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 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!
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).
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!
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!
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!