomes so bad that you have a more square board, it is time to get a new deck; if your board is at this point, it probably has a lot of other deck wear as well.
When you have a razor tail, you will lose pop, it is still possible to do all kinds of tricks, but the pop is better without it. If you want to learn more about when its time to replace your skateboard deck, click here.
You cant avoid getting a razor tail if you skate the same board for a long time. However, you can easily fix your razor tail with wooden filler, clamps, and sandpaper. If you want to repair a razor tail, you need to remember that the tail eventually will be too short, and you will need to replace the deck.
If you skate with a razor tail, you will lose pop, it won't change the pop too much, but it will be less. If you want to avoid razor tail, then you need to use all of the braking methods. You shouldn't let something like a measly razor tail stop you from skating, and the board is still very skateable.
If you tail scrape a lot, you will get a razor tail faster; all skaters develop razor tail, in the end you need to buy a new board.