Instructables
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Have you ever seen those cement drainage pipes down hillsides? I see them wherever I go. On the drive through Silicon Valley I see them along Highway 87, 101, and even 280. All the way up 101 I see them in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, etc. And, they're throughout the east coast as well.

They're meant to help water flow down hillsides without eroding the land. The good news is that in order to keep water flowing well, these pipes have flowing, organic lines, rather than hard turns and such. To me, they've always looked like a roller coaster ride.

So we decided to turn the drainage pipes into a ride, a sport if you will: DRAINAGE LUGE.

Outfit a large skateboard/buttboard/street luge like board, get to the top of the hill, and time yourself from point A to point B. Pretty simple. The one who gets down the fastest wins. To top it all off, these things are fast and fun!
 
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Step 1: Get the parts

In order to build a board, you have to know a bit about the drainage pipes. The key facts are the following:
Top Width: 33 inches
Height: 20 inches deep

I quickly figured out that normal trucks, even street luge trucks, just wouldn't be large enough. The largest skateboard trucks I could find were 15 inches wide: nowhere near the 30 inches width that I was shooting for.

We ended up going to a store and picking up two crummy skateboards for $8 a piece and taking them apart. The boards and bolts we ditched (got other projects in mind for those), but kept the trucks.

Parts List
  • Four skateboard trucks with bearings and wheels
  • 16 - 2 inch 10/24 bolts, washers and lock nuts
  • 3/4 inch plywood, 28 inches wide x 36 to 48 inches long (depending on how long you want the board)
  • Wood glue
  • Four C clamps (Size? as long as they open up enough for 2 inches)
  • 3/4 inch plywood strips, 28 inches wide, 4 inches long
  • Sandpaper or electric sander
  • Drill (bits: 10/24 and1/2 inch)
  • Two pieces of rope, roughly 8 inches each, thickness of 1/2 inch.

And for when you're riding:
  • Gloves
  • Helmet
  • Boots or sturdy shoes (for stopping)
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NickBurp9 months ago
You sir, are a genius.
bo'neil11 months ago
This is one of the greatest ideas ever
that is coo. Were are you ? were i live there aren't any.
AronC08161 year ago
It would be awesome if you could somehow use a mechanical disc brake from a bicycle as a brake for one of the newer designs.

I'm not entirely sure where or how you would mount it, but that would give you plenty of braking power and you could just mount the brake handle on a cut section of bicycle handlebar.

If we had these ditches in my area I would be all over building a speed machine to run in them.

Looks so fun!
Seems like you are putting a lot of weight on those outer wheels on the trucks. If those break off...... But heck why should I be telling you about safety when I have done some even more dangerous (and unspeakable) things in my 14 years of existence. Maybe try mounting the trucks on hinges to get all 8 wheels onto the sides of the drain. Maybe add some creature comforts like a seat and a handle bar to hold onto. An old pillow stapled onto the wood would work perfect to smooth out the bumps.
Wow! I wish we had drainage ditches like that in my area!
E70 and E75 have them,I am sure E90 has them too
Lol, are those highways? I don't live in CA, we have plan ol' dirt ditches where I live. No good for this, unforunately. :(
all terian trucks or casters could work for you! :)
if you yoused castors it wouldnt work the trucks jeep the whole thing level
Same here.*sigh
european highways:)
Derin Derin5 years ago
there are also D highways that u dont pay for(aka blue highway) the E ones you have to pay for(aka green highway) D highways are worse than E highways
KilroyWH Derin5 years ago
uhu, but where do you know an part where it is steep enough to get speed???
RC Guy2 years ago
Hey i wanted to suggest that if u loaded spring loaded ball joints and an optional drainage pipe shaped backfin the you could go faster and the fin can come in use to harness the power of the downflowing water to give u some additional thrust, but only if you are going slower than the downflowing water if u arent the u could atleast use it as an emergency brakes right?
35Timmy2 years ago
hey how do you not go into the pipes because that's why i think it's dangerous because of the dangerous currents in the sewers and plus it is illegel to be in a sewer unles it's to mantaine,fix or clean the sewer's besides that it's fulll of germs,viruses,it's dirty and gross unless it was like from the 30's or 40's or before that
1) these drainage gutters are for rain, not sewage, and two, (as i assume you are talking about what to do when the gutter stops and enters a sewer) there is a new thing called stopping that should work great.
bertus52x112 years ago
If I had a drainage pipe in my neighbourhood, I would definitely make this!
Very nice!
Mate, I love your sense of adventure. Good 'Ible. :O)

I wish we had similar drainage ditches where I live.
Watch out for the occasional dirt and piles of leaves.
Would be deciently easy to either mount plain wood dowels or to carve alternate handles. Would be even cooler if you could rig up a foot rest steering system like on real luges, but that could be slightly difficult. Sweet idea.
Real luges are lean steer.
Why would you need steering since you're going down a drainage thing?
Now that doesn't look dangerous at all, does it???
mcaliber.503 years ago
i wish i had drainage things like that where i live
soccer22913 years ago
Careful using gloves, around machinery, it can be very dangerous. The gloves can get caught in the moving parts pulling you in.
true, generaly you shouldn't is what i've been taught, a splinter isn't that bad and i rearley get them, i wear gloves when using some tools, like grinders and when welding, but thats about it. Its much to easy to get the glove stuck on the equipment, like drill bits which can realy destroy your finger.
There are some times when you should, even when drilling. I had been drilling a steel plate and wasn't wearing gloves; the bit got locked in the steel and caused the plate to swing around and put a deep cut in my hand, which would have easily been prevented had I worn gloves. I would say gloves are based on the situation rather than the tool you are using- it's best to weigh which consequence is worse.
I would agree, but when drilling steel i was always taught to clamp it down.
SIRJAMES093 years ago
I can see where this would be a blast of fun & maybe a head rush as well, but dude, you have WAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY too much time on your hands. LOL
LancasterPA3 years ago
Looks like real stupid dangerous FUN. Who do you sue when you break something or kill yourself? No brakes?
 It looks to me like the trucks could break after a while, as they aren't really in line with the angle of the pipe. You could try to angle the trucks so that both wheels of each truck ride on the pipe.
lukeyj154 years ago
 brakes are always nice

emdarcher4 years ago
when I saw those kinds of luges near my city I always wanted to do this but there's always too many tubes that block parts. And my parents would probably never let me do this. :-(
I've often thought the very same thing each time I've seen the drainage ditches. The other idea was the "tunnels": storm drains that run under the city. Perhaps an electric luge for riding thru them?
there's one near me thats constantly filled with low water. I've always wanted to try the "pumkpinseed kayak" (look it up here on Instructables) through there. but yeah id put headlights on if I were to try such a feat.
And some headlights!
Lucky, in New Zealand our gutters are only the size of a milk carton. Maybe I could make one of these for a mouse!
astro boy5 years ago
you should post a video like on the cart going down hill to see what it could be like
KilroyWH5 years ago
Look pretty cool, but is the mounting from the trucks to the board strong enough to hold that kind of pressure??? I think that if you jump to hard on it, or weight too much, the mounting will come off...
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