Read these 6 Using and Building Skate Ramps Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Skate Board tips and hundreds of other topics.
When building a skateboard ramp, safety and fun should be your lead considerations, and if done correctly neither one has to negate the other. It is possible to build one that provides both. The length, width and height of your ramp are your next important factors. The amount of flat, transition length, platform depth, overall ramp height and the space you have to put the finished piece in must all be taken into consideration. For a half-pipe, about 17-18 feet in length is about right and about 8 feet wide is the minimum. Most importantly though is planning and patience. Spending too little time and too much money is not cool, and will not get you something you can be proud of.
Material for building your ramp vary in quality as well as price. Skatelite is much more expensive than plywood, but it also lasts longer. Skatelite can cost you $95 per 4' x8' sheet while plywood costs $12 for the same size sheet. Ramp armor is comparable to Skatelite but a bit less expensive. Polyboard is also less expensive but tends to expand and contract with temperature changes, so watch out for buckling. And lastly, there's plywood. Its cheap and can be made to last with a good coat of paint.
Here's a small, but important tip on building a ramp: Never line up the seams between the different layers. Your top layer should be staggered. The essence is that you never want to have two seams line up in the same place. You'll get kinks, and water will get through those seams, greatly diminishing the life of your ramp.
A simple skateboard ramp or rail can take as little as a couple of hours to build, and halfpipe or quarterpipe just a few weeks with the proper tools and guidance. It all starts with a plan though, and a little bit of money. If you're under age, talk to your parents. You may find them much more receptive to the idea of you skating in your own backyard that out in the streets.
If you're building a ramp for backyard use, don't forget to elicit the goodwill and enthusiasm of your neighbors by not having major crowds of skaters over all day, every day, and by not staying out late making a lot of noise and creating a scene. Good manners and consideration will go a long way.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|