Do it right !
Don't make the mistake of buying or building a disposable halfpipe.
Your ramp will most likely be going outdoors permanently. If this is your scenario, you will need to use Pressure treated lumber and plywood. Pressure treated lumber and plywood are common wood materials used throughout the United States for building decks and exterior projects. ACQ and CA are the copper solutions used in the pressure treatment to preserve woods. This treatment process adds considerable life to the woods, generally guaranteeing a lifespan of 30- 40 years. These materials are stamped as “Pressure Treated” and they have a greenish look. This material is common, available at any Home Depot or Lowes and is the only way to go! You can learn more about treated wood here: http://treatedwood.com/products/preserve/ Ask any professional deck builder or contractor. If you use regular lumber and plywood your ramp will rot and disintegrate quickly. Depending on rain and moisture it could be as quick as 3 months in a wet climate or 12 months in a dryer climate. Pressure treated wood costs only pennies more but adds massive life to any outdoor ramp or deck. Here is verification-
Veterans Park Vert ramp 1992 Veterans Park Vert ramp 2015
As with all of our exterior Ramps, we utilized all Pressure treated lumber and plywood. Learn more about this project on Facebook-
Many times weve seen ramp companies claim to use materials of the “Highest Class Exterior Lumber and Plywood”, but without defining what that means, this is a confusing statement. Nothing short of the “Pressure Treated” tag or stamp (see below) will verify that it is truly exterior material.
Otherwise heres what you will get with regular lumber and plywood (see below).
Paints, Sealers and Tarps
If you live in sunny California where it rains 2 days out of the year, that’s really good! But if your from anywhere else or the east coast (like us), its likely to rain snow. And like any exterior deck or outdoor product you need to understand what the proper materials are for outdoor use. Let’s take a quick look at how most exterior decks are built. Typically building codes throughout the US require that pressure treated lumber and or composite decking boards be used in their construction. The main idea here is that decks are built with spaces in between the deck boards to allow water to flow through the deck and not to try and paint, seal or tarp the deck, it’s just not practical and most of the time these things are not used for decks. I don’t know many times I’ve heard “we can paint the half pipe” or “we will put a tarp over it” or “We can use a sealer” or “we can paint it like a boat.” Here is the reality- water is the most powerful force in nature and it will find a way through tarps, seams, screw holes, sealers, etc. Paints, tarps and sealers will never stop the ramp woods from getting wet (inside) and once this happens, it will rot. A good sealer may add a small amount of life to regular lumber or plywood, but it’s minimal and it will do nothing for the ramp surface area, which is under constant punishment. When you add up all of these secondary charges and the endless labor involved, it’s a lot of wasted cash and back pain that could have been saved by spending a few more dollars on pressure treated lumber and plywood (mentioned above) and a phenolic laminate ramp surface.
if you want to build Skateboarding, then do it right the first time!