Introduction: Make a Sweet Longboard

Picture of Make a Sweet Longboard

This instructable is how to make a longboard of professional quality. When my friends saw mine they thought it was store bought until i told them. it is also a cheap alternative to the high priced ones that you can buy. I spent around $40 for everything and it was the best money i ever spent and saved me a few hundred too! This one is made in a way that is different than others that make it stronger and better fitting.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

The first step is to gather materials:

wood glue, or gorilla glue wood work great!
jig saw
wheels and trucks (can be bought on ebay for around $20)
drill and bits
chalk line (optional)
stain, or paint
grip tape

Step 2: Cut Wood

Picture of Cut Wood

in this step, cut the wood into 1"x4" rectangles, you will need three of these to make your longboard, be sure to cut along and across the grain. you will see why later on.

Step 3: Glue It All Together

Picture of Glue It All Together

in this step, you will glue it all together. Use wood glue or gorilla glue to do this, first lay one piece of plywood down, making sure it is the piece is the one with the grain going along the long part of the wood, lay glue down and spread evenly. Do this to the second sheet(the one with the grain going parallel to the short side of the piece) and lay them on top of each other so glue on both sides are touching. Do this to the third piece and then clamp and add weights. You want to compress it enough so that glue will squeeze out the sides use weights or whatever you have on hand. Let dry overnight. notice how i bent my long board. you have to do this while the glue is wet, and this is why this is the best way to make long boards, because you can adjust the curve and shape it the way you want, which you cant do with a normal piece of wood alone.

Step 4: Cutting It Out

Picture of Cutting It Out

Now that the glue has dried, take off the clamps, and lay the now solid board on the saw horse. i made a template for my design, but you can either choose to do that or lay a long board on its front and trace it on the board. Either way works, and you can make it any shape you want pretty much, as long as you mark a center line, that will come in handy later. Use the jig saw to cut out what you outlined. once it has been cut out, use the sander to smooth out the edges and surface.

Step 5: Sanding and Painting

Picture of Sanding and Painting

Now that the board is cut out, it is time to sand it smooth. Sand everywhere and especially make sure edges are smooth. Now it is ready to be painted! you can do whatever you want for this! i sometimes like seeing the grain so i stain it, but also you can use all purpose spray paint or normal paint. Use painters tape if you want to make nice stripes or clean edges. If you are going to stain it, if you want to, iron-ons work well on wood, so you could print on an iron on, then iron it on the board for a cool decal, i did one of a sun as you could see in the very first picture! have fun with it and be creative!

Step 6: Attatching the Wheels and Riding!!

Picture of Attatching the Wheels and Riding!!

finally it is time to add the wheels. First thing you have to do is find the center line of the board, if you did not do this start by measuring the width in a few places, and putting a mark in the middle. Connect all these dots with a line and that is your center line. When you get your trucks from ebay, measure the width of the trucks and mark the middle of the trucks with a marker. Do this to both trucks. The front of the front trucks are about 4 inches from the top, and the back of the back trucks are about 7 or 8 inches from the bottom. Set the trucks where they need to go, and use them as a template to mark the holes for the bolts, mark the holes, then drill the hole, all 8 of them. Bolt on the trucks, then attach the bearing and wheels. You have just made a long board, go out and ride it!!! i have made about 5 so far, and none have ever come close to breaking and each one is unique, even my brother made his own that he uses! now go and make your own! oh and when riding put your dominate foot in front, push with other, then put both feet on so they are perpendicular to the centerline, have fun and be safe!


Judah Graves (author)2016-07-08

Does this longboard get wheel-bite?

viking2021 (author)Judah Graves2017-11-03

All longboards can get wheel bite. However, usually top mount decks do get wheel bite easier. If you are trying to avoid wheel bite, I recommend a drop through longboard. But if you have your heart set on a top mount, I'd get riser pads and have a deck that has a downhill shape.

Haradaska (author)Judah Graves2017-03-20

to me it looks like it would pretty bad. Of course he doesnt give good views of the longboard to know for sure.

colem16 (author)2016-05-20

Where could i fin some good plywood to make a wheel cut-out deck. wood that has good quality and is possibly local in rohnert park, CA

hirenpanchal47 (author)2011-09-19

Hey . Nice Instructable .
me from India .
i am trying to make this but here i am little confused about wheels .i have no wheels . and i don't want to purchase it through Ebay .. i will purchase it from local market of my town . so i want to know specific name of this wheels . and specific size .
thanks in advance

get skate wheels, hyper rolo they are 70mm 81a. they cost bout 2200/- in Mumbai

haha ..thanks for replying after 4 years :)

But now I am in Berlin and it is super easy to buy one from local shop .. but anyways THANKS .

So you'll normally get to different shaped wheels..
1. Narrow tread with rounded edges:
2. Wide tread with a 'squared' edge:

Look for option 2 wheels, that are 60mm or higher and that the hub fits your trucks. They'll be fairly similar to rollerskate wheels but different to rollerblade wheels.

Not sure if it's the same, but I remember Rollerblade wheels coming in different densities, the softer wheels give a more comfortable ride, more grip but wear down faster than the harder wheels.

srilyk (author)DreamingSheep2011-09-26

Most wheels are made of polyurethane of varying hardness, and there are (dis)advantages either way you go.

As you said, softer wheels give you a more comfortable ride, and wear down faster. They also allow you to roll over rocks easier and grip your rolling surface better. They also increase friction, so you won't go quite as fast.

The harder wheels, have less friction so they give you less grip and make it more likely that when you hit a pebble you'll keep going but your board wont. They also take longer to wear down.

It's all trade-offs, and it's fairly hard to know what you really want until you actually ride. Just play around, have fun, and be safe!

elizila (author)2015-01-25

how long did it take you to make the board

teach me cool stuff (author)2012-11-27

how long did it take you to bend the board? were you letting the glue dry at the same time? and how many layers of 1/8'' BB would i need for someone who is 180? thanks

I'm about 170lbs... I think 2 layers of 1/8 should work fine...right? I hope?

Parker_r5 (author)2013-02-21

What type of wood did you use?

g-tech (author)2011-09-18

hi, im guessing youre pretty new to lonboard building? well dont use that crap 3/16 wood from home depot or menards. you need a good quality baltic birch 1/8" thick to make a decent board. you should also use titebond III to glue your boards, it is the best quality one.

christophungus (author)g-tech2011-11-03

Where should i get the wood?

midnite17 (author)christophungus2012-10-08

A very good place to get wood is from They actually specialize in longboard/skateboard wood.

g-tech (author)christophungus2011-11-04

try searching for lumber sellers in your area, call or check their website to see if they carry 1/8" BB(baltic birtch) it can take some searching and investigating. its usually a local business that carries this kind of wood, look for woodworking stores as well, they carry a large variety of woods. dont give up,it just takes some investigative work

komoto13 (author)2011-09-18

Also for the grip tape, you can use epoxy and clear sand (use sand according to how much grip you want) you can also use this same trick with some cloth to make cloth designs.

I luv Duct Tape (author)komoto132012-04-19

or use broken glass filtered through a window screen epoxied to the deck

Brown6041 (author)2011-10-08

could you add a picture from the side to see how much curve you have in this board. good ible

bcontarino (author)2011-09-18

You don't do tricks on a longboard?? Obviously you don't know much about long boarding. All kinds of tricks. It just has a different style. But me and my friends do kick flips, shovits. Powerslides, cross stepping and a lot of other stuff. and there are way more advanced tricks... Just depends. A homemade board is still fine, specially for learning. But make sure you have strong wood...

This video is what got me into longboard. If your kids are into learning. Have them youtube videos. Anything by "loaded" is legit. Also search adam colton. He is one of the best in the world, and has all kinds of instructional videos...

srilyk (author)bcontarino2011-09-26

I'm impressed that you can do shove-its on a longboard. That's a lot of wood to spin around, heh.

Kryptonite (author)2011-09-19

I would totally make one myself; however, it appears to be almost impossible to source appropriately sized baltic birch ply in Australia!

carpe_noctem (author)Kryptonite2011-09-19

A friend of mine made a nice one of from two pieces of bookend hardwood butted against each other. He added butterflies to keep it sturdy, and it rode really well, although it was heavier than it needed to be. The first skateboards were just 2x4's, so don't be afraid to improvise

srilyk (author)carpe_noctem2011-09-26

2x4's with roller skates nailed to the bottom ;)

I wonder what that kid thinks now (assuming (s)he is still alive)...

DreamingSheep (author)Kryptonite2011-09-20

It would probably be a fair amount more expensive and may need to be steamed before bending (never worked with it) but how about seeing if you can find maple wood? I know it's used for more expensive skateboards but not sure about longboards, although I doubt there'd be much difference in materials.

Kryptonite (author)DreamingSheep2011-09-22

Maple's not much easier to find, but at least it's possible. I'll do some research, thanks.

bgepp1 (author)2011-09-22

nice ible! btw - what kind of wood did you use? I checked your list of materials and there was no mention of the wood. I am assuming hard rock maple right?

gskaggs (author)2011-09-18

Very nice. And nice that you made it for your sister. Good job!

XP1 (author)2011-09-18

I would like to start off by saying that this was a very good Instructable. Okay, so I am not sure of what I should use, as far as wood goes. I looked at the price of some hard-wood plywood at Lowe's, and Home Depot, and I was not sure if that would be adequate. The thickness is of 1/4 inch. I am curious of where I would be able to purchase (preferably not online) some plywood in the event that the Hardware store wood would not do well. I saw a video on YouTube, in which the wood snapped as soon as person who built the board had stepped on it, and I would prefer that this not happen to me. I also saw a case in which a person built a board, and he used one piece of 1/2 inch thick wood, and another of 1/4 inch. I am a bit lost, and any help would be greatly appreciated.

wazupdoc (author)2011-09-15

okay so decent longboard wheels are around 40$ at the cheapest and trucks and 50$ and berrings are 20$ grip tape is also 10$ idk where u got 40$ from... just saying

dimtick (author)wazupdoc2011-09-15

I'm guessing the cost doesn't include the trucks & wheels.
to be honest I don't know anything about skateboarding (I wanna make these for my kids) but I've read that when you do all the fancy tricks that you go thru decks pretty fast but I think you can keep reusing the wheel sets.
my kids are daredevils and seem to lack a lot of the common sense that comes with age (I miss those days) so i expect to be making a few of these.

ilpug (author)dimtick2011-09-15

an avid skateboarder can go through a deck every few weeks. Longboards like this are designed for just cruising around, not for actual tricks.

dimtick (author)ilpug2011-09-16

so you don't do tricks with a long board? i didn't know that. I think that's perfect for my kids.
I like the idea of making the decks because i think that they'll trash em but maybe a long baord will last longer. still think i'de like to make it but now maybe i'll use nicer quality wood like maple.

ilpug (author)dimtick2011-09-16

depending on the age and responsibility of your kids, i think a long board would be a good way to start to get the feel of the board. after a while you can get them normal boards and let them skate freestyle. Don't bother trying to make your own freestyle decks, they are made specially and cannot be accurately recreated in a home workshop. Keep in mind that your kids will become a little bit more independant if exposed to skateboard culture, so if you are one of those grumpy anti-freedom parents, don't introduce them to it.

lwoodward (author)ilpug2011-09-18

Plenty of skaters doing freestyle on longboards so it begs the question of what a "normal" board is. One does not necessarily move on from longboarding to freestyle, it may be the other way around or they may do both. Its not uncommon for skaters to have a "quiver" of skateboards. 1. Downhill board 2. LDP board 3. Carving board 4. Dancer 5. Park Board 6. Street freestyle (normal?) 7. Old School 8. Slider
Of course you may have 3 or 4 boards that are able to encompass most of these disciplines. Don't limit yourself when it comes to having fun on a board. :-D

lwoodward (author)ilpug2011-09-18

Just wanted to +1 to this comment. These are good instructions for someone wanting to try out longboarding or just cruise around. As soon as you start getting up to speed and really learning how to carve and pump, the limitations of the cheap trucks and wheels will quickly show. I'd hate to see an aggressive longboarder dissapointed when this set up doesn't perform because trust me, it won't. I commonly find myself trying to "tune up" these cheap truck/wheel combos from ebay and there is only so much that I can do for them. The difference between good and cheap equipment will greatly effect your experience. Just keep this in mind. Cheers.

czaugg15 (author)wazupdoc2011-09-15

on ebay decent truck with wheels and bearings are around $33, these wheels are good for a homemade long board, because the point of making a long board is to save money.

superpenguin (author)2011-09-15

Nice work and good clear instructions, but I do have a couple questions/critiques that might help clear up a few points of confusion. I see from the note on the step 1 picture, that you're using 3/16" plywood, but it would be good to have that in the main text of the step as well, as I did not notice that at first. Also, both there and in step 2, you have double quotes instead of single quotes for the foot dimensions. Finally, I was wondering what kind of plywood you used. It looks really nice in your title image.

lwoodward (author)superpenguin2011-09-18

You can buy 7ply Baltic Birch plywood at a furniture store. 7 ply Baltic Birch is commonly used in longboard manufacturing. Common plywood will quickly de-laminate under the stress of truck torsion and rider weight.

zerol8on (author)2011-09-18

having made a ton of boards when I used to ride, I appreciate how hard it is to get the camber (bend) by gluing sheets together. If you want to take a short(ish) cut, and want to make a flat board, you can get 1/2" or 5/8" (depending on your weight) baltic birch or maple plywood. (that said, using 3/16" baltic birch or maple, marine grade plywood will really increase the life of your boards when gluing them too, but maybe you're already doing that....).

Home Depot plywood is usually just crappy plywood with a thin layer of birch to make it look nice (for cabinets, mostly). If you get marine-grade plywood (you can tell because every layer, including both surfaces, is the same thickness, like bent plywood ikea furniture), your boards will be super flexy and last wayyyy longer. I routinely made boards that would touch the ground, and never break. it's harder to find (gotta go to a special wood place like macbeath hardwoods in the east bay, CA) but it's REALLY worth it.

hope that helps someone!

ps if you want to get really fancy, you can put a layer of fiberglass or carbon fiber on the bottom of your board, to make it a little stiffer.

shootthemoon88 (author)2011-09-18

I think you mean 1 foot(1') x 4 foot (4') rectangles :)

vvshende (author)2011-09-18


Great job on the instructable. I had a couple of questions.

1) Have you played around with thickness of the board and flexibility?
2) Have you found a way to add camber to the boards?
3) Have you found a way to curl up the tail and nose for manuals, shovits, etc.?

Again, great job,

hitman_kiwi (author)vvshende2011-09-18

You could flip the board after having bent it to get camber instead of rocker.

what trucks did you use?

askinsb (author)2011-09-15

I was thinking the same thing about the measurements 1"x4"...That's going to be a tiny board. I'm guessing it's 1' x 4', that would make more sense.

czaugg15 (author)askinsb2011-09-15

yeah, sorry about that

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