Build Your Own Skateboard Ramps From Scratch – DIY Skateboard Ramps

Gregor Mersick
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Materials needed

  • 2×2 Douglas Fir
  • 2×4 Douglas Fir
  • 2×4 Poplar
  • 2×6 Poplar
  • 1 1/2" galvanized pipe nipples
  • phillips head screws
  • galvanized carriage bolts
  • skateboard wheels
  • coping
  • skateboard trucks and hardware

Tools

You can build your own skateboard ramp if you have the tools and materials. There’s nothing difficult about it. But size does matter. You need to choose the design that will fit your space without being too difficult for you and your friends to use.

Before you begin, buy the wood in advance. It’s better to buy in bulk so you have enough material as opposed to running around the lumberyard when you discover you need more.

If you’re planning to build multiple ramps, it’s good to invest in a good wood. There are some cheap hardwoods, but they don’t last as long as more expensive hardwoods. And when you’re investing in a lot of wood, you want it to last as long as you can.

Here is a list of tools you need to build your own skateboard ramp:

Create a blueprint

Every project is unique, so you should design yours based on the features that you want. Building your own skateboard ramps is very fun but it’s not like building smaller structures. You’ll need to determine important factors that you want to take into consideration, such as:

  • setback – this refers to how far away you need your ramp from the ground
  • overtake – determines how much room you need for the skateboarder to catch up with the rolling ramp
  • run time – how far you need your ramp to travel before it hits the end

Using these important factors and staying within your budget, you can start to put together the features that you want.

Here are some of the basic features that you will need to create a blueprint for your DIY skateboard ramp:

Ramp panels for Skateboard Ramps: a stack of wood sheets will serve as your ramp panels for build your own DIY skateboard ramp

Consistency: any stack of wood sheets will need to be of consistent and uniform size, not too thick but not too thin. Different kinds of wood will have their own ideal thickness.

Foot rails: your DIY skateboard ramp should be safe and secure to skate on the foot rails should be made of wood and securely bolted to the wood sheets

Foundations

There are many different ramps you can construct to train or skate off of. Things will start to make more sense if you can start to see in your head what the finished ramp will look like. For example: will it slant up to an end platform, or will it have a rail the skater can grind? The choice is yours!

The ramps you will be building today will be using basic plywood that you will find at a building supply store. The plywood will be your ramp’s foundation and will be the underlying structure of your ramp, beneath the more complex parts. In this section of the article today, we will discuss the initial foundations you will need in order to build a solid ramp.

Use a square to draw two identical squares that are 4” x 4” on the plywood. These will be the first and last panels that will run parallel to the ground, so try to keep them as level as possible while you are measuring and cutting. Also, leave between 3/8” and 1/2” as your allowance on each side. There will be a few cuts made on each side, so allow some space to cover for mistakes.

Begin with the sides

If you have a good idea of the dimensions you are looking for, it is time to begin your skateboard ramp. The sides and framework of most skateboard ramps are constructed from 2" x 6" wooden boards, although the actual size of the boards can vary based on personal preference. In some cases, 4" x 4" and 4" x 6" lumber may be required if the ramp will be used by larger skateboarders or for stunt purposes.

You'll need to cut your wooden boards to make the sides and supports that will hold the whole ramp together. Cut boards at 14" in length for the vertical parts and then cut two boards for the lateral parts at about 40" in length. The legs can vary in dimension, but one thing to remember is that they should have a bit of lateral strength, so try to cut them in at least 30".

The amount of lateral strength required will depend on the type of skateboarder you are dealing with as well since some bigger or more aggressive skateboarders will undoubtedly require more lateral support. You might also want to consider laying some foam under the ramp too since it will allow your skateboarder to get more control – this is one of the best ways to build a ramp from scratch.

Connections

Before you start building the frame, determine what type of connections you want to use on your ramp. Wooden decks don’t usually break but when they do, they tend to splinter and break off in jagged edges. They can still rip grip tape and hurt you if you step on them.

If you’re using a wooden deck, it’s a good idea to connect the two skatestops with some kind of metal if you’re going to be grinding on the rails. You might also want to consider connecting the last third of the side rails to the next ramp by drilling some screws into the top sheet from the backside.

The best way to build a DIY skateboard ramp is to start with a metal framework. A preliminary sketch of the ramp will let you determine what type of frame you want, how it will be constructed, and where it will be located.

Your frame will be mounted on a base and will be at least 12 feet wide and 8 feet tall. Follow these steps to build your DIY skateboard ramp:

First, make a sketch that shows your desired framework. It should show where the bottom of the ramp will be, how it creates a U shape, and the location of the frame.

Next, determine what type of skatestops you want to use. You can purchase these at most skate shops.

Add plywood

To the top of the braces on the rail-side legs and screw into place.

Sealing the ramp

Building a skateboard ramp from scratch is a skill that is often learned by kids who may not have a lot of money to buy equipment, but it is also a great way to expend creative energy. Skateboarders of all ages enjoy the challenge.

In fact, building a ramp is rewarding on many levels. It gives a sense of accomplishment because skateboarders can be highly competitive with each other. They also do it to customize their skateboards and learn more about them. Skateboarders also like to become DIY experts rather than buying everything they need.

Choosing a material to build the ramp with is important. If you are only increasing the size of a ramp, the most common choice is plywood. Designers will install plywood risers where the rollout is just a bit tougher. If you are building entirely new ramps, it’s common to use sturdy two-by lumber. This will create the most challenging ramps. For the best ramps and skateboarders in the world, you can use steel beams and ceramic tiles.

Finish the surface of your ramp

Surface prep: With the carpenter's level, check the concrete to make sure it's flush with the top of the wooden ramp. When you reach the perfect depth and height, mix up the concrete at a 1 to 1 ratio. Pour the concrete into the concrete forms, and sweep the top to remove any air bubbles. If you find that there is air in the concrete, you can use a hammer and chisel to pop the air bubbles. Start from the top and work your way down, curing the concrete as you go, so it doesn't break before set.

Curing: Curing is a very important step in the DIY project process because it allows the product to set and dry. When the concrete is set, you need to let it sit for 1 to 2 days, and then you are ready to complete this process. Large skim coats on each side are the best way to build a smooth ramp surface.

Attach the steel

Using the 48 “end cap” and nuts, attach the two long pieces of steel to each other using the bolts that came in the package with the nuts. After that’s done, set two long pieces of steel inside the frame of the ramp frame. Make sure that the long end of the steel is facing out. Slide the end cap down the long steel to secure it.