Homemade Wakeboard, Wakeskate Winch From

Picture of Homemade Wakeboard, Wakeskate Winch From
Here is a simple wakeboard, wakeskate winch that you can bring anywhere. Ride your wakeboard or wakeskate places a boat can not go. This is a very exciting project and for more info about beach winches go to
You can use this winch for wakeboarding, wakeskating, skimboarding, snowboarding, etc. so this one winch is a very verstile machine.

Here is a short video describing what a beach winch is.

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Step 1: First the Spool

Picture of First the Spool
First I built the spool

Here is my spool. I do cnc machining so I cut my spool walls out of heavy duty plastic. I am confident it will work just fine because i've seen it used before. If it doesnt work I will replace it with steel walls.
1/2 all thread.
1/2" galvenized pipe.
ny-lock nuts. 
Go Kart hubs.

Step 2: Drill/tap your Hubs

Picture of Drill/tap your Hubs
I had to drill/tap a set screw into each hub. I also have the studs/cotter pins to make it a releasable spool if I dont like it this way.

Step 3: Assemble Your Spool

Picture of Assemble Your Spool

Asemble Your Spool like the pictures and make sure you threadlock your bolts. The 1000 bullet line was purchased here

Step 4: Now For The Frame

Picture of Now For The Frame
Now for the frame. I used 2" square 14ga tubing. It took a little less then 20ft to build. the base is 40x18" (not including the trailer hitch part). All the detailed measurments are in the picture below.

Step 5: Measure Twice

Picture of Measure Twice
Make sure everything is square! Measure twice!

Step 6: Add Your Trailer Hitch

Picture of Add Your Trailer Hitch
All done with welding, the motor mount is sloted for chain tension adjustments. I put 2 trailer hitch mounts, one tucks it up close for traveling and one sticks it strait out for riding.

Step 7: Prep for Painting

Picture of Prep for Painting
Paint prep/paint. Use paint thinner and a scuff pad to clean the metal, then paint. We used spray truck bed lining to make our winch rust proof and tough.

Step 8: Final Assembly

Picture of Final Assembly
After the paint dries then you are ready for your final assembly. The wheels come on and off. (i still need to drill the hole for the trailer hitch pin so you can pull it without the wheels slipping off)
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Allonsy4 years ago
this is awesome. and i havnt even read it yet.
sawzallninja made it!6 months ago

My Son loves this thing, he uses it for long boarding right now.we are going to try a pond soon, I used a torque converter set up, so I had to change just a few things.anyway, thank you very much for the post and who knew? I can weld!

winch.JPGwinch 2.JPG
winch video.MOV(516x290) 21 KB
Mr Gollahon (author)  sawzallninja5 months ago
Awesome Winch! Like the wheels and paint job.

Get out there are rip it up! :)

I love the simplicity of this design. Just a few questions about it:

1: what is the inner diameter of the spool?

2: I read in the comments that it pulls at 20 mph. If I geared it to go 30 (I can calculate the ratio) would it be strong enough to wakeboard? I will be using a torque converter.


Mr Gollahon (author)  cole.tallerman5 months ago
Thank you for your comment!

1. 8 inches

2. Depends on the weight of your rider. If you 200+ then you might be pushing it. If you truly want more speed then get a 11-13HP engine and take out the governor that caps your speed. Just as a warning though you will not be able to use your engine without the governor except your winch. Long reving of the engine might damage it. But for short winch runs you should be fine.
sawzallninja made it!6 months ago

My Son loves this thing, he uses it for long boarding right now.we are going to try a pond soon, I used a torque converter set up, so I had to change just a few things.anyway, thank you very much for the post and who knew? I can weld!

j_hagen_9711 months ago

awesome! thats such an awesome idea, I really want to see a video of it in action!

CHAOSSWM1 year ago
I'm a professional snowboard cinematographer and I was telling one of my riders that I was going to build a winch and he said to make sure it had a brake so the line doesn't come back and hit the guy running the winch. How do I add a winch to my design.!/174948437-230-3212?ref=myads
florman3 years ago
I was just wondering if there was a way to make it continues.
You would prolly need to make a rope tow.
So easy!!
would it work if you used a old rim off a car (probably very small one) as the spool?
ThomasSmith3 years ago
One more question, what was the total width of your spool walls? I found one that has a width of 15 inches. Would this be too big to fit into your frame?
Mr Gollahon (author)  ThomasSmith3 years ago
Sorry misread the question...if the "height" of the side walls for the spool that is fine. The overall width of the spool should not be over 8 inches.
Mr Gollahon (author)  ThomasSmith3 years ago
The width of the spools in this instructable is 8 inches. The height of the side walls is 15 inches. A 15 in width seems a little excessive. You only need at most 8 in for the width. Take a look at our new spools here:
These are a higher quality spool which you need. The spool is one of the hardest things to build because it has to take a beating and not break under pressure.
ThomasSmith3 years ago
I am currently buiding your winch and following your design and I have just about everything except the sprocket. I was wondering if you could help me find the sprocket you used?
Mr Gollahon (author)  ThomasSmith3 years ago
Thanks for your comment! The sprocket I used is a 60 tooth sprocket from They have a good variety of sprockets. The gear ratio I have is 1:5 and hauls me (200 lbs) roughly 20+ mph on a skim board at full throttle. When you are done post your winch on these comments. Keep winchin!
fatty_inc3 years ago
Why did you start with centerifugal clutch? I am trying to figure out if I want to get the tav 2 clutch or the one you used. What are the main differences.
Mr Gollahon (author)  fatty_inc3 years ago
Starting with a centrifugal clutch for your winch build is a cheap alternative to get your winch up and running. Use a centrifugal clutch if you want to use your winch to skimboarding or snowboarding. But if your want more power so you winch is more versatile so you can wakeboard or wakeskate then go with the tav 2 clutch. Check out our website for more information
mdoucet3 years ago
where do you get the bolt on bearing holders...the green things
lrobson4 years ago
hi mate your winch is a good idear just wondering if you could help me where did you get your middle hubs from ? i have made this winch up and is stead of making a spool i done one out of a cr rim and put metal around the out side to make my spool did not work ever well so i am going to do it propley and folow your desin.
Mr Gollahon (author)  lrobson4 years ago
Hi Irobson, thanks for the comment! Check out our website for this winch plan and a few extra plans too. We have a store filled with most your winch parts including winch hubs. The website will help guide you through the building process. Hope this helps. Thanks.
benthekahn4 years ago
I finished mine today. It pulled a skier on grass for about 50 feet before the connecting link broke. I welded the chain, so it should be good for a while now.
bazery4 years ago
Quick question about the hubs, do the hubs have a groove to lock into or do they have a screw against the bar.
If there is a slot how does if fit the pillow block.
I think if i could see more pics of the shaft and the hubs on the shaft I would understand.

I'm in the process of building the frame, spool is the next project.
Great ible by the way
Mr Gollahon (author)  bazery4 years ago
The most common hub used in winches is the go kart hub. Most of these hubs have keyways and locknuts all ready in. For a winch that will be pulling people on it what I would do is drill a small hole all the way through both the hub and the shaft and place a locking bolt through both to give you the best way to attach your hub.
Congrats on building your winch! Please share your pictures on here for others!
electro4 years ago
How about having a collar on the rope at a set distance from the end. When the collar enters a hinged split tube that is slightly narrower than the collar it activates a kill switch for the engine. That way there wont be any mishaps when the operator get too carried away spectating and the handle gets jammed on the spool !!
Mr Gollahon (author) 4 years ago
I have another winch plan that I can easily put on here. Plan on putting it on later this year so subscribe to me to be the first to be notified. The picture is a preview. Thanks to everyones comments!
richiendn4 years ago
TC2 1002 Replaces Comet 218353A TAV2 30-75 Torq-A-Verter which is no longer manufactured.
TeamSlash4 years ago
I am going to use this to Paraglide with... Static line towing sweet!
I hope you know what you are doing. AFAIK this type of winch is not suitable for paragliders and it would be very, very dangerous.
mikejs4 years ago
This is fantastic. I've been contemplating a DIY build like this for a while, thank you for putting together the instructions.

Any sense on what the speed is for the winch?
Mr Gollahon (author)  mikejs4 years ago
Thanks for the comment! For this winch you are looking speeds between 10-15 mph depending on the weight of rider. Now if you installed a torque converter instead of a centrifugal clutch you can increase your winch speed to 15-20 mph.
syco1234 years ago
Make 2 and put one on each opposite shore and tether the non pulling one to your back. Then you could ski all day with minimal fuss.
much simpler and cheaper than building 2 units... to run the rope as a loop then just grab the opposite rope to go the other way
jstoner4 years ago
This is a really cool concept, something I had never heard of. I had to go google around to find a video to figure out what the heck 'beach winching' was. Looks like a lot of fun though.

Here's a question: does anyone mess with a loop system? Instead of a winch pulling the rope in one direction, you'd have a loop of rope and (at least one) pulley down the beach, and you'd run the rope around and around the loop and surf on that loop out in the ocean. You could even have more than one person on the loop at a time.
Mr Gollahon (author)  jstoner4 years ago
For more about beach winches go to is great if you already know what it is and you want to get involved. If you've never heard of such a thing, I think this is more straightforward:
Longchamp4 years ago
Can someone explain the concept behind what beach winching is? I cant really find a text description anywhere.

Do you just swim out with the end and it tows you back in quickly?
Mr Gollahon (author)  Longchamp4 years ago
THe basic concept is that you pull the line out and walk down along the water line until you are at the end of the line. The line has a wakeboard handle. The second person starts the engine on the winch and waits for a signal from the rider. After the signal the rider can start in shallow (shore) or deep water (more like a regular wakeboard ride) and the engine controller pulls the throttle all the way. The rider at the end must throw the line away and the engine controller cuts the throttle and stops the handle from rolling up into the winch. THis is a very basic concept but I hope it helps.
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