Ever since I discovered fingerboarding, the scaled-down cousin of skateboarding, I’ve been hooked. There’s something truly mesmerizing about executing intricate tricks with just my fingers on these miniature skateboards.
But what really adds to the excitement is the DIY aspect – building my own ramps and skate parks. It’s a blend of creativity and skill that’s both challenging and rewarding.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been at it for a while, I’m excited to share this journey with you.
Let’s dive into the process of crafting your very own fingerboard ramp, tailored to suit both novices and seasoned builders alike.
1. Materials and tools needed
In my fingerboard adventures, I’ve realized that the right materials and tools are the backbone of any great ramp. Let me take you through my personal checklist of essentials:
For the building blocks, I like to keep my options open. I usually have a stash of cardboard for quick and easy designs, foam board for a bit more durability, and polystyrene when I’m feeling ambitious. For those truly lasting creations, nothing beats wood, and for the ultimate ramp, I go for concrete.
Now, for the tools – my trusty scissors are always at hand, and I can’t stress enough how handy a hot glue gun is. Sandpaper is a must for smoothing out those rough edges. And, of course, I always have a collection of paints and various decorating supplies to give my ramps that personal flair. Each tool and material brings its own charm to the build, and I love mixing and matching them depending on my project’s needs.
2. Designing your ramp
When it comes to designing the ramp, I always take a moment to ponder what kind of ramp I’m in the mood to create. Sometimes it’s the classic mini ramps that catch my fancy, perfect for a casual session. Other times, I aim for the thrill of halfpipes or the challenge of crafting a spine. It’s all about what fits my current skill level and the space I have available.
I often sketch out a few designs, playing around with the size and shape, and considering how complex I want to make it. There’s a certain thrill in mapping out a new project, imagining how each curve and angle will come to life. It’s like a puzzle, fitting my vision into the practicalities of space and ability. Whether it’s a simple ramp for a chill fingerboard session or a more intricate setup for honing skills, the planning stage is where my ideas start to take flight.
3. Make different types of ramps
Building fingerboard ramps is an exciting mix of artistry and craftsmanship. Let me share with you the way I approach making different types of ramps, adding my own twists and tweaks along the way:
Cardboard ramps for tech deck
- Materials: Cardboard, scissors, tape, glue.
- Design and Cut: I start by sketching the ramp design directly onto the cardboard, getting creative with the shapes.
- Assembly: I attach the cut pieces to form the ramp structure, using tape or glue to ensure they hold together.
- Reinforcement: I always reinforce the structure, especially at joints, by adding extra layers of cardboard.
- Finishing Touches: I smooth out the edges with tape, and sometimes I add a layer of paint for a cleaner look.
Foam and wood ramps for tech deck
- Materials: Foam board or wood, popsicle sticks, glue, nails, sandpaper.
- Cutting the Shape: Based on the ramp type I’m aiming for, I carefully cut the foam or wood into the desired shape.
- Assembly: I assemble the pieces, using popsicle sticks for delicate areas like railings.
- Sanding: To ensure a smooth finish, I sand down all the surfaces and edges.
- Decorating: This is where I let my creativity loose, painting the ramp or adding custom decals.
Concrete ramps for tech deck
- Materials: Polystyrene, ready-mix concrete, trowel, sandpaper.
- Mold Creation: I shape polystyrene into the ramp structure to serve as a mold.
- Applying Concrete: I mix the concrete and apply it over the polystyrene, smoothing it with a trowel.
- Curing and Sanding: After the concrete cures, I sand any rough patches for a smooth ride.
- Detailing: Finally, I add colors or textures to give it a unique finish.
Advanced Building Tips
- Stability and Support: For larger or more complex ramps, consider adding internal support structures.
- Surface Treatment: For smoother rideability, especially on wood and concrete ramps, apply a clear sealant or varnish.
- Custom Obstacles: Incorporate unique obstacles like stairs, rails, or bowls to enhance the fingerboard experience.
- Themed Ramps: Create ramps inspired by famous skateparks or incorporate elements from your favorite skateboarding spots.
- Interactive Features: Add movable parts or modular elements that can be rearranged for different setups.
Each type of ramp brings its fun and challenges. From the simple yet versatile cardboard ramps to the more permanent and sturdy concrete ones, there’s always something new to learn and try.
And the best part? Seeing your creation come to life and enjoying a session of fingerboard on a ramp that’s uniquely yours!
4. Customization and decoration
After I’ve built my ramp, it’s all about making it truly mine. I often grab my paints and brushes to give it a splash of color. Sometimes, I go for a graffiti-style look, other times, something more minimalistic. Adding decals is another one of my favorite ways to personalize it – they can really make the ramp pop.
I also like to think about functionality with a creative twist. Adding features like handrails or stairs not only increases the complexity of tricks I can perform but also gives the ramp an impressive, professional look. It’s amazing how a few small additions can transform a simple ramp into a miniature skate park.
5. Safety and maintenance tips
A key part of my ramp-building process is ensuring everything is safe and sturdy. I regularly check the ramp for any loose parts or damages, making sure to repair them promptly. It’s crucial to maintain its durability, especially after a lot of use. A well-maintained ramp not only ensures safety but also extends its lifespan.
The journey of a DIY fingerboard ramp is filled with creativity, challenges, and a lot of fun. From choosing materials to adding those final decorative touches, each step is a chance to inject a bit of your personality into the project.
Whether you’re just starting in the world of fingerboarding or you’re an experienced enthusiast, creating your ramp is a rewarding experience that enhances your skills and adds a unique flair to your fingerboarding sessions.