The Skateboard Guitar (Skatar)

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How to turn a solid body electric guitar into a playable/ride-able skateboard. A Skatar.

For this project, I started with a Squier Jagmaster (made in China). My friend had painted it, taken it apart, and routed some holes (for parts that he wanted to add) before he gave up on it.

So I got all the parts for free, and since I already own plenty of guitars, I decided to add some trucks and wheels and see if I could skate it. The important thing for me was that it remain fully playable.

I suppose I could have just slapped the trucks on with wood screws, but that would have been too easy, besides, this guitar already had a big hole routed in the front of the body.

Warning: I would never do this to a quality guitar, and never even think about doing this to anything rare or vintage. That would be wrong.

Step 1: Disassembly, Placement of Screw Holes

After disassembling the guitar, figure out where you want the trucks to go. This guitar already had a big hole routed in the body, where a Jaguar vibrato would have gone, so I drilled the holes there. I would have preferred to have had the wheels spaced a bit farther apart, but it worked out pretty well.

On the neck side, I drilled the holes as close as I could to the neck. They wouldn't fit in the neck heel cavity itself, so they went under where the neck pickup goes.

I marked the holes on the front of the body, with the trucks in place, upside down in the pickup cavity and body rout (sorry no picture of that), drilled a small guide hole, then hit it with the 3/4 in. bit, making sure not to go too far.

I used the hardware that came with the trucks.

If I had just used wood screws, at least for the body side trucks, it wouldn't have ruined the look of the body, but this guitar already had the big rout. I suppose I could have filled it with Bondo auto body filler or wood filler and painted over it, but as you will see, I found a simpler solution.

Step 2: Mount the Trucks, Test Drive.

After successfully mounting the trucks, I took it out to the driveway to see how it felt and make sure it wouldn't break right away.

It seemed fine.

The wheelbase is shorter than a regular skateboard, so that took a little getting used to.

I used Thunder trucks and Spitfire wheels. I hear those give the best tone.

Plus they were free.



Step 3: Reassembly

I screwed the old strat style bridge back on as a hardtail (the trem cavity had been filled in).

Before screwing the pickguard back on, all I had to do was connect one ground wire to the bridge.

The advantage of the Jagmaster is that all the electronics are attached to the pickguard, so there was only one solder connection to make.

Grounding the bridge prevents the guitar from humming when you're rocking out on it.

It seemed like all that was left to do was screw the neck back on and restring it.

Step 4: Test the Wiring, Add Griptape

Once it was restrung and tuned up, I plugged it in and jammed on it for a while.

It sounded pretty good for a Chinese Squire.

It didn't occur to me until then that it needed some griptape.

So I took it back apart, removed everything from the pickguard (should have done this at the beginning), traced the pickguard onto the grip tape, traced a coffee can onto the grip tape (to cover the ugly rout in the body), and cut them out with a box cutter.

And then...

Step 5: Ride and Destroy

I took it down a bunch of hills and got some good footage. Then one of my friends fell off it and it skidded into a curb with a sharp corner and the neck split from the headstock to the fifth fret.

I wasn't mad. We had proven that it could be done, and had fun doing it.

I would like to put up some video, but don't have a way to edit it at the moment.

guitar (as box of parts) $0.00
wheels and trucks $0.00
strings $3.00
grip tape $5.00


total investment = $8.00

I have since fixed the neck, sprayed it black, filled all the holes in the body with Bondo body filler, and am currently refinishing it in silver and turning it back into a regular guitar. I'll probably add some photos of that when I'm done.

But I'm leaving the grip tape on the pickguard.

Want to see where the neck and body are now?

Want to see what happened to the electronics?

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    44 Discussions

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    This goes under the "just because you xan doesnt mean you should category

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    slalevee

    3 years ago on Introduction

    I want to do this with my cheap yardsale guitar. Do you thing putting trucks on the neck would work?

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    Gutoboranga

    4 years ago on Introduction

    That's very cool! But one question: while riding, do you step on the strings?

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    Stratocouper

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Hey fellow guitar playing skate-boardists! We started playing surf guitar in SoCal about the time skateboards got popular (1963) and did both non-stop! Fender even had an ad then with a skateboarder playing a guitar and also built a one-off Fender Skateboard in sunburst. Eventually in the early 80's Drew with the Surf Punks road his skateboard on to the stage fully equipped with a strung up neck, pickup and rocked out at the Santa Monica Civic. About eight years ago, guitar builder Dave Flood (apprentice to John Dopyera inventor of the National-Dobro and Pebble Beach Concours winner for his incredible interiors and restoration, built the first ofiicial Skatar for his ex-wife's son. It is legally patented and trademarked too. He has built two dozen so far with many cool themes including a Les Paul Sunburst version (at my request), and a Gretsch Cadillac green version with Powertrons, plus Skull & Crossbones etc. Their all handmade and truly works of art. Yes, the wooden wheels spin but not for riding. These are real guitars that look like fancy skateboards, and really play great!

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    Jodexntagn33

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Weird, it works for me.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzXs16_H18k
    Or actually we should make one of these to that guy :P

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    cloggy01cloggy01

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Oh and dude learn to play with your feet
    and you can skate and play guitar! XD

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    chilly9781

    9 years ago on Introduction

    If I ever see you, I want to give you a hug. You mixed two of my favorite things. Now make it shoot frisbees and I think you could win the Nobel Peace Prize for the advancemnet of Awesome.

    2 replies
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    fearme36

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Simply amazing. Next up: Guitar surfboard. Or guitar airplane, whichever comes first.