Laterally Slide-able Board (freeboard for the rest of us)

Picture of Laterally Slide-able Board (freeboard for the rest of us)
The Freeboard is a great project for those who love snowboarding and want to do it all year round, or those who want to have a new boarding experience.

This Instructable covers the concept of the laterally sliding board, to be edited to fit your personal needs. 

Please note: Freebord  is a brand of freeboards (Lateral sliding boards) based in America. But the concept has been around since the 80's. The schematics are available online somewhere, check google.

Another brand is Gravitis Freeboards based in Italy.

Freebord makes great introduction Videos though, so:

The basic principle of the board is:  Six wheels, One board. Four outer wheels let you carve just like a longboard. Two center wheels on casters let you slide.

In this example I made the board as well but won't cover that in this Instructable. My board is 100 x 20 cm with a very slight concave and flex.

Important Notes:

1. I am now an Version 2.1. In this Instructable you will see some photos from the Latest Version as well as 1 and 2
2. The Board: for beginners it should be completely stiff. Flex or a camber will get you hurt . Concave is good for turning. 
3. Wheels. I haven't given exact measurements for the casters or the wheels. it will depend on what is available to you. as a general rule you want to have small wheels, closer to the ground= more like snowboarding.
4. Tuning. After i was done i added riser pads to my casters in order to slide easier and wedges to the skateboard trucks to improve turning geometry.  See the last page of this instructable

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
Jerry1SK3 years ago
Have you some idea how to make, spring what hold caster when it turn 180° ? It is on attached pic. Anyway awesome tut.
Where is that part from? Is it from an original freebord?
gtaroni chococat311 months ago

no, from an original gravitis!

please post a video of how it rides
Can you please leave a link to the casters that you used? I went to my local lowes but all their casters were either to small or did not have removable wheels. And can you also leave a more detailed description of how to make the foot binding? thank you
mcsk8rg1 year ago
those caster which you used are not spring equipped ... will that make a difference? is it good or bad or doesn't matter . if it does .... how?
srice71 year ago
Awesome but I would love to see it in action before I modify my board
sir bobby2 years ago
Hey great instructable bra, but where did u get casters to fit inline wheels?
duckef3 years ago
Do you think you could do it with a campus cruiser
airsoft10173 years ago
can you jump and what not with this kind of board? like in some of freebords vids?
airsoft10173 years ago
Do you use a bolt that the wheel bearings fit on? or do you just let them sit?
airsoft10173 years ago
what material do you make the bindings out of?
why not make one with 4 casters?
jfaneumann (author)  technosasquatch3 years ago
1. you wouldn't be able to pivot between slides and carves.
2. the outer wheels let you break if you're going sideways.
3. if you mean 4 casters in a row, thats just unnecessary. two is enough

that being said, i have seen versions of this board with the skate trucks between the casters. Kind of a -I I- setup instead of what i've got: I- -I
I meant like one each corner
jfaneumann (author)  technosasquatch3 years ago
how would you stop? or steer? the wheels would just always go down the steepest slope. you'd only get slide and no carve.
dont know
It will be like riding shoping basket =:3
kevman00443 years ago
Can you add details on how to make the bindings?
ajensen123 years ago
Whats the width of your board. I'm making a board but i don't know how wide an average longboard is
YoChuck3 years ago
After a lengthy search for the longer spacer nuts (i.e. standoffs), I discovered McMaster-Carr has a great selection. Just wanted to put it out there in case anyone else is having trouble finding them.

Great instructable, btw!
csmyers YoChuck3 years ago
Can you message me a link as to what you ended up getting? I need 5/16th or 8mm standoffs, as long as they have.
I had the same problem finding many parts at Lowes. The man in the hardware department recommended me to another local store. Try searching for "fastener" or "bolt" on google maps if you're having trouble finding the parts.

Also, I don't know where everywhere else is, but in America, the metric spacer nuts were essentially impossible to find locally. The axles on my skateboard measured 5/16th of an inch, so that's what I'm using.
Dr.Bill3 years ago
Nice innovation.

We only had steel wheels on our boards. Old shoe mount roller skates.
I used to skateboard a lot 45 years ago and I got to say this board looks like it might put a new crack in my butt. lol
gtboyz133 years ago
my longboard trucks are m8x1.00. nobody in the world makes a spacernut/cupling nut that size. what do i do?
locofocos3 years ago
I've got it all together. Unfortunately, the JB weld I used didn't hold. I had to drill further than I think you were describing. I drilled the whole length of the 8mm part of the trucks and the threaded coupling slid completely onto to. (I would have left some to screw on, but the thread pitch was radically different and wouldn't go on any). As I was moderately tightening the bolts through the wheels, the couplings began to rotate on the axle. However, they aren't sliding at all laterally, and seem to be holding up fine. I hope to remove them and reapply JB weld. I imagine there were air pockets and I didn't rough it up properly the first time. I think it might help to give a bit more detail (or a diagram) on exactly how far you drill into the threaded coupling. Good 'ible though!

Some tips I've found for learning to ride- Always lean on your toe or heel edge of the board. When you try sliding and balancing in the middle, lean towards whichever side of the board is uphill. This keeps you from leaning forwards, which will quickly throw you off the board.
sntgsrv3 years ago
do you think you could use a longboard to do this or do you have to use a skateboard
i cant believe how easy this was to make! i took my longboard i found in my bushes and added some casters i had in my house, and voila! i had a board!
vvshende3 years ago
Hi, nice instructable. You said that making a board is easy, I was wondering what material you used to make the board (wood, plys, etc.) and how you made it. I'm a longboarder and this looks like a lot of fun, and a great snowboard crosstrainer for the summer months.
jfaneumann (author)  vvshende3 years ago
I you can get it, use bamboo ply.
jfaneumann (author)  vvshende3 years ago
i used two 6 mm plys of Spruce. which i cannot recommend.

i pretty much went to my local hardware store and looked at the 6 mm plys they had. i then took a 120 cm x 60 cm piece and tried to bend it. i didn't like the first so i tried the next and so on.

the final choice was between birch, maple and spruce.
maple: too expensive
birch : way to flexible
spruce: ok, cheapish, stiff enough.

i did ply-fiberglass-ply and then put it in a makeshift press. afterwards i gave the bottom 3 coats of epoxy and the top 1 coat.

check out youtube though, and some of the instructables here. the next board i make i'm going to try a vacuum bag. the next board i make will be with birch, ply-ply-fiberglass.
jay bird3 years ago
Can you use longboard trucks like Paris 180s and then add the spacer nuts?
jfaneumann (author)  jay bird3 years ago
You definitely can, but do you want to? i think it would be a waste of some perfectly good longboarding trucks.

if you're asking because of the width, then ya, definitely, the wider the better.

but you don't need super carvy trucks.

plus: the vert. kingpin skateboard trucks are so much cheaper than reverse kingpin trucks. at least here in germany.

cutoi3 years ago
Thanks a lot. I've been waiting from something like this forever. I didn't even know freebord exists, but now definitely going to make one over several weekends and have something for summer. now i wonder if my great dane can be the fuel instead of down hill :D
quakefiend3 years ago
dude, thank you so much for introducing me to this. I love you.
doesdeer3 years ago
How does the ride transition from forward, skateboard-like motion to sliding with caster-wheel assistance? I spent many years on traditional skateboards in the 80s and 90s(Yes, eons ago!). I'm just wondering how this type of board works. I saw some action on television one time, but that doesn't tell how it rides. Just curious, today, at 39 years old, as opposed to 19.
jfaneumann (author)  doesdeer3 years ago
it actually doesn't ride a whole lot like a skateboard. you're always on the casters leaning left or right you always keep two of the outer wheels on the ground. The transition to the slide is by keeping the deck level so only the caster wheels in the center touch the floor. then you slide, and to stop the slide you just lean to place the outer wheels on the ground again.

Have you watched the second Youtube video? "you have to commit to the idea that you're snowboarding on pavement, not skateboarding."
Ah, I see now. The video explained a lot. I couldn't tell how long the board was in the video, or what amount of flex it has, but that would have to be figured out from trial and error. Cool, man!
I like your socks.
jfaneumann (author)  young skipper3 years ago
my girlfriends mom made them. they're awesome
Those couldn't be more awesome. You should post a slide show on those.
Matt Carl3 years ago
wow great stuff man! i absolutely love my freebord, but i would have totally made one instead of buying one.