Introduction: Snowboard/Snowskate From a Skateboard Deck

A snowskate is basically a skateboard for the snow. I know, that's a snowboard, duh! Well, no. Snowskates are typically smaller and also lack bindings. They are also quite expensive. If you already have the stuff, why not make one yourself? Here I used a plastic banana (Penny) board. This is because plastic will not be damaged the way wood would (you can use a wooden deck, just make sure to read my final "Additional Thoughts" step first). Penny boards are only around 27 in (~68 cm) long, so the end product is portable and you can store it almost anywhere. If you don't have a retro banana board like a Penny or Eightbit, I recommend them. They are, as this ible shows, an all year round source of fun!

Reading the notes on the pictures should help guide you in the process too.

Step 1: Get It Together!

You will need (in order of appearance):

  • A plastic skateboard (you can use a normal skateboard, just make sure to read my final "Additional Thoughts" step before proceeding)
  • Skate tool (or a corresponding duo of an allen wrench/screwdriver and socket wrench)
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Paper towels
  • Duct tape and scotch tape
  • Wax (or a cheap scentless candle)
  • Hair dryer

Step 2: Remove Your Skate Trucks

This is pretty easy, you are simply removing the hardware (the four bolts that attach the hanger to the board).

  • First, take the socket part of your skate tool and put it on the nut.
  • Next, hold the screw in place with the allen wrench, and start twisting.
  • Afterwards, make sure you set all the parts securely aside, just so you don't lose things or get mixed up. I took one piece of paper and put the trucks with the hardware on it. Then I labeled it, so I can put them back on correctly later. Winter doesn't last forever!

Step 3: Cover Your Stickers (if Necessary)

If you don't have stickers, skip this step.

Just cut a piece of paper to size and then tape it over the sticker with scotch tape. Thusly, the duct tape which is applied later does not take the beautiful stickers with it when removed. Winter will end!

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TIP: You don't need to do this with stickers that are in the reinforcement areas. These will be covered by paper towels (see step four).

Step 4: Fill the Depressions and Reinforcements

First, take paper towels, and then stuff the pockets on the bottom of the board. I have found a good technique is to roll the paper towels to the diameter that corresponds to the width of the areas that need to be filled.

Then, secure the paper towel pieces with small strips of duct tape.

If this is not done, the duct tape that is applied in step five will sink and morph to the board. Then these new depressions will collect snow when ridden. If that happens it won't slide!

Step 5: Duct Tape It!

You just need to duct tape the bottom of the deck lengthwise (nose to tail). The duct tape wears well, and the wax applied in the following step makes it very slick (it makes it more durable too).

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TIP: Don't leave any holes, paper sticking out, or tape sticking off the side. Make sure to have the duct tape as smooth as possible.

Step 6: Wax Your Board

First, take a scentless/colorless candle, remove the base and wick, then rub it all over the bottom.

Then, in order to seal the wax and stick it to the board with a hair dryer. Make sure to not send flakes of wax everywhere!. When you have a good coat, you are READY TO RIDE!

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TIP: Just like on an surfboard, skateboard, or snowboard, waxing will almost certainly need to be repeated. Especially if you don't wax the board thoroughly.

Step 7: RIDE!

First, I recommend "grooming" the area you want to go down with a sled or something similar (pack the snow).

Secondly, practice. Like everything, you have to practice. It is challenging yet justifying fun!

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TIP: With the cold air, snow, and ice it is probably a good idea to bundle up and even wear a helmet. Safety first, use adult supervision, and bring along some good judgement. Have fun!

Step 8: Additional Thoughts

If you want to make one of these with a different type skateboard, more power to ya! Just keep in mind that water (snow) delaminates skateboard decks. So use a cheap and/or heavily used deck. If you do this, you might not even need duct tape (it depends on the concave of the board). Some decks are twisted in all kinds of ways. These will need to be taped or grooved. Such decks include "dropped" decks, where the middle of the board is lower than where the trucks are mounted.

You could also attach some 1/2 round trip from a wood supplier and make grooves for the bottom. Doing so will help any snowskate ride straight and true. It will also make it easier to push.

Nice thick snow, like you find at ski resorts or snow tubing areas, will work the best. If you have light and powdered snow, make sure you pack it with a sled or the like.

When spring comes, rip off that duct tape and toss all the trash. Remove any remaining adhesive with Goo Gone or the like, then make sure to rinse of your board and dry it. There are plenty of things online if you need help putting your trucks back on.

If you have any other ideas, improvements, creations, or awesome snowskating videos, put 'em in the comments!

Comments

author
24Eng (author)2015-02-20

If your board has an obvious nose and tail you could apply strips of duct tape starting at the tail and overlapping as you move to the nose. The tape would be applied perpendicular to the direction of travel. This might create a kind of pattern similar to reptile scales. Snake belly board.

Do you have any ideas for adding grooves similar to a snowskate?

author
LVHobby (author)24Eng2016-03-08

I actually just got done making my snowskate out of CLEAR, PACKAGING tape because it was only what i had. i also followed your snake pattern technique

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author
24Eng (author)LVHobby2016-03-09

Packing tape is a good idea. Let us know how it works.

author
LVHobby (author)24Eng2016-03-12

first run, it wouldnt go. second run, started to accelerate. after a little bit, all the plastic on the bottom were ripped and it was just the deck. after the plastic were ripped, it actually ran better.

author
24Eng (author)LVHobby2016-03-13

Could you steer well? How much packing tape was left?

author
LVHobby (author)24Eng2016-03-10

i have decided to take a different approach; a snow skate with one layer of clear plastic bag, and two layers of heavy duty trash bags that my scissors would barely cut through.

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author
LVHobby (author)24Eng2016-03-10

I will, am heading up my local mountain this saturday

author
mgandm5 (author)24Eng2015-02-20

Yes, in fact I do!

You could take dowel rods the length of the board, split 'em in half, then attach them to the underbelly. Just make sure they are perfectly aligned parallel to the direction of travel. Or you could just tape cardboard strips to the bottom, cover with duct tape, etcetera.

This is more of a temporary project, but if you want to go full on permanent, I suggest adding rails. I could be pretty sweet!

I too thought of the snake belly board, but the friction might be too much. It might be hard to wax too. It would look pretty cool though...

author
24Eng (author)mgandm52015-02-20

Wooden dowels can be tricky to cut along the axis but many places that sell lumber will have 1/2 round or 1/4 round wood used for wall trim. That would save a lot of time and give a nice neat piece to work with. If you have a hand steady enough to cut cylindrical pieces in half you could use PVC pipe and keep with the all plastic motif. If you bolted the PVC to the board with the cut edges out it might even form runners which could reduce friction and keep the board going straight. What do you think?

author
mgandm5 (author)24Eng2015-02-20

Genius, I think the pre cut dowels would be perfect. Great idea! If I did the dowels, I would make sure to taper the ends until they were flush with the board. The whole concept or grooves would make it faster. Idk about the runners, it is worth a try though.

You would have to make sure to have a flat bottomed board with all of this too.

author
heroellis (author)2015-10-18

I would add griptape for more traction for flip tricks

author
edf20 (author)heroellis2016-02-09

where would you add grip tape heroellis

author
gabgra11 (author)2015-12-23

this looks like it would be a lot of fun! too bad we haven't gotten nearly enough snow to try this on.

author
tomatoskins (author)2015-02-20

But how does it ride?

author
mgandm5 (author)tomatoskins2015-02-20

Once going it is pretty great, it just requires practice. I haven't mastered it yet.

The quality of the ride depends on how smooth your duct taping job is and how well you wax it. Make sure to put plenty of attention in those steps! It also helps if the snowskating area is "groomed" first (with a smooth sled or the like). Thick snow seems to be better than light powder.

author
mgandm5 (author)mgandm52015-02-20

24Eng mentioned grooves, that might help ride quality too.

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Bio: A born again hooligan only to be king again. Yo hablo español. Jag har studerade en lite svenska också.
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