What is a Skateboard Razor Tail? 3 Easy Ways to Fix It

skateboard with a razor tail

A skateboard razor tail is when the tail of your skateboard has chipped down, creating a sharp tail or edge.

You can still use your skateboard if it has a razor tail but once the chipping gets bad enough, it can affect your ride. A lot of people will still ride a board with a razor tail and it’s definitely doable to keep riding, at least until your next paycheck.

Every skateboarder will experience razor tail once they begin dragging their tail to stop, manualling, or landing flip tricks. Over time, the tail will chip or crack from weight and pressure. And once the board gets a razor tail, it becomes more likely to chip or crack.

A skateboard razor tail will affect the pop of your board when performing flip tricks and is known to cause injuries. Continue reading to discover the cons of razor tail, how you can fix it, as well as the average lifespan of a skateboard.

How to Fix a Razor Tail Skateboard

If you don’t want to buy a new deck right away then there are two ways that you can attempt to fix the razor tail on your skateboard.

  1. Sand the edge of your tail until the sharp edge is gone. This will be the fastest and easiest way to remove your razor tail if you have access to power tools like a belt sander. However, even if you don’t have a belt sander you can use coarse sandpaper on a sanding block. Sand back and forth on the edge until the razor tail loses its sharpness or is gone for good.
  1. Cut the razor tail off completely. For this you’ll need a bandsaw or jigsaw. Take your saw of choice and cut the end of the tail off. You need to make sure that you still keep a curved shape to the tail and only cut off as much wood as necessary. Personally, I do not advise doing this. It can effect the pop of your skateboard and cutting too much off might mean that it’s time to put that deck away for good.

Pro Tip: If there are cracks in the plies, seal them up with crazy glue or wood glue and put clamps or a vice on them. If you use a vice, make sure to use something as a buffer between the vice and the wood such as cloth or newspaper. This will not permanently fix your skateboard but it will prolong the life of it so that you can continue to ride that deck until you can purchase a new one.

skateboard razor tail

Cons of a Skateboard Razor Tail

Not only does the razor tail not look good, there are actually a fews cons to it as well. For starters, a razor tail causes the deck to lose pop, affecting how high the board gets from an ollie and other flip tricks.

Even further, it can cause wipeouts and injuries. Don’t be scared though. If you notice that your board has a razor tail but it’s not affecting your ollies or continuing to chip badly when attempting tricks, then you can keep riding it for a little while.

Why is it called a razor tail? Because the sharp wood can leave nasty cuts and injuries that may even lead to scars.

Razor tail really messes with how your skateboard performs in a few key ways:

  1. Pop Problems: When your skateboard’s tail gets all sharp and chipped, it loses its pop. Pop is that awesome bounce you need for tricks like ollies. With a razor tail, your board feels less bouncy, making it way harder to nail those tricks that rely on a strong pop.
  2. Control Concerns: Having a razor tail can mess with how stable and controlled your skateboard feels, especially when you’re trying to pull off tricks that need precise balance. That sharp edge might catch on stuff, throwing off your balance and making it tough to stay in control.
  3. Trick Troubles: Ever notice how your skateboard feels less responsive and easy to maneuver when it’s got a razor tail? It’s like trying to steer a wonky shopping cart! Tricks become harder to pull off smoothly, especially those tricky moves that need you to be super precise with your board.
  4. Risk of Injury: Here’s a big one – that sharp edge? It’s not just annoying, it’s also dangerous! If you take a spill or even just brush up against it, you’re risking cuts and scrapes. Nobody wants that added risk of injury while shredding, right?
  5. Wear and Tear Woes: Once your skateboard’s tail starts to get razor sharp, it’s like opening the floodgates for more damage. It’s more prone to further chipping, cracking, and even falling apart. And let’s face it, that means you’ll be needing a new deck sooner than later.

So, razor tail isn’t just about looks – it messes with how your skateboard handles, puts you at risk of injury, and speeds up the wear and tear on your deck. Time to address that razor tail ASAP, whether it’s fixing it up or getting yourself a fresh deck.

How Can You Prevent Skateboard Razor Tail?

Razor tail is pretty common and it’s bound to happen as you start getting into flatground tricks and grinds. You’ll never be able to fully prevent razor tail from happening to your skateboard but you can do a few different things to make sure it doesn’t happen so fast.

  1. Avoid Excessive Dragging: Be mindful of how often you drag the tail of your skateboard, as excessive dragging can contribute to forming razor tail on your skateboard. Practice techniques that minimize tail drag, such as learning to land tricks with controlled foot placement and using your front foot to absorb impact during landings.
  2. Choose Smooth Surfaces: Whenever possible, skate on smooth surfaces to minimize the risk of razor tail formation. Rough or abrasive surfaces can accelerate wear and tear on the tail of your skateboard, leading to premature damage. Opt for skateparks or well-maintained skate spots for a smoother riding experience.
  3. Tail Guards or Skid Plates: Consider installing tail guards or skid plates on your skateboard to provide extra protection to the tail area. These accessories act as a barrier between the tail and the ground, reducing the likelihood of chipping or abrasion, especially during tail dragging maneuvers.

How Long Should A Skateboard Deck Last?

Some intense and dedicated skaters may break their boards within two weeks or so. That being said, a good lifespan for a deck is about 6 to 12 months.

How long your deck lasts will depend on how often you skate and your style, as well as a little bit of luck.

Nowadays, there are some stronger decks from reputable brands like Lithe, Powell-Peralta, and Santa Cruz. These decks are reinforced with a layer of carbon fiber to add some strength and durability.

When Do You Need A New Deck?

There are a few times when you might feel like you need a new deck if yours got a razor tail: 

  1. If your skateboard no longer pops up, you need to purchase a new deck.
  2. If you’ve already attempted fixing the razor tail but it’s not riding properly, then it’s time for a new board.
  3. If you no longer like the way that your board looks and feels (and you have the cash to replace it), then get a new deck.
  4. Delamination. It is not related to razor tail but delamination is another telltale sign that you’re in need of a new deck. Delamination is when the plies start coming apart. You can attempt to fix this by gluing and clamping the wood together.

Just remember that a razor tail will affect your ride,  make it harder to complete tricks, and can possibly even injury you.

So first, try to fix your razor tail. If you’re not able to fix it, then buy yourself a new deck. But if you can’t afford a new deck, then continue riding it until you’re able to buy a new deck.

Pro Tip: Never throw out old decks if they are not warped or have a really bad razor tail. They can make for excellent back-up skateboards if yours is no longer ridable.

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