Build a surfskate ramp

Wood wave: project, materials and step by step guide

Are you passionate about surfskate and would like to take your training, as well as the fun, to the next level with an artificial wave? I assure you it's completely normal, we've been there too!
Surfskate is so much fun and allows for such rapid progress that it is common to seek out new challenges. The lucky ones can count on structures built ad hoc in their cities, ramps in skateparks, pools and even some rare but very cool waves of wood or resin. However, not everyone is lucky enough to have these artificial waves nearby, or these days it happens that despite having one of these structures close enough, you cannot go there due to lockdown ...

And then many come to mind to build their own artificial wave at home ... just like we did during the last March lockdown. 

The first artificial wave we built we made it with recycled materials such as old wooden pallets and some MDF sheets which are absolutely not a suitable material, since it is very afraid of humidity, but it was the only thing we already had. at home, since at that time you could not go out to buy these materials (obviously building a skate ramp was not considered a primary necessity ...). The result was quite crude, but it allowed us to have fun and practice, until the rains and the intensive use we made of it got the better of it.

This summer we decided to make one with better and more resistant materials.

There is no shortage of projects around, so starting from the experience we had already had and from the example of others we have created our personal wooden wave, with which we are satisfied enough to decide to share the project and useful information to make it happen.

Our first ramp was 2.40 meters long, but using it we realized we needed a bit more length especially for when the maneuver was not perfect and we were going a little too long. For the new project we decided to create a 3.60 meter long modular ramp made up of 4 modules of 90 cm each.

The reason for this size is actually easy to say: this was the space we had available and we decided to exploit it completely. Secondly, such a length is sufficient to chain a good number of maneuvers. And thirdly, these measures are calculated to optimize the material to be purchased, so as to have as little waste as possible.

Wood Wave : the project

Our wooden wave consists of 4 modules each 90cm long. Actually 3 is enough, which is why you will find 3 modules in the project. 

The structure is made of 15mm OSB and 4x4cm spruce strips. OSB is a fairly resistant and inexpensive material that is found on the market in panels of various thicknesses. The roof was made by overlapping sheets of OSB and marine plywood. 

Choose the radius of curvature of the ramp

As for the radius of curvature, this is one of the most difficult aspects to decide. As always, we got carried away a little and made a ramp with a plane that was too vertical. In reality this is not a great advantage for the surfskate and indeed we realized that this inclination always makes you exit the maneuvers with an excessive speed to chain the subsequent maneuvers, which is why we decided to vary it slightly in the future by flattening the final part ( blue ramp). In the projects we have published we have indicated both curves, so you can decide which one to make.

The blue ramp is the one we recommend.

Cutting and assembly

OSB boards are generally found in sheets of 250 x 125 cm. With 1 15/18 mm panel you can make 4 bases. Once you have drawn the first curve, you will use the cut shape to obtain the others exactly identical.

Then it is time to assemble the crosspieces (made up of 4x4 spruce strips). To make the structure more resistant, the slats must be fitted in ad hoc accommodations created in the OSB and then, for safety, fixed with a few nails.

Each single structure is self-supporting, but their stability increases when connected together. Then screw the structures to each other.

Cover and finish.

For the roof we used two paired materials: underneath 1 sheet of 6mm OSB + above 1 sheet of 4mm marine plywood which offers a good compromise in terms of strength and flexibility.
When mounting the cover be careful that the cuts do not all fall in the same place but staggered, otherwise those will be weak points subject to deterioration.
The panels will then be screwed to the structure. First the 6mm and then the 4mm.

The materials used are quite resistant to bad weather, however it is important to apply at least a couple of coats of protective impregnation over everything and I also recommend covering the ramp when it rains for several days in a row.


It would be advisable to lean the ramp against a wall. When this is not possible, as in our case, use pegs to prevent it from moving under the pressure of maneuvers.

At the entrance to the ramp, to avoid steps and deterioration, use a strip of galvanized sheet metal to be screwed to the wooden panels.

Pubblicato il 09 novembre 2020 | Blog > Technique: SURFSKATE