Are you curious about making your own fiberglass skateboard deck? Fiberglass is sturdy and also waterproof. We have here some tips to share with you on how to make a fiberglass skateboard deck. But before we proceed, we will tackle first some basics that could, later on, we will need.
Skateboards, the most important tool a skater should have. Sometimes, these boards are also called the “skater’s body extension.” It is like a representation of what a skater is, or they call it when the skater and the board becomes one. Most common skateboards are made up of maple wood, which is a 7-ply usually. With all the discoveries, experiments, and technology, we have created other options. Thus, this does not leave skateboarding behind. Skaters will do anything for their boards to have it look good, functional, and even comfortable when they use it. Their purpose is to make their boards unbreakable and more resilient, unlike wood.
Preparation and Basics: Parts of A Skateboard
Skateboards have different parts. There’s the deck, which is the platform of the board, and it carries your weight. It has a grip tape, and the surface texture is very crucial because if it is too slippery, you will slip. The protruding part of the deck is the nose, while the tail is protruding a hind part of the board. There are mounting holes near the nose and tail of the board for the trucks to be mounted. The truck parts are divided into several subparts. There’s the hardware with the axel, pivot cup, base plate, hanger, wheel parts, and finally, the bearing parts. These parts work together for the skateboard to move smoothly. Cheaper boards have cheaper parts, and these don’t last.
Skateboards are also subjected to impacts and abuse, so you must choose the best one in the market. But if you are only starting, an entry-level board will do. So, how do you start building your deck made of fiberglass? Most skateboards are made from wood. But fiberglass skateboards are becoming more popular. There are reasons why this is so.
How to Build One
Here below is the step by step methods of building your fiberglass skateboard deck. We will walk you through the process. Creating a fiberglass skateboard is not so different from the wooden one. You have to know the basic mechanics of creating one. If you have previous experience of creating one, then it would not be hard. This time, you will just be working on different materials (fiberglass), and then you will have your brand new D.I.Y. skateboard.
Step 1: Gather your materials
First, you need the necessary materials. It would be best if you had pieces of fiberglass, epoxy, a sanding material, basic drilling, and carpentry tools. You also need the standard mechanical components of a skateboard, and measuring instruments.
Step 2: Research and tutorials
Do your research. If you don’t have a fiberglass experience, then you can ask an expert or watch YouTube videos. You will learn that you need to build the basic mold from any material. It would be best if you had a base material or skeleton to wrap the shape into. Thus, this is how you start laying the fiberglass glass.
Step 3: Basic material
You need materials to build deck mold. Felt is a popular material that you can use, and this is how you can stack layers of fiberglass together. Layering can be a tedious job. It is vital that your layering is flawless. This method ensures durability.
Step 4: Cutting and building your mold
You need to cut the sheet to the necessary size and lay it over the deck. Provided, you already know the basic dimensions of a skateboard deck. You then need to staple each layer. Ensure you start in the middle moving outwards. So, the first layer is simple.
Step 5: Using epoxy for the molding
Brushing epoxy onto the material is a must since it acts as a skeleton to form the shape of the entire deck. You can also use other tools like the deck glue as an alternative.
Step 6: Alternative glue
If you need alternatives for your basic mold, then you can use something like the fiberglass resin. It is an alternative to the epoxy. Sand it in a few hours after drying. Then you can add another layer of fiberglass. You can use many layers of fiberglass to make the deck durable. Adding more will create stiffness.
So the process goes like this. Paint the resin on a surface and let it dry. Sand and blow the surface. Add the fiberglass mat. Repeat the process until the desired effect and thickness is achieved.
Step 7: Putting it together
Once you are satisfied with the deck, you can start drilling the holes to attach the set of 8 bolts and eight nuts unto the baseplate. The baseplate is where you attach the moving parts of the skateboard, like the hanger, pivot cup, truck, and wheel parts.
Step 8: Designing
Once you are done, it is time to design the skateboard based on your preferred look. You can do this with a good paint job. Creating a good paint job for your skateboard needs a separate skill to do that. You can also personalize your skateboard by adding stickers. But this does not apply to the top of the baseplate. Your weight and soles of your shoes will ruin the stickers.
Things To Take Note
Now that you have your fiberglass skateboard, it is time to practice on it. Note that you need a learning curve to master this because it will feel different. Fiberglass decks can flex exceptionally compared to wooden decks. So, it takes time before you can fully master the feel and weight of your new skateboard.
If you are new to building skateboards, then there are helpful videos that you can study on the web. You also need materials that can help you build a good one. Do you also need to ask yourself why you need a fiberglass skateboard in the first place? If you are not into extreme sports and if you can take care of your wooden board, then it will last you a long time. But if you think that the fiberglass skateboard will offer you the strength and longevity that you need, then it is a good thing to switch to fiberglass. You can also save money with your skill, as buying one will be pricey.