How to Build a Half Pipe

A half pipe is a half-moon-shaped chute or ramp used by snowboarders and skateboarders to provide a takeoff for a jump. If you are into skateboarding, building your own half pipe will give you a place to do all your stunts.

Materials needed

  • 8 sheets ¾” plywood
  • 2×4” stock
  • 10’ PVC pipe
  • laminate
  • nails
  • 1 ½” screws

Tools needed

  • hammer
  • circular saw
  • drill with selection of bits
  • tape measure
  • fishing line
  • pencil/paper

Steps to Build a Half Pipe

  1. Decide on the site and layout. Find the location where you will build and determine the overall size of your half pipe. Consider the standard sizes of lumber and plywood when deciding on size. Keep in mind that you may have to disassemble your half pipe during winter.
  2. Lay out your frame. You need to build two proportional sides propped by a bracing frame approximately 4’ wide and 8’ long from 2×4”. The base should have two 4×8” sections supported by floor joists spaced about 7 and 7/8 feet apart. Then lay the vertical and horizontal side bracing on its side. It should be 3 feet and 3 inches long. Use the fishing line to lay out a curve with a 5’ 7 1/2” radius for the bowl of your half pipe. Then set up the side bracing which provides support along the radius line. The bottom supports should also double up with the base and vertical support systems.
  3. Affix the two vertical support sides with cross members, which are about 7 ½ inches apart. The cross members should line up with the plywood seams since this will prevent the plywood from separating while in use.
  4. Screw your plywood decking material to the braces. Double up on the decking for the ramp and starting platform. Joists should support the starting platform to make it strong enough to hold several people at one time.
  5. The point where the horizontal starting platform and the vertical decking meet is known as the grinding rail. Use the 10-foot long PVC pipe to reinforce this area. The pipe also serves as a cushion to prevent damage as you jump over your half pipe ramp.
  6. Remember to inspect the parts of your half pipe regularly for any worn out or rotten sections. You may cover it when not in use to protect it against the elements.