It seems BIG and Small may well ( much to Mrs S' horror ) take after their father when it comes to outdoor activity...
As a lad I was a mad keen BMXer and Sk8r, indeed I still have my original BMX but alas, my old skateboard is long gone...
And so, it was with great delight that BIG decided, after a school holiday trial at the local skate park on a borrowed board and a ride of PaPas old BMX, skating and BMXing was just the thing he wanted to do..
With permission from the good lady of the house, lucky little BIG got a terrific BMX and Skateboard for his Birthday / Xmas present and we started to practice..
BIG likes to think BIG and was determined that the large kicker ramps and quarter pipes were his first point of call, thankfully I managed to convince him that we should start a little smaller..
He dutifully practiced his flatland board skills and we both ( like I wasn't going to have a go! ) started jumping small ramps on the bikes using the rubberised surface at the school play ground and an old bit of chip board and log fashioned into a rudimentary ramp.
As ability grew so did confidence...the "one log jump ramp" wasn't enough and neither was the flatland skating so it looked like I had to get my tool box out and build stuff!
"I want a ramp Pa, so I can practice at home when you aren't here.."
Right then, the last ramp I built was in 1987 and allowed me and my neighbour to jump his Dads Audi with our Raleigh Burners..I didn't want to go quite that far so decided upon a smallish kicker ramp that would enable the boys to practice Skateboarding and BMX skills and would serve them well enough to be able to jump the neighbours cars in a few years, if they so desired.
I knew I wanted a 30 degree pitch that was wide enough to allow bike and board to practice kick turns and tall enough to provide a challenging jump as the boys skills progressed.
I made a plan and drove off to the local DIY store with a tape measure and 60 swiss francs.
I returned 30 mins later with a square sheet of solid chip board cut to size in the store, Four lengths of 5cm square hardwood, Four x lengths of 4x2.5 cm hardwood, some hardboard, a bit of paint, some screws and set to work on the terrace..
The Ultimate DIY Kicker.
First I screwed three 4x2.5cm battons to the underside of the ramp deck on the outside edges and down the centre making sure I pre-drilled the holes so the screw heads didn't protrude from the deck.
I then cut the upright posts to a length which gave me a 30 degree rise on the ramp and attached them with 6 countersunk screws down through the ramp deck.
I then laid the ramp on the floor to mark out the supports and bracing for the outside edges and centre.
Once those were cut to size and shape I fixed them all in place with countersunk screws and added a cross brace to the rear for extra strength
Then I tacked on the hardboard front edge transition lip with small zinc tacks and we were done!
Time to test....
When BIG, Small and I had tested it for durability, we got busy painting..
Now we've got a great board/bike ramp that's tough enough for all the neighbourhood kids ( And Dads ) to use for many years to come!
And now that he's had a ramp to practice on at home, BIG is ripping up the race track on his BMX and riding the quarter pipe at the skatepark...even small has got in on the action!
Dad & Lads day out at the track!
ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET AND PADS!!!