If you don’t have a skate park nearby, or if you’re not allowed to skate in your neighborhood, don’t worry! You can build a skateboard ramp with just a little time and effort. There are instructions for skate ramps online, and you can find an assortment of YouTube videos and written ramp plans, but you don't need to follow someone else's idea.
Create your own design and build a skateboard ramp that’s unique to you and your style. Whether it's a mini ramp, kicker ramp, launch ramp, or anything else you can think of, the only limit is your creativity!
Here’s how to build a skateboard ramp to a design that suits you:
Get Your Ramp Plans in Order
They don’t call them “plans” for nothing. If you want to build a skateboard ramp, it’s critical that you plan ahead and draw it all out before you begin. Your ramp plans help to limit mistakes and issues and ensure you have clear instructions to follow as the project progresses.
Look at the space you’re using, whether it be your driveway or an entire cul-de-sac. Take accurate measurements and write them down.
It’s also a good idea to give your neighbors a heads up that you’re building a skate ramp. Let’s face it, skating isn’t always quiet. If you think anyone will be impacted by noise or the ramp itself, be a good neighbor and let them know.
Plan Some More
What type of skate ramp do you want to build? How large will it be? Have you worked with wood before? Imagine starting your project, only to learn that you can’t tell a screwdriver from a jigsaw. If you need to enlist help, now’s the time to do it.
Before you cut your first board, draw out your ramp on paper. If you prefer, you can buy one of the blueprints that already exist for skateboard ramps. If you’d rather customize, use a pencil and graph paper and make sure your measurements are accurate.
You can visit a skate park to get an idea for what the measurements of your ramp should be. That will vary, of course, depending upon whether you want a halfpipe, quarter pipe, mini ramp, or something else.
List and Gather your Skate Ramp Supplies
If you have a budget, it’s going to be helpful to list your supplies ahead of time. Include your wood, screws, and metal if you’re using it. But don’t forget your tools. If you want to save yourself a few bucks, as a family member if you can borrow any of their tools, as buying tools just for the purpose of building a low-cost skateboard ramp will defeat the purpose somewhat.
The price of lumber can vary wildly from season to season and from year to year. Get an idea for how much the overall project is going to cost before you begin to build. And remember, many big box hardware stores will actually cut your lumber for you. That can save you time and money as well.
Begin Construction on Your Skateboard Ramp
In most cases, it’s going to be easiest to start with the sides of your skateboard ramp. Then, build the frame that will support your ramp. The frame is no place to get stingy with your hardware or your lumber. The support frame will keep your ramp intact and will also help keep you safe.
Once your frame and your sides are assembled, it’s time to attach plywood to the surface of your skate ramp. Ensure that your boards are screwed together as closely as possible. Remember that wood may expand and contract with temperature changes, so build as snug as you can.
Surface your Skateboard Ramp
You have several options available to you for the surface of your ramp.
- Skatelite is a professional material – it’s weather resistant and very durable. However, it costs the most of all your options.
- Plywood is the least expensive option – it’s not weather-resistant, though, and is the least durable.
- Masonite is an affordable option for most – it’s a hardboard that’s more weather-resistant than plywood.
Whichever you choose, be sure your surface is smooth and sanded with no gaps between pieces. Your finished product should be free of bumps and cracks.
Finally, finish your wood material with a weather-resistant coating. While not necessary, this will help to protect your hard work and the money you’ve invested.
You’re Ready to Skate!
You followed the ramp plans to the letter, you watched the videos, heeded the instructions, and now you have your very own skate ramp, congrats! You should be proud of your accomplishment; you’ve built a ramp that you can share with your friends for years to come. Now, the only thing left to do is to get out there and start enjoying it!