Skating is considered an extreme sport because there is always a risk when you practice or flaunt your tricks and stunts. The amount of risk that is associated with skating increases if the material of the ramp is damaged or unstable. A lot of the time, any kind of damage that’s inflicted on skating ramps are due to weather conditions, including rain or snow. When you’re skating on bad equipment, a lot can go wrong, including injuring yourself. This is why it’s so important to ensure that you have the best wood for skateboard ramps so that they’re highly durable and safe to use.
When you’re thinking about skating, there’s always the debate about whether you will want to skate at home or at the local skatepark. But what if there is no nearby skatepark? If you don’t think it’s a good idea to buy your own ramp for skating at home you may consider making your own. You could either build your ramp outdoors or indoors, depending on the space that you have available to you and if you plan on expanding your at-home skatepark in the future.
One of the most important components that make up a ramp is the kind of wood that you’ll be using as the surface that you’ll be skating on. You don’t want to spend a considerable amount of hours and money on a surface material that will deteriorate and ruin in just a few day’s time. If you plan on building and keeping your ramp outdoors then you should be sure to choose a surface material that is relatively weatherproof and sturdy for a long period of time.
If you’re struggling to choose wood material for your ramp’s surface, we have a list of the best woods for skateboard ramps that you should consider before purchasing. We also have some short building guides and tips to share about each material that will assist you while you’re putting together your homemade skating ramp.
Top 2 Best Wood For Skateboard Ramps
1. MDF Plywood
MDF plywood is the best option to use to make your at-home skating ramp. More specifically, particleboard plywood is the worst kind of wood that you can use, so make sure to steer clear of this when shopping for materials. If you plan on using any kind of plywood, make sure to grab pressure-treated plywood like MDF because it has a long lifespan of up to 30-40 years.
Made to create decks and other outdoor projects, grade A pressure-treated plywood that is sanded and filled to plug all of the splits and cracks is durable enough to be used for your skating ramp. Plywood also bends nicely in the “hamburger style” so that you can get the best kind of skating experience. If you are using a thicker kind of plywood it’s more likely that you’ll have to bend it “hotdog style”, which means that you will be skating against the grain of the wood.
Some consumers have commented that they don’t like how pressure treated plywood has chemicals in it, which won’t impact your skating experience too much. Plywood is also not very pleasant to fall onto because it hurts more compared to other kinds of wood. Any untreated plywood is not resistant to water or the sun, so you may want to consider adding a coat of Skatepaint to it if you do happen to purchase this kind of wood instead of the pressure-treated kind.
Found in any Home Depot or Lowes, pressure-treated MDF plywood is a viable option for your homemade skating ramp. This material is also relatively cheaper but more expensive than masonite. All you need is two layers of plywood and your ramp will be efficient enough to skate on!
Sample Customer Review… I gambled on these hopefully being flat, good boards for laser cutting. They are great. Will definitely purchase again. Thank you for producing a great product affordably. I’m so happy.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
2. Premium Baltic Birch Plywood
When selecting wood for skateboard ramps the most important thing is that the wood will bend but not break. Fortunately, premium baltic birch is easy to bend without cracking or breaking. With the help of a couple of friends standing on the wood, you won’t have to perform any difficult or time-consuming bending techniques. Baltic birch plywood is perfect for framing the gradual curve that is needed for a skateboard ramp.
This is quality wood to use as it does not need to be heated or wet for it to bend. These particular sheets are nice because they are not too thin or thick for a skateboard ramp. Remember, 3/8” or thinner is the best wood size for building a nice smooth ramp. Unlike a lot of other plywood products, premium baltic birch is not too soft for skateboard ramp construction. Even at 1/8 of an inch premium baltic birch plywood is plenty strong enough to withstand repeated use over time.
If you are looking for wood that can easily be bonded together, then premium baltic birch is the best option. The best skateboard ramps are made of multiple sheets of wood which create a sturdy and durable surface. Building a skateboard ramp is a project that requires quite a bit of framing and the baltic birch plywood is highly regarded when it comes to such projects. For that reason, premium baltic birch is essential wood for a skateboard ramp.
Premium baltic birch plywood is not commonly sold in typical brand-name hardware stores. In fact, it may be simpler to just order and have sent to your doorstep instead of searching for a local woodworking store that carries the right grade of wood.
Sample Customer Review… Super easy to use it’s already cut and slice them thin and they’re just super easy to draw on because that’s what I’m doing to them so. The only reason I didn’t give it a 5 star is because one of them is slightly warped.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
Buying Guide: Things To Consider When Purchasing Best Wood For Skateboard Ramps
Although we’ve provided you with a few choices of wood to choose from when building your own skating ramp, it’s important to make sure that you are fully prepared and confident for the rest of the construction process. To do that, here are some extra tips to help your building process come along a little easier and smoother.
1. Choose wood that already comes in common dimension sizes
What this means is that when choosing the wood for your ramp, make sure that you pick ones that are closer to the common wood dimensions that already exist. For example, most sheets of plywood are bought at 4×8 sheets and so on and so forth. If you purchase sheets of wood that are closer to the size that you need, not only will you be conserving the amount of waste leftover but you’ll also save more money compared to if you buy sheets of wood that are too big.
2. Do not wet your lumber
As it literally means, whatever you do, don’t wet your wood. You should not be wetting the wood to bend it more easily when you’re building your ramp. Especially if you purchase the wrong kind of wood, it will not last as long if you wet it with the intention of bending it. All kinds of wood are perfectly fine with bending unless you purchase a thicker kind.
3. Use two layers of subsurface
The best kind of way to surface a ramp is by using two layers of a subsurface that is either ⅜ or ½ of an inch thick. On top of the subsurface, you can add your top layer of wood which will be your final riding surface which can be any of the wood materials that we previously mentioned in this blog article, at about ¼ or ⅛ of an inch thick. By using the two layers of subsurface you can avoid the problem of having to bend the wood “hotdog style”.
4. Perform site work before building
Especially if you’re thinking about building your skating ramp outdoors, you’ll have to survey the area around your home to see if additional work is needed. At the very extreme, if you’re planning on making your ramp very sturdy, then you might have to dig some holes, set cinder blocks and build a leveled lumber foundation for your ramp to rest on. By doing this you will ensure that your ramp is stable and sturdy to use once everything is finished.
Skateboarding, inline skating, and BMX biking are fun, but what isn’t fun is getting injured when your ramp is of poor quality due to the type of surface area that it has. That’s why when you build your own homemade skating ramp you have to make sure that the wood you choose is safe and durable but is still within the limits of your budget.
Our top choice for the best wood for skateboard ramps is plywood due to its durability and utility abilities. Although this is our recommendation, it’s important to understand that you should choose the best-priced and quality wood for your ramp so that you can have the best riding experience.
Written by Julia Batista