FISHSTICK (Ripstik / Waveboard)




This Instructable will show you how to design and build your own Ripstik that "sticks" out in a crowd. Since it looks like a fish, I call it the FISHSTICK.

The torsion bar is hidden underneath the board and is basically made of a door hinge combined with a very stiff blade of a saw. It took me quite some time to get the "stiffness" of the board right, but with this set-up, the feel of the board comes very close to that of an original Ripstik.
Wolfshade has posted an I'ble on how to build a Ripstik back in 2009. Check it out here because I learned some aspects of it.

The motivation for this project came from the fact that all Ripstiks look alike. Secondly, the design of them simply resembles of two canoe paddles connected by a rod. Can't this be improved?

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: What Do You Need?

  • A plywood sheet to make the deck (90 cm x 35 cm x 0,9 cm)
  • A pair of casters and a pair of wheels (diameter 7,5 cm).
  • 2 Wooden blocks to connect the wheels (the base of the caster is 6x6 cm, hence the block must accomodate this size).
  • A door hinge: width 8 cm (open), length 9 cm.
  • A bolt (length 100 mm, M10) with a nut. This will replace the pin in the hinge.
  • 8 screws for the hinge (shorter than the thickness of the deck, in my case 9 mm)
  • 8 screws for the casters: a set of long ones (25mm) and a set of short ones (15 mm).
  • 1 bolt, a washer and Tee Nut.  (all based on M6). 
  • A blade of a saw, 14" x 1 3/4" X 0.062, and cut it to a length of 25 cm. I used one of BLU-MOL (works excellent). You don't have to use a saw, just as long it is a strong and elastic piece of metal. Some putty knifes are excellent alternatives.
  • 8 Dowel pins (6 mm diameter).
  • Masking tape and paint.

Step 2: The Deck.

I copied the contour of a Ripstik on a large piece of paper just to get an idea of the basic dimensions (length, width of each panel, location of the feet and the wheels).
Then, more or less within these limits I started designing different shapes. As this is a fairly erratic process, I can't show you all the steps involved but this is the end result (picture 1).
Make sure that at the narrowest part, the deck is wide enough to "hide" the hinge underneath the deck.

First I transferred the design onto a cheap piece of plywood to get a feel of it. Then made some adjustments and transferred it to the final plywood sheet (picture 2).

The basic dimensions are:
Length: 85 cm
Max width: 25 cm (@ tail)
Min width: 9 cm (@ center)

Step 3: The Wheels.

Picture 1: The wheels need to be angled at approximately 30 to 40 degrees. Therefore you need two blocks that are cut at this angle (use a miter saw). I used two wooden legs of a chair as this gave me an additional conical shape, but you can use straight blocks just the same. The casters I use, require a 6 x 6 cm surface on the block.

Picture 2: Pre-drill the screw holes for the casters (smaller than the size of the screws).

Picture 3: Drill 6 mm holes for the wooden dowel pins to connect to the deck (1 cm deep). Make sure that the holes do not interfere with the screws of the casters. The holes shouldn't be closer to the edge of the block than 1 cm.

Picture 4: Add dowel centre pins to tag te deck. 

Picture 5: Ensure that the block is accurately alligned with the central axis of the deck. Then tag the deck and drill through it.  The location of the front block is 8cm from the tip of the board, the location of the rear block is is 56 cm from the tip.

Picture 6: Insert and glue the dowell pins in the block. Glue the blocks to the deck. Apply large force while the glue is curing.

Picture 7 & 8: Don't worry about the length, they will stick trough the deck and will be cut / sanded later. 

Picture 9: The distance between blocks is 48 cm.

Step 4: The Torsion Bar.

Picture 1 & 2: Disassemble the hinge and hammer out the pin and cap (compare to the picture in step 1). Reverse the hinge and insert the nut and bolt.

Picture 3, 4 & 5: The rear section of the blade (that acts like a torsion bar) has to be inserted in the rear caster block. Lay the blade on the small block that you will use later and draw a horizontal line. Cut parallel to the board, approximately 1 cm deep. Work accurately!

Picture 6: Cut the board in two (at 45 cm form the nose) and lay it on a large flat surface. Use a chisel to cut a trench so that the hinge rests flat on the deck when assembled.

Picture 7: Assemble the set up: blade and hinge. Mark the board where the eye of the blade is. Drill through the deck (6 mm). 

Picture 8 & 9: Turn the deck to the other side and drill a larger hole so that the Tee Nut rests flush to the deck (appr. 2 mm deep). Install the Tee Nut.

Picture 10: this is how the nut on the other side looks like.

Picture 11: Glue the block into place (make sure that no glue leaks into the Tee Nut.

Step 5: Finishing the Surface.

Picture 1: apply a layer of ground paint (in this case white) to both sides of the board and once this has dried, paint the bottom grey (2 layers).

Picture 2: Fill the Tee Nut with filler.

Picture 3 & 4: apply 2 layers of orange paint to the top.  Once this layer is really dry, apply a fishbone pattern (or whatever pattern) with masking tape. Make sure that you use a quality tape that does not damage the paint layers and press it hard against the board.

Picture 5 & 6: apply 2 layers of grey.  I have painted the grey layer at fairly low temperatures (10 C) so that the paint would not creep underneath the tape very easily (higher viscosity at lower temperatures). Once the second layer starts to "gel" carefully peel off the masking tape.

Finish with two layers of varnish.

Step 6: Assemble

Picture 1: lay the board on a flat surface and install the hinge with 8 screws. Make sure that the board remains properly aligned during the first screws.

Picture 2: once you have made sure that the saw blade fits the set-up, grind of its teeth. You won't need them anymore. Be carefull with selecting the length of the screw. If it is too long, you will press out the filler on the other side of the deck!!!!

Picture 3: install the casters and wheels. Be aware of the longer and shorter screws.

Step 7: Go !

Kinetic Sculpture Design Contest

Finalist in the
Kinetic Sculpture Design Contest

Epilog Challenge

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • Skateboard Contest

      Skateboard Contest
    • Make it Move

      Make it Move
    • Teacher Contest

      Teacher Contest

    81 Discussions


    5 years ago

    im making this board too, im jus having difficulty searching for the wedges and instead of the fish design im making it into a mix between an arrow n a bullet. well as for the torsion bar im gonna use the pipe n blade set up. im thinking instead of blades im gonna use steel rulers

    4 replies

    No need to do that! Just post a (short) Instructable or even a Slide show with some pictures and I'll send you a patch.


    3 years ago

    Nice, but is there a way you can sort of hide the torsion bar?


    3 years ago

    Could you put the plywood on an already existing ripstick?

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    Yes, but it all depends on the bond you can achieve between the two layers.
    I believe ripsticks are made of PE. I'm not sure if you can find a suitable glue for PE-wood.
    If the deck of te dipstick is rough, you need to sand it first as well.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Even if I don't make it, its still cool. I never would have thought of that.

    Where can I go to get appropriate casters? How can I tell that they will be sturdy, smooth, and sized correctly? What brand did you use here? What are there specs? Any problems with the ones you chose?

    Any help appreciated! I am looking to make a caster board and am hoping to make it with about 100mm/100a inline wheels for speed and distance. I don't know where to start regarding the casters though.


    5 years ago on Step 2

    Where did you get the casters. All the ones I saw have wheels atached or did you take those off.


    There is just one screw (actually bolt) in the front (connecting to the Tee Nut).
    If your blade "sits" tightly in the rear block, you do not need a bolt in the rear end.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    that appears to look like an orange sperm with feet