Make a Handheld Skating and Snowboarding Sail !




These unique portable folding sails are used in conjunction with skates and boards of all types by kids and adults of all ages. From summer In-line skate sailing to winter Snowboard sailing, discover the fun of using the power of the wind for free, ecological (green) energy. Other possible modes of transport include Skateboards, Mountainboards, Skate shoes, Snow skates, Ice skates, the possibilities are endless. Other skate sails cost hundreds of dollars and are rigid. This sail design folds down in seconds and weighs only a few pounds.

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Step 1: Snowboard Sailing on Lake

Step 2: At the Beach

An example near the water

Step 3: Sailing on Parking Lot

Step 4: On the Snow

With a snowboard

Step 5: Here Are the Steps So You Can Build Your Own Handheld Sail

These are the steps I took to build my first dozen or so skate sails.


1. For the sail part you will need a tarp about 8' X 10' (~$4.99), duck tape (~$2.99) and clear plastic material (the kind old ladies cover the furniture with)that's about two buck for a square yard. These can be found at a Walmart near you, the clear material being found in the fabrics section.

2. The 3/8" fiberglass shock chorded poles can also be found at that store or a large camping store (Dicks, Gander etc.) They run about $6.99 for 4 sections, and since you need six, unfortunately you need two packages.

3. Finally you will need about two feet of plastic tubing about 3/8" inner diameter and some zip ties. These will be used to keep your sail affixed to the tips of your poles. They can be found at Lowes, Home Depot etc.

Step 6: Building the Sail

So, your tarp already has the grommets to attach to the poles so all you need to do is make your windows. You can pick any size or shape but I found triangles to be most friendly in case you want to just eye-ball it.

1.Cut the desired shape out of your tarp with blade or scissors. Then place the plastic window underneath to cover your hole. At this point duck take the window to the tarp by overlapping the tape over the tarp and window.

2. Flip your contraption over and cut the excess window around your hole. Now duck tape that side in the same manner as the other side.

The result: a tarp with a nice window that is double duck taped.

Step 7: The Shock Corded Poles

Assemble the poles as per the instructions except use three sections per pole instead of four. You'll want your actual rubber cord to be nice and taught so your pole sections spring back nice and strong.

At this ponit you can cut your plastic tubing into 1 inch pieces. You will need eight pieces for final assembly

The result:

Two 8 foot long fiberglass poles.

Step 8: Final Assembly

Ok, we are almost there. The idea here is to affix the four corners of the sail to the tips of the poles. The way I have found to do this is as follows:

Slide a piece of plastic tubing into each pole tip about three inches in. Then slide the corner grommets to each tip. The plastic tubing prevents the grommet to slide all the way down. Then slide another piece of plastic tubing to each tip towards but not touching the grommet (it should be loose). Your tent poles came with plastic tips which can then be inserted to the tips as shown on the diagram.

The sail assembly is pretty much complete. Wrap zip ties around the plastic tubing pieces. This secures them to the poles so they don't slide anymore.

That's pretty much it for your new sail!

Step 9: Folding Your Sail

Step 10: Folding Your Sail

your sail is now folded

Step 11: Folded Sail

looking pretty cool with your folded sail

Step 12: Other Uses

Some computer generated pics

Step 13: Other Versions

most of these prototypes are made of tarp and regular fiberglass tent poles

Step 14: Closeups

these are closeups of the sail now available for the public

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    63 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Where I live, the wind seems to only get up to 14km/h, how high a wind speed do you think you need for this to be used effectively?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Has anyone seen instructions on making a "paraglider" sail on the cheap out of tarp and other materials similar to the ones this guy has shown? I read an article about guys in africa where people go paragliding sitting underneath a sail they run off of grass hills and glide to the bottom and sometimes can even catch a thermal and stay afloat for hours. apparently the locals were so intrigued that they made their own working parasails out of garbage bags and tarps etc i'd love to see some instructions for those sails they made. I guess its the same process as above just probably a different shape and probably a stacked tubular chute rather than a single sail? I really dont know enough about this can someone provide a link or type some info to give me a clue?!

    3 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thats sketchy, parasails are a lot more comlicated than this, wouldn't be using tarps or trash bags for that. If you do, good luck, there are parasailers by my house all the time, and they cant get sailing pretty far off the ground


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    When it comes to paragliding i wouldn't trust a tarp to hold me a couple hundred feet in the air.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    this is awesome, but in my experience, tent poles are always breaking. would it be ok if i used broom handles, PVC, or rope handles?

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    well, unless the broom sticks can disrupt the wind too much. But think about it, they are at most about 1 inch in diameter. they should be better.

    Dont have the funds and time for now, but id like to suggest. 2 sticks for holding onto, hockey tape to prevent splinters and tie top of stick to top of another stick and bottom to bottom with paracord. Then you find a way to attach the tarp to the ropes once you finished it do message me :D. pleaseeee.....


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I'm just asking, but how do you stop if the wind is blowing really hard? This looks very fun, I'll try it with my long board, but i'm afraid of falling off and losing the sail


    haha a few of my friends and i did this with tarps and broomsticks a year or so ago with longboards, was a ton of fun!

    aden breems

    8 years ago on Step 4

    You could never do that with a power kite!!!


    8 years ago on Step 7

    you can also use old tent poles, connect and duct tape.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    It is not a skate board it is a mountainboard- but for onthe road stuff search for a longboard ( it is meant for cruising on and going long distences) longboard can also make turns compared to skateboards

    Haha, I got really bored one windy night last November so I grabbed a bedsheet, a bamboo stick and some other random stick and tried doing this down the Boston Commons. XD


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I did this with a big sign that people were giving out at a protest... same principle people were looking at me real weird (the sign said "drop Bush not bombs"