How To Build Your Own Skateboard

It’s summertime and the waves are small. If your longest board in the quiver can’t catch a ride, it's time to build your own custom skateboard in blazing 60’s style and sidewalk surf. Despite the innovation and technology in today’s skateboard shapes there lies an ever cool trademark in riding a straight plank of wood. Impress your friends with it, take it to the beach, or just hang it on the wall, any way you slice it, a handmade skateboard is sure to be a super satisfying build.

Things you’ll need:

  1. A free afternoon

  2. Lumber

  3. Sand Paper (An orbital sander will speed things up)

  4. Cordless Drill or Drill Press

  5. 3/16” Drill Bit

  6. Jigsaw

  7. Pencil or Pen

Optional Items:

  1. Electric or Hand Planer

  2. Printable Template

  3. Protective Finish / Paint Brush

Steps:

Get the Supplies:

Skateboards are typically 7 ply, but I used a mix of hardwoods to lay up my decks.  Dimensional lumber can be clamped together with wood glue, however any solid slab of wood in the ¾ to one inch thickness range, and around 7-9 inches wide will do. Pine, oak, or birch plywood just to name a few.

Shape and Sand:

With a pencil, trace or create your own shape. I found it easy to sketch my own shape on one side then use the cut to outline the other side. That way your board will stay symmetrical. Depending of the roughness of the wood, sand until smooth. A good place to start is 100 grit, working your way into the 320 range.

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Finishing:

After sanding, a protective finish like polycrylic will keep the wood from retaining moisture and keep it rolling for years to come. Use a t-square and the baseplate of a truck to mark the hardware holes. The size of trucks and hardware will vary depending on the the deck’s width and thickness, but the 4-hole template is universal.

Test Run:

Attach the trucks and wheels of your choosing and take it for a spin.

Sea's the Day!
Written by Colby Lapointe

caroline danehy