How to get your hands on your own skatepark
If you are dreaming of owning your own skatepark we have some ideas on how to make this happen.
There aren't many things that beat the feeling of entering a fresh and well-designed skatepark, and in recent years we have seen skateparks popping up almost everywhere in the major cities - which is great. For those of you who live in remote areas, this is a small comfort, since hours of transportation will make you waste a lot of valuable time on the ramps.
But don’t you worry - with a small amount of money and a dedicated work effort you can build your own setup in the backyard or on the street within a few hours or days depending on which option you choose.
Buy or build and let your imagination run free
If building your own skatepark from the ground sounds like an inconceivable task, you can choose to buy some of the elements. Freshpark and Rampage produce a range of high-quality ramps, rails and fly-outs, that are perfect for home use, schools and local skateparks. We guarantee you, that you will be amazed at how much fun a simple fly-out can provide - for a very low price. Here are a few examples:
Also, check out these skatepark elements from Freshpark and Rampage.
With a few of these different elements, you will have hundreds of combinations and lines to choose from, and it is truly your chance to create the skatepark of your dreams. The products from Freshpark and Rampage can easily be combined with your own homemade constructions.
Here are a few examples:
- Quarter pipe - A single transition ramp.
- Bank - A small jump with flat sides.
- Flat rail - A flat or cylindrical metal pole used for slides and grinds.
- Fly out / Launch ramp - A small jump with a transition.
- Pyramid / Fourway funbox - A four-sided ramp with a flat section at the top.
- Mini ramp - Resembles the quater pipe but usually 5ft or smaller.
Want to build? Choose an element
Funboxes, mini ramps, quarter pipes, rails, launch ramps and much more - you get the picture. There are quite a few different elements to choose from for your DIY-project.
In this article, we focus on the different steps in the process of building a smaller construction like for example a mini ramp. If your dream includes a bowl or a 12-foot by 16-foot (3.66 metres by 4.88 metres) half pipe in between the rose garden and the garage, you will need some professional help. Designing and building a bowl or a half-pipe of this size is an art-form and very expensive.
Choose the right materials
The next step includes choosing the right materials for the project.
If you live in an area with long winters, regular storms or a very humid climate, you’ll want to choose materials that can withstand these conditions. Especially when it comes to the plywood, it’s important to make sure that it’s water resistant.
Alternatively, you can cover up the construction when it’s not in use and disassemble it for storage during fall and winter.
One of our skatepark designers Anders Pödenphant have built dozens of mini ramps in Denmark, where rain and snow are widespread. His best advice for DIY-ramp builders is:
“Apart from materials, the most important thing to consider is the underlay. It’s crucial that you don’t place the construction directly on the grass or ground. Even impregnated wood will take unnecessary damage if treated this way. My best advice is to level out the ground and put tiles under the construction,” he says.
In many blueprints and construction plans, details about the screws are not mentioned. We recommend that you use 2.5 in deck screws except for the plywood where you should use drywall screws around 1.5 in long.
Find design templates and go shopping
Luckily, you are not the first one to build your own mini ramp. The internet is your friend, and there are dozens of different step-by-step construction plans. Some are free and some will cost you a few bucks.
Rick Dahlen is a DIY-dad that published his blueprints for a 3-foot (91-centimetres) high skateboard mini ramp and a 4-foot (1.22 m.) mini ramp. These plans can be downloaded Dahlen is a DIY-dad that published his blueprints for a 3-foot (91-centimetres) high skateboard mini ramp and a 4-foot (1.22 m.) mini ramp. These plans can be downloaded here. Another place to find design templates are at xtremeskater.com, where you can find blueprints for all different kinds of jumps, rails, ramps etc.
A decent mini ramp can be built for the same price as a PlayStation. This is, of course, said with a decent buffer, since the quality of the materials you choose can amp up the project budget. We recommend that you use a little extra cash on the materials for expanding the durability and thereby the lifetime of the ramp.
Start building and get skating
Anders Pödenphant, who is an experienced ramp-builder, can build a mini ramp in about 20 hours. But if it’s your first time working on a big construction like this, he calculates that you should use around 30 hours for the project - assuming you are on your own.
So spend five hours a day. Monday to Saturday and you’re done. Don’t forget to reserve Sunday for skating!
Oh - one last thing
If your project inspires you to start building a high and permanent construction, you should do some research on the local zoning laws. In most neighborhoods, there are zoning laws that regulate the height of backyard structures and their proximity to neighboring property.
If your vision of the skate construction runs afoul of the local rules, you will need a special permit to proceed or just reevaluate the design or placement in the garden. Otherwise, the local council can force you to remove the construction and fine you - or your parents.