Imagine this: you pull up to the Level 1 rail jam, full of newfound confidence from unlocking all 8 2's on. Homies approve of the kit (just copped some r3 pants and an arsenic hoodie), Mom packaged ya a pb&j + clementine. Somehow properly hydrated. Its going to be a great day. From the parking lot you scan the set up. Uh oh. No tubes in sight, no airplane worthy take-off. From within a distant shimmer emerges Mike Brewer and Tucker FitzSimons.


With so much excellent ski content to consume day in day out, I think it's easy to overlook the nuances of gold standard rail tricks. So for today's tech topic we will be discussing one of the hardest (and rarest) standard maneuvers: SW tails 2... but onto a high rail with a small and narrow lip.

A few examples:

Sw4 example from arguably the master himself:

Larger lip than desired, but redeemed by the approach: hugging close to the rail as if throwing a regular 2 on. I think of "2on" degrees of difficulty, I imagine those online game adds that littered sites like Miniclip: Upgrade your character now.. followed by an increasingly buff and decked out spartan/warlock/avatar thing. The same goes for Sw tails 2.

I'd break it down this way:

Level 1: Swt2 onto a box (ride on style)

Level 2: Swt2 onto milly tube

Level 3: Swt2 onto rail with very wide lip (able to come in at an angle)

Level 4: Swt2 - coming in on a straight line, minimal carving, small lip..highish rail. Essentially a regular 2 on but backwards

Personally, Level 4 Swt2 have been the hardest trick to get on lock. I feel like a kiddo riding a bike without training wheels for the very first time - the same over-conciousness and sense of physical foreignness. Only once have I managed to transcend:

From watching people like Ferdhi, Brewer, Asselin and especially Tucker - it appears they have figured out the secret. Here is what I've noticed:

1. Bend the knees more than you think ( this is easy to forget when charging up for sw 2s or sw4s)

2. Go faster

3. Be patient!

-I think 90% of the time people prematurely try to pop when going sw tails on.. possibly related to speed issues from #2??

4. Delay the lower body rotation for as long as possible. Lead with your upper body... THEN let the legs come around

- on tucker's sw 2 this separation tends to look very dramatic

5. Compared with Sw lip 2's on I think staggering your skis aggressively matters more - allowing for more pressure on the outside ski and greater range of motion for the upper body. In this photo, the inside knee is even bowing in a bit:

Then again, I could just be a scrub at swt2 (and riding bikes without training wheels). What do you think?