Extended sunny days, a desire to explore and get outside, often times less responsibility… Summer is the perfect season to unleash your inner handyman/woman and build a project that you’ve always dreamt of. Building something with your hands is always a satisfying feeling — a feeling commonly referred to as the “IKEA effect”. The act of building a physical object to completion, adds value to an object’s worth that goes beyond its inherent quality.
Now, rather than building an IKEA bookcase, picture yourself building and completing an object that can help excel your skateboarding and snowboarding skills, add longevity to your mountain bike, or add convenience to your weekend adventures. Now that’s satisfaction. We’ve created a list of DIY ideas to get your creative and handy juices flowing.
1. Mini ramp
Mini ramps are perfect for everyone, regardless of your level of skateboard experience. Picture a vert halfpipe (Tony Hawk type stuff), that’s been compacted into a fun-sized, mellow skate feature. It’s a place where experienced skateboarders can dial in new tricks, and where beginners can learn the fundamentals of riding a skateboard. And the best part about them is that they can be built in basements, backyards, driveways, and garages — making them an accessible means to improve your skateboarding.
2. Car camp conversion
Turning your vehicle into a micro-motorhome ready for any weekend getaway is easier than you think. Those gorgeous van conversions that seem to occupy every corner of social media can be expensive and time-consuming, but building your own ultimate camping rig doesn’t always have to include string lighting or stained wood. Essentially, the only necessary conversion step is building a raised, flat wooden platform to sleep on, in which you can store your goodies below. Once your basic needs are fulfilled, then you can focus on the aesthetics.
3. Balance boards
Balance boards are easy to build and are an effective way to build the core strength and balance skills needed to learn the fundamentals of any board sport. By standing on an unstable surface, you’re teaching your body to react and adapt to uncontrolled movements. Rather than breaking the bank on a name brand balance board, you can easily make your own with skateboard-sized piece of 3/4” plywood and a short piece of PVC piping. A more barebones approach includes an old skateboard deck atop a 2 litre pop bottle.
4. Dry-slope ski/snowboard jib
If you’re looking to get a head start on next year’s snow season, this one’s for you. By combining a natural or manmade drop in ramp, a strip of astroturf, a bottle of dishwashing liquid, and a rail-like feature, you can mimic a backyard winter jib setup. As the dishwashing liquid lubricates the astroturf, it creates a surface capable of propelling any skier or boarders onto your rail of choice. Though this method is a great DIY snow alternative, riding on astroturf can be difficult at first, so this project is recommended for more experienced riders.
5. Bike wash station
Mountain bikes are built to get dirty, right? True. But, after a messy session, it’s essential to clean your bike to lessen longterm wear and tear. For example, leaving sweat on your frame can eat through clearcoat, leftover dirt and grit can accumulate on your drivetrain or rims which can accelerate wear on expensive components like your chain, brakes, and cassettes. So, hose ‘er down. Just like washing your car, apply soapy water with a brush and scrub away all the excess dirt and grit from the frame, wheels, and drivetrain. To make the process easier, we recommend building a stand to act as your bike washing station.