Pro Snowboard Tips

Eiki Helgason - Rails

Eiki Helgason - Rails

Buttery smooth rail and jib skills have made the Helgason and his brother Halldor famous throughout the snowboard world. Growing up in Iceland without a local park to rip Eiki took his skills to the street and alfresco furniture. Eiki took Snowboard Review through why he chooses to ride the Rome Artifact 1985 on his favourite terrain.

If you’re looking for advice on what makes a good rail/jib board you might as well get it from one of the smoothest and most talented rail riders out there…Eiki Helgason.

Growing up in Iceland Eiki didn’t have amazing facilities at his local slope so he took his riding to the street rails at his home town of Akureyri.  With the help of his brother Haldor and a small crew of shredders Eiki soon developed into one of the most stylish and inventive rail riders around. It only took a few seasons in Scandinavia and Eiki was starting to be noticed by a number of well-known Scandi riders; Hampus Mossesson and Jakob Wilhelmson thought his riding was so good that they asked him to star in the ‘07 epic shred movie ‘PonyTale’. Justifiably Eiki is now on the Rome and Oakley International teams where he sits alongside riders like Shaun White and Eero Ettala. Next season Eiki will no doubt grace our screens with his effortless style and unbelievably ballsy technical ability; did we mention he’s been filming with the People Crew and Factor Films? Keep an eye out for him in this years’ DVD releases.

“My name’s Eiki Helgason and the board I ride for street rails is the Rome Artifact 1985 (147); it’s the sickest board I’ve ever ridden on rails because it’s so flexible and it has a sweet pop.

The Artifact 1985 has a new kind of reverse camber which means that the board is flat between the bindings so it’s easier to lock in to slides. As a result the nose and tail point upwards more than a normal board making it the easiest thing in the world to press and butter. The Artifact 1985 also has bronze edges and that’s really smart for riding rails because bronze is much softer than ordinary metal; with bronze edges you’ll be less likely to catch your edge on metal rails and if you wanna dull your edges it takes no time at all because they’re so soft. I really recommend the Rome Artifact 1985 for Rails, you won’t regret it.

If you ride a lot of rails on the street and in the park you should look at buying a flexible board. Less torsional and longitudinal rigidity enables the board to be more sympathetic towards the rider if there are any sudden movements of body weight and allows the rider to absorb metal landings whilst keeping stability if the rail is kinked. Flexibility also allows the rider to; manoeuvre more easily at low speed, initiate spins at lower speed and press and butter more easily for added style. Obviously pop is super important because more than often you’ll be struggling for speed when approaching a street rail, you want to be confident that you’ll be able to ollie or spin onto the rail because coming-up-short really hurts!”

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Thanks for writing that piece for us Heiki. Can you tell our readers what you’re up to at the moment?

“Right now I’m chilling and skating at home in Iceland. I’m going back on the road next week, starting with Windells for a week then the Camp of Champs for 2 weeks.”

Since watching PonyTale we’ve been looking forward to seeing more video sections from you, did you do much filming last season?

“I was Filming with the People Crew during the 08/09 season so I’ll have a part with them; I also filmed a bit with Factor films.”

It’s pretty crazy that you grew up Snowboarding in Iceland, did you have a crew that spurred you on?

“When I was growing up i rode with my friends: Gulli Gudmundsson, Viktor Hjartason and my brother Halldor Helgason at our local resort called Hlidarfjall…and rails all over our home town Akureyri.”

Have you got any tips for aspiring rail riders out there?

“The safest way to ride rails is to dull your edges and start practicing your tricks on a big plastic tube (that’s what I do) then when you feel safe and confident on the tube you can try to bring the tricks to the streets, but be safe.”

Thanks Eiki.

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