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Make Your Own WakeskateUsing this type of construction will give you something similar to a Cassette Wakeskate. The general idea is epoxying a bunch of wakeskate shaped thin wood layers together in a bent form, resulting in a solid wakeskate. It should only take a couple days to complete and cost about 50 Canadian bucks after wood, epoxy, urethane, and grip tape.
Tools and materials
- 1/8” thick wood sheeting (preferably hard and dense like maple)
- Lots of epoxy
- Can of urethane
- Grip tape - Twice
- Fins if you want
- Some boards to stack under the tip and tail for a drying rack
- Some weight to rest on the middle of the board while in drying rack
- Hand saw that can cut corners or a band saw
- Hand file or some kind of sander
- Lots of clamps
- Sand paper
First you want to determine the size and shape of your board. Look on the internet at various companies’ wakeskate specs for reference. Generally they are between 40 and 45” long and about 15” wide, with 1.5-3 inches of rocker.
Now that you have your design, you will need some wood to make the thing. Go to the store and buy some 1/8” thick wood sheeting. Buy enough to cut 4 to 6 patterns of design out. To prevent wasting money on too much wood or not buying enough wood, it helps if you draw out your board shape to scale on the computer and see how many layers you can fit on certain size sheets of wood.
Cutting out the layers
Once you have the wood, draw your board shape on a piece of cardboard or something to make the template. Then transfer the outline onto your wood and cut out however many layers you want. Make sure all your layers are fairly even with each other to save sanding time later.
You should have about 6 patterns of your board cut out of the wood sheeting now. Before you epoxy them all together you will need to set up a place for the board to dry while keeping it bent. I just made 2 piles of boards 3” high to rest the tip and tail on, then put weight on the middle of the board to bend it to the ground while it dried. Make sure that the boards under the tip and tail are square with the board otherwise u will get a twist in the board. Now you are ready to epoxy. Find the nicest face to make the bottom of your board, then completely coat the top of it with epoxy and then lay another layer on top of it. Find some way to get lots of pressure by squeezing the two layers together, I put a bunch of C-clamps around the board. Let it dry overnight before removing the pressure. In the morning you should be able to remove the weights and clamps and find the board together and bent just how you wanted it. Personally I let each layer dry separately with this process. You could probably do it all at the same time if you wanted.
Now the structure of your board is done and you just have to finish it. Take a File or some kind of sander and round off your jagged layered edges. Round the corners of the boars as you please as well. When all that is done, check alone the edges of the board for any cracks or separation between layers and fill those in with some more epoxy and pressure if needed.
If you want fins on your board, You can either just drill some holes for normal wakeboard fins or shape some of your own and epoxy them to the bottom of the board. I sanded a pair out of a garden stake and it worked out fine.
After you’ve drilled your holes or stuck some of your own fins on the bottom, the board is ready to be sealed. I got some Spray on urethane from walmart which worked well. Follow the application directions cause it’s important. Get lots on the edges of the board to prevent water from getting between the layers and separating them.
Now your board is done, You just need to be able to stay on it. Wakeskate companies either make boards with some type of foam foot pads to stand on, or else they have grip tape requiring you to wear some skate shoes. I chose the grip tape option, So just go to the skate shop and buy twice the length of your board in grip tape, then run two strips of it side by side down the board and trim. Make sure the grip tape is on well or else it will start to pull off once you use it a few times and you will loose it all. Hey look you are done , now take it on the water and find out that building it was the easy part.
Other things you can do
To give your board some concave shape, like the new cassettes and like most skateboards, modify the drying setup to also bend up the sided of the front and the back of the board while drying. If this is hard then get the wood wet and place it in the 3D drying setup without epoxy for a night to get the right shape then epoxy it as before.
If you want a paint job or graphics on the board then just spray it on or stick it on before you do the urethane coating.
For questions, contact Bob Henderson or talk about it in our WakeSkate Discussion Forum.
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