Introduction: The Tandem Skateboard
I recently took up skateboarding as a hobby and I thought it would be a fun challenge to make a skateboard I could ride with another person much like a tandem bicycle. After I had created the board I realized it was actually a great way to teach someone how to ride a standard skateboard as one rider is only steers while another rider only pushes off. This will allow a beginner to focus only on turning or only on pushing off when first starting out.
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Step 1: Materials and Equipment
- Vinyl Cutter (optional)
- A method of cutting out your board (ex. Jigsaw, Bandsaw, Table saw etc.)
- One Universal joint (and two fastening screws) http://www.amazon.com/42mm-Rotatable-Universal-Joi...
- Two wood screws (must fit in the universal joint)
- 35"x20''x1'' piece of wood
- Skateboard trucks (4) (also nuts and bolts to attach trucks to the board
- Wheels (8)
- T-square (or ruler)
Step 2: Vinyl Cutting a Template (optional)
To get the proportions correct I vinyl cut an outline of of a skateboard to trace onto the wood to guide my cuts. I have attached an SVG of the outline I used. An average-sized skateboard is about thirty inches long and eight inches wide so that is the size of my template. You can make your board lager or smaller depending upon your preferences.
Step 3: Cutting, Drilling, and Sanding
I traced my vinyl templates onto a large piece of scrap wood. I then cut along the lines and sanded the edges(and both sides) of the board. Once my board was out I used a T-square to draw a line down the middle of the board vertically (rounded end to rounded end) and horizontally (side to side). I then placed my skateboard trucks seven inches to either side of the point where the two lines intersected (this distance can vary depending upon your board length). I leveled the trucks in the positions they were in then marked the positions the screws would be placed. I then drilled holes where I had marked. Make sure to varnish your wood and decorate as you see fit. Finally, I attached the trucks to the board and wheels to the board.
Step 4: Attaching the Universal Joint
Next, drill a hole in the top of the bend of both boards. Make sure your drill bit is slightly smaller than your wood screws so the screws can grip to the wood. Check that your wood screws can fit inside the joint. Screw the wood screws into the previously drilled holes but leave about a half inch exposed. Cover the screws with the Universal Joint and fasten them in place with the fastening screws. If the joint is not able to move up, down, left, and right check that the wood screws are not touching the center of the joint, thus restricting movement.
Step 5: Tips for Riding!
If both boards are able to turn independently, both riders have to ride perfectly in sync. If they are not in sync, moving forward (or moving in any direction for that matter) is incredibly difficult. It is easier to ride if you designate one board as the "back" board. Tighten the trucks on this "back" board so tight that turning is nearly impossible. When the back board is unable to turn this allows for division of labor amongst the riders. The rider on the back board can focus on pushing off on their board, while the front rider has free reign on steering. That being said, it is a good idea for the front rider to push off regularly as there is double the weight to be pushed.