Skateboarding is a passionate sport and like all professional sports, having the facilities available to help you improve is the first step to improving techniques and continuation of the passion. Having your own skateboard ramp although requires a fair amount of space, once erected you will without a doubt wonder why you never got around to it earlier. Building a skateboard ramp can be as simple or sophisticated as you want it to be. From simple quarter pipes that are portable to entire indoor rooms dedicated for skateboarding at fitted with a variety of sized ramps.
Having a plan before gathering your power tools together is important; consider the type of ramp that best suits your skill level and the space that it will be installed. Begin by sketching out your ideas on paper; this will give you an idea of what the job involves and how to go about achieving it.
Measure twice cut once
Once you have your ideal skate ramp on paper, ensure you understand the measurements so you can build it to scale. MDF or plywood can be used for the sides of the ramp, use plans and templates if you have any to outline the shape, otherwise fishing line is a great choice to assist in marking the desired curve as it doesn’t bend like string. Depending on how wide you wish your ramp to be, cut out support joists in preparation to connect sides of the ramp together, remember to brace joists over recommended spans if you plan on having a wider skateboard ramp. It is easy to get ahead of yourself when starting any DIY project, but remember to measure twice and cut once to minimize unwanted labour.
Joining ramp together
There will be different parts of the ramp you will need to connect together. Deck screws are common. Bracing and secondary support from other parts of the ramp can add to the overall strength and stability of the joining part, although skateboarding does not create heavy impacts, it should be strong enough to withstand any fall that can be encountered whilst performing on a skateboard.
Installing surface layers
Three main options apply for surfacing the frame, the first layer of the surface should always be untreated plywood followed by the top layer which can be a material called ‘skatelite’, it is the best skate surface on the market and is weather resistant but is expensive. Masonite is a surface that is thin, a brown looking board that is made from steamed wood chips and pressed to form hardboard. It is relatively affordable and makes for a smooth skate surface, however masonite will warp if rain gets to it so needs to be painted and sealed for protection. The third option is to install a second layer of plywood, but note that plywood is not weather resistant so it too should be painted and sealed for protection.
Complete the skate ramp by installing a suitable round metal pipe that spans across the width of the ramp. Drill a 12mm hole on one side wide enough for an extended Philips head and use a self-drilling metal screw to fix the inside of the pipe to the frame.
It isn’t difficult to build your own skate ramp and the accomplishment you get can be very rewarding. Skateboarding is a sport that can be enjoyed by all ages and having your own skateboard ramp to cater for the available space you have will bring significant joy to any skateboard enthusiast.