Introduction: How to Make a Skateboard Sail

Picture of How to Make a Skateboard Sail

*The instructable by dguillot inspired me to do a little research and make my own sail*
*I also copied the shape from some guy on youtube*
*And when I can, I'll put up a video, the lack of wind is delaying that by just a bit*
-2 pieces of 4.5 foot long 1.5 in. PVC and a connector to join them
-2 pieces of 4.5 foot long 1 in. PVC and a connector to join them
(I used 1/2 in. PVC, but it's a little too flimsy, though it will have to be somewhat flexible)
-A 1 in. T connector
-2 1 foot 1 in. diameter pieces of PVC
-String and a needle
-Duct Tape
-Hot glue gun (optional)
-Plastic sheet (some people use a tarp)
-Clear plastic (NOT saran wrap/plastic wrap)

I posed for the pictures, so you could really see what it looks like.

Step 1: Cut the Plastic/tarp

Picture of Cut the Plastic/tarp

Find a large room
Lay out your plastic/tarp
Assemble your PVC as seen in the diagram
Properly lay out your PVC on your plastic/tarp and draw lines from end of pipe to end of pipe, or trace the diagram onto your plastic/tarp
Cut out the shape, larger than necessary, you can cut off excess later

Step 2: Attach the Pipes

Picture of Attach the Pipes

This has to be collapsible, otherwise it would be hard to take anywhere, so you have to be able to take out the pipes.

Place your horizontal bar(1in.) where it belongs on the plastic
Fold some of your extra plastic over the T connector and two 1foot pieces of PVC and tape the plastic in place, make sure the ends of the pipes are covered
To secure it better sew the plasic and make it tight

At the top of your horizontal bar do the same thing, but this will not be permanent, so make sure it's loose enough, it helps that this pipe is flexible

Remove the horizontal bar(1in.) and place your vertical bar(1.5in.) where it belongs
For the vertical pipe I used some extra plastic sewn onto the main plastic, over the ends of the pipe. This pipe won't bend, so be careful.

Step 3: Not Done Yet...

Picture of Not Done Yet...

Unless you used clear plastic for the whole thing you can't see anything if you hold your sail in front of you, so you need a window.
Decide on your shape for your window(I chose the SSB emblem)
Trace it onto your sail and cut it out
Cut out a piece of your clear plastic and attach it to your sail where your window is, this is where I used the hot glue gun because it looks better
Cut off excess

Step 4: Using the Sail

Picture of Using the Sail

Assemble your pipes
Put them on the sail
Lash your two pipes(horizontal and vertical) together with your rope(wrap the rope around them until they stay together and then tie it off)
Take the sail outside
Stand on your skateboard


Spartan104 (author)2009-05-28

I made one then i went down a hill and my feet's level was at 7 feet of the ground cus i didn't put the hole.

Looks to me like you accidentally the whole thing.

He definitely accidenty the whole urinal cake. Right in his face hole.
What should he do?

rroy12 (author)2014-12-05

Aren't those illegal in most places now?

Magnelectrostatic (author)rroy122014-12-14

Are they? I actually haven't heard anything about it

gharpole (author)2011-07-09

Really bad materials selection. PVC tube is like spagetti when warm and brittle when cold. PVC can break into sharp pointed shards when cold. You need fiber reinforced tarp for sailcloth, and need an appropriate orientation for fiber directions with respect to spars. As is, your bias cut edges for the outside permitter of sail will allow the sail to form pockets Not good. Then the cross brace is too far aft to afford a comfortable balance and reduce control for the user. You've had this design up for some time so maybe you know all this by this time. Maybe you should make some corrections.
Good luck. Skateboard sailing can be a lot of fun.

burnerjack01 (author)gharpole2011-08-25

Gharpole, you seem to have a fair amount of sailing knowledge. I wish you would do an 'ible because I think doing this on ice skates would be awesome.
I guess I could copy to scale a sailfish sail, but I suspect your input would make short work of it.

hossweightlifter (author)2011-08-22

how do you stop?

escapefromyonkers (author)2011-06-21

nice , it is always good to see someone take a sport and push the fun factor, minus tress and cliffs of course the Hudson river ice boats were racing in the 1800's.

Dreistein (author)2009-12-25

 can this make u go into the air

 If it's really windy I guess it could lift you up, but you couldn't go very far.

Felicitybramble (author)2009-04-20

Great idea. I would love to do it. But because i don't care i would hurt myself guaranteed.

acetomato (author)2009-04-18

you could rig it to be an awsome kite

gharpole (author)2009-03-05

Amazing how many different designes there are. Seems like the next step would be towards a few regattas for open and class based sailing events. I think I'll try posting an example, but because it would be all narrative it probably would show up on this site. For an example take a look at the following and let me know what you think. I'm thinking the regattas could really be fun and could be a new year around sporting activity.
Let me know what you think.

imthatguy1125 (author)2008-12-27

how fast can u go and how powerful does the wind have to go to pull u on a flat surface

Senseless (author)2008-08-04

Nice. I'm wondering if you could make a more permanent sail from a cotton bedsheet?

shammallamaman (author)Senseless2008-08-04

you probably could, but you wouldn't be able to see through it

Senseless (author)shammallamaman2008-08-05

Isn't that the point of the hole?. If you got someone to sew around it a few times it wouldn't tear and you could make one that would last a few seasons I bet.

shammallamaman (author)Senseless2008-08-05

the hole isn't really big enough to be really effective, the real point of the hole is for stability, but i think it could work with a bed sheet

surfreak (author)shammallamaman2008-08-06

Cotton doesn't work as well because of the weave and the miniscule holes in it. My friends and I tried it with a sheet when we were skate punks and it wasn't so hot. Plastic sheeting would work much better. But then again, with enough wind it won't matter.

shooby (author)surfreak2008-09-02

That makes sense. A sheet rubbed down with surfboard wax however would work well.

pluralmolecule (author)Senseless2008-08-11

Yes. I used to do this as a kid. My first Instructable was on how to do this, but it got rejected because I didn't have photos, only a sketch. You need a full fitted bed sheet and two broom sticks. The broom sticks go in the pockets on the edge of the sheet, and you hold on at about the middle of the sticks. The sheet we had had a convenient hole right at eye level. You bring the broom sticks together to slow down. To go really fast you put one person on each side of the sail and stretch it flat.

darkmuskrat (author)2008-08-04

SSB emblem. that alone is Win!

btop (author)2008-08-04

wow looks fun Have you ever been windsurfing? If so is this similar to windsurfing? Great project!

Magnelectrostatic (author)btop2008-08-04

I've never been windsurfing before, but my dad has. We decided that the windsurfing sail was too big to use with my skateboard though.

nope, i can see it and i'm using ie7

by the way, nice instructable, I'll probably try it

Ahhh, I was using ie6, just updated though, thx

rocksalt2342 (author)2008-07-31

i tried skateboard sailing with a parachute once, made me go backwards though...

Did you turn around?...

parachute was on my back, even if i did turn around I couldn't see through it.

lol, how did you finally stop?

well, I tried jumping off, but I was moving so fast that it picked me up off the ground and smacked me into the neighbors fence.

Senseless (author)rocksalt23422008-08-04

Better a fence than a power line! I take it you survived smacking into the fence?

rocksalt2342 (author)Senseless2008-08-04

yeah, but the fence didn't survive me.

madhops0620 (author)Senseless2008-08-04

no he died :)

wow that's a lot like what happened to tom on .

madhops0620 (author)2008-08-04

I made something kinda like this one time. I took two of those huge garbage bags and cut down the sides and opened tem up, and then taped them together. After that i tied strings to the corners and fed them through a PVC pipe as a handle and tied them together

=SMART= (author)2008-08-04

Very cool, i have a kiteboard that i use on beaches, thats fun too

rohtop (author)2008-08-03

do you have a video of you riding with this nice sail?

Magnelectrostatic (author)rohtop2008-08-03

With all of the trees where I live the wind is hardly ever strong enough to use the sail. I will make a video when I can though.

Yerboogieman (author)2008-08-02

Congratulations on getting on Lifehacker!

millmore (author)2008-08-02

Nice. Any tips on sailing it? It's not quite a boat or a windsurf is it, because it's not attached to the board, so I guess you can't really use your weight against the wind as easily.

shammallamaman (author)2008-08-01

wow, you got half of your views in one day

tdem (author)2008-07-29

Actually I'm viewing this in Opera 9.51 and this is the first time that I've been able to use the images switching stuff. Maybe because I'm a member now. Strange. In regards to the Instructable, great! I tried to do something like this myself once but when I took it out in wind strong enough to push me the mast I had broke. Can't wait for a vid!

About This Instructable




Bio: An electrical engineer who likes to make things.
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