Building a Grind Rail?

I want to grind, I have a funbox 20"x3’x3’ front steps and an iron box/tube 10" wide 16 feet long.

To learn to grind do I want a flat grind rail or and downward slope (how much slope)? Does a candle work to wax the rail? Do Snafu pedals work with the pins removed (or can I leave them in)? I pedal grab with my hind foot, can I grind the same way?

Most importantly: how do I setup the rail using the three objects I have available?

Thank you in advance for your kind help, for kindly being helpful and for your helpful kindness!:slight_smile:

im not really sure you are supposed to wax a metal rail

  • Downward slope

  • Yes snafu pedals works but you better put the pins off ( except if you want to bail )

  • I think you should grind with the same foot

Have fun !

Waxing a metal rail works wonderfully. If you really want a perfect sliding surface, I would follow this method of waxing.

  1. rub your rail with candle wax or the sort (a block of paraphin wax is perfect)
  2. melt it all down with a blow torch
  3. repeat one and two
  4. test
  5. repeat as necesary.

This way the wax gets into all the tiny cracks in the metal and makes it crazy smooth as well as putting a lubricant on it. Something about the melting process at that high heat seems to help it stay on better.

edit: I would try and build something adjustable because I find its alot easier to learn on something flat and then make it slope down.
With a metal rail you don’t need the slope and it just makes it more difficult to learn, but its a good idea to learn how to ride down a slope because most areas apart from metal rails that you are going to be able to slide on will be sloped.

Heres a thread i had a while back when i made my rail. It includes pictures also.


A sloped rail sitting on flat ground won’t be much different from a flat rail on flat ground… you can grind just as long on a flat rail. A good sloped rail makes an angle of 40-45 degrees with the ground; you can only hit this rail from a pyramid or fun box.

Candle wax, surfboard wax, even earwax would work on the rail… it doesn’t need to be fancy, it just needs to be slick. The only difference you’ll see in your choice of wax is how long it will last.

You can grind with pins in but you won’t grind as well and you’ll likely mangle your pedal. Snafu’s aren’t built for grinding or pedal grabbing; I’d recommend putting a grind plate on them first, otherwise you could break your pedal. I have a pair of Odyssey Jim Cielinskis and they work great for grinding: they’re wide, thick and reinforced.

As far as which foot to grind with, go with what works for you. I grind with my left foot back, although most grind with their forward foot. I’m finding out that hitting a handrail with your back foot is a lot more difficult than with your forward foot, but as long as I’ve got short rails and ledges to grind, I’m good to go.

Good luck!

Ok are you referring to the first part of your sentance (where you talk about a sloped rail on flatland), or are you saying ‘you can grind just as long on a flat rail’. Because that makes no sense.



I’ve spend 3 grind sessions so far. (About one hour total) With the slanted grind rail I can now grind 4’ about 75% of the time.

The temperature has been hanging around -18c so the waxing was hard. I would rub some on then use a micro-torch to melt it onto to rail a 1/2 inch at a time! Consequentially, I don’t have very much of the rail/tabletop waxed. I’ve used about a cubic inch of wax to cover a space, in patches, of about 500sq inches.

It turned out that I just set one end of the rail on the fun box, held in place with nails, and the other end, about 10’ away, on the ground. That way I have a potential of grinding about 4 feet before the tire hits the ground. I tried setting the rail so it was level (from the box to the steps) but I couldn’t get it to slide. I would land, stop, and either go into a stall or just plain fall, do I need more wax? I got up as much speed as I could with a 6’ run-up.

I’m using my snafu pedals with a homemade grind plate attached. I waxed the plate, to make up for the lack of wax on the rail, is that a good idea?

When I jump to grind I end up landing in a crank grab, then slide into a pedal grab, am I killing my cranks (note the photo)?



The most important thing to do when grinding on a flat rail is to avoid jumping higher than you need to land on the rail. In other words, only jump as high as you need to land your grind. If you jump any higher, you come down hard on the rail and end up creating a lot of friction on the rail, slowing yourself down.

Try a smaller rolling hop onto the rail and you should notice you’ll grind a lot further. Of course, carry as much speed / forward momentum into your grind as possible… as if you’re trying to rolling hop a wide gap.

It looks like you’ve got Profiles on your uni… don’t worry about scratching off the paint… you can’t avoid that. Just check them periodically to make sure they’re not rusting… other than that you’ll be fine. I’ve been grinding and grabbing with my cranks for over 6 months with little damage other than the missing paint.

Chromed cranks are less prone to damage than the painted ones, but I didn’t learn that until after I got my crankset :frowning:

Have fun!

Thats alot of good advice, jason!

The advice was good! Thanks for taking the time to help…


The local (small) skate park is open now so I have access to “real” grind rails, so far I’ve tried grinding another 15 minutes with 90% success rate (eg. riding out of a grind) on the edge of a fun box and 15" high 1’ wide rail.

They have a wide rail running down the side of a pyramid about 12’ long with a drop/slope of 5’ (35 degree angle?) by the time I reach the bottom I have too much speed to ride out of it. What I have been doing is just hopping off the rail before I get going too fast.

How do you slow yourself on a grind? Or, how do you land when your moving faster then you can ride out?

Drag your heel on the ledge / rail. The more of your heel you can get on the rail and the more you weight it, the more it brakes.

Land in a glide! :stuck_out_tongue:

Here’s a video of one of my grinds, general critique welcome:

Link (3mb)

General Critique reporting for duty, Sir!

That’s a decent static grind… now try working on rolling into the grind.

My only comment on your grind is that you want to avoid twisting your wheel to exit the grind… if you’re going fast that’s a good way to faceplant. All you need is a small sidehop. Try and land with your wheel parallel to the rail. On a rail like that you can even just drop off the end of the rail and roll it out without any hop.

Looks pretty good…I have not critique as i can not grind yet but it still looks like your progressing nicely

So you posted just to say you’ve got nothing to say? :thinking:

I’m sure Cameron appreciates your support, but RSU doesn’t stand to gain much from posts that say “looks good”. Please post the chatter in JC, thank you!

I’m no expert on grinding but I’ve had some experience on some small things. Rolling hops are a lot better and easier because when doing a static jump onto a rail it’s hard I think to adjust to the slope and change suddenly. Try to grind on the pedal rather than the crank and when you do be sure to pull on on the unicycle so that the wheel doesn’t touch the ground.

man i dont know why everyone asks so many questions about grinding, its real easy, just use whatever foot/position comfortable, if you stick yto the rail, put on a plastic pedal, just keep doing it till you get good

That looked good, just try and stay straigher while grinding. Maybe your putting to much weight on the seat? And kinda lean more towards the ledge, in your case lean to the right a little more. It will help you come off straight.

candle wax works fine for waxing a rail. or even curbs/cement boxes you want to grind. the best deal on wax is to go to a 99cent store and buy a big bar of wax for like a dollar. it works almost as well as skate wax. except for element wax, element skate wax is awesome.