Category - How To

Building Skateboard Rails

Skate Deck Grab Rail

Building Skateboard Rails

Making rails is a simple way to freshen up any deck. Rails are perfect for grabs and deck protection when grinding.

A variety of materials can be used for your skateboard rails. I’d recommend using a cheap plastic cutting board for both it’s low cost, durability, and ease of use.

Outline your rails on the cutting board using a tape measure and pencil to guide your cuts. Make sure your lines are parallel throughout. Many sizes will work just fine for a grab rail, but we’d suggest something around 12.5″ long and ½-¾” wide. Once your rails are outlined carefully follow your shape and cut them out using a bandsaw.

Use a measuring tape to mark the center of the rail. Measure 1” towards either end of the rail and mark with an X on either side. These will be your inner two holes. Measure 4” further towards the ends of the rail from these initial two X marks and make two more. These will be your outer holes.

Drill a hole through each X you’ve marked using a “ bit.

How to Repair a Longboard

Fixing a broken longboard

How to Repair a Longboard

Sometimes boards break! While this is never fun, it’s that much worse when it happens to a longboard you built yourself. Here are some tips on how to repair a longboard.

 The most common breakage with a longboard is delamination of the nose or tail as a result of impact damage. To fix this type of issue you’ll need a couple c-clamps, sandpaper and wood glue or epoxy.

 Begin by pouring a small amount of wood glue or epoxy on a disposable surface such as a paper plate. Instructions for mixing your epoxy will be shown on the package- be sure to follow them carefully. Use popsicle stick or similar item to spread your adhesive into the void where the wood plies are delaminating, doing your best to spread it evenly and thoroughly over the wood.

 Using your c-clamp(s), tighten down the separated plies firmly. Using scrap wood between the c-clamp and deck will prevent your board from being damaged under the pressure of the clamp. Wipe away any excess glue or resin that has squeezed out.

 Allow this to set for at least 24 hours, though 48 is even better. After this the board should be fully re-laminated and structurally sound. Use sandpaper to sand down any excess glue and you’re ready to ride!

In the case of other breaks, such as a chipped board, try mixing epoxy and simply using it to patch the hole. This will seal the hole and prevent further damage from exposure to water and other elements.

Building a Plywood Longboard

Plywood Longboard

Building a Plywood Longboard

If you’re building your very first longboard or just want to quickly make a simple deck, building a plywood longboard could be the right choice for you! This is the fastest, easiest way to build a longboard.

Materials  Needed:

  • Plywood 1/4″
  • Wood Glue
  • Concrete
  • 4″x 4″ Lumber
  • Spray acrylic

Tools Needed:

  • Jigsaw
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Drill Bits
  • Clamps
  • Sandpaper
  • 5 Gallon Bucket
  • Measuring Tape

 

Step #1: Collect your Materials and Tools

See the above lists for the materials and tools you’ll need to collect before you begin building. You shouldn’t have any issue finding these items at your local store or online. Certain items can potentially be substituted for others which will be further outlined in the applicable section.

Step #2: Pick your shape

What do you want your board to look like? One of the great parts about building a longboard is getting creative with the shape! While it’s hard to go TOO wrong, keep in mind that your board shape will definitely influence the way it rides. Try sketching out a few ideas on a piece of paper before you even think about cutting. Once you have a design you’re confident in it’s time to draw it on your laminated plywood boards. Be sure to use a measuring tape to ensure that your board outline is even and symmetrical. This will be the template you’ll follow when cutting out your deck later on.

For ideas on different shapes check out our information on Longboard Shapes or take a peek at the Inspiration page!

Step #2: Laminate your deck

For the purposes of this guide, I recommend using three sheets of quarter inch plywood to achieve a relatively stiff, sturdy deck, but try experimenting with different thickness and more or less sheets of plywood to achieve different performance characteristics. Some riders like a stiff deck while a flexible deck is more preferable for others.

Step #3: Bend your wood

Lay your laminated board end to end on top of your 4″x 4″ blocks (or other level, solid objects). Mix enough concrete to fill about half of  in the five gallon bucket and let it set. Use this a weight to bend your plywood by placing it in the center of your outline. The bend will create the rocker or camber of your deck, depending which way you choose to mount the board. Leave it in this position for 2-3 days minimum. The longer the deck is bend into this position to better it will retain it’s curvature.

Step #4: Cut and sand

Using the jigsaw, carefully cut out your board following the penciled outline as closely as possible. Now you have your deck! Sand over the edges of the board until comfortably round (though many riders choose to keep a sharp edge for downhill or freeriding decks).

Step #5: Drilling

 

Step #6: Finishing

Since this particular method of building is oriented towards being a quick process, try using spray paint for your artwork. Use some stencils for geometric designs or spray freehand and see where it takes you! Let this dry and follow up by spraying the entirety of the board with the acrylic to help protect it from the benefits.

Step #7: Add components

Longboard Building Resources

Building Resources Skateboard Decks

Longboard Building Resources

There are tons of longboard building resources for scattered around the internet. Here are some of our favorites:

How to Build a Longboard

How to Build a Longboard

How to Build a Longboard

Craft board builders are an integral part of the longboarding community. The process requires hard work and attention to detail, but there few hobbies more satisfying than riding your own creation.

 

This site aims to be a comprehensive resource on how to build a longboard.

Ready to get started?

  • Where to Begin
  • Building a Press
  • Longboard Shapes
  • Longboard Components
  • Building Materials
  • Inspiration
  • Riding Your Longboard
  • Other Resources