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Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       07-27-2011, 6:58 PM Reply   
What's up? So this is my first real attempt at making a decent kicker. I think I'm pretty much done the framing. I was wondering if anyone had a suggestions or tips based on the pictures I've included. Thanks!
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Old    Trent (MBfoo)      Join Date: Jun 2011       07-28-2011, 3:08 PM Reply   
I've never hit a kicker before but i have hit alot of skateboard ramps. Skate ramps have alot more cross braces do to flex between the cross braces. With it as is the plywood will flex and you mite brake it. The cross braces should be up right not flat because thay are stronger in that direction. Again I have only bilt skate ramps i could be wrong...
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-28-2011, 3:23 PM Reply   
Yeah, I think Trent is right about the cross brace suggestion.

That 4th pic looks like the crazy funhouse in the background.
Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       07-28-2011, 6:36 PM Reply   
Yeah I thought someone might suggest cross-braces. Makes sense!

I had two other concerns.

The first concern is with the 2 X 4s on the top (the ones that the plywood will rest on). Do you think those are spaced too far apart? Or do you think a thicker plywood will compensate for that? I believe they are spaced about 3.5 feet apart. I was thinking about going with a 5/8 inch or 3/4 inch plywood.

The second concern is with the part of the ramp that will extend into the water (at the base of the ramp). I need some way to support that part, but I'm not sure what the best way to go about that is. Any suggestions there?

Thanks!
Old    Trent (MBfoo)      Join Date: Jun 2011       07-28-2011, 7:10 PM Reply   
Thats is what i was trying to explain. If you could look up skate ramps and get some ideas.
Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       07-28-2011, 7:37 PM Reply   
Trent, ya I just read your post again. I gotchya! I thought you were just talking about cross bracing to make the ramp strong as a whole. Same thing for the base of the ramp? Cross braces to support the end that submerges under water?
Old    Jeff Seidenstricker (flydenrict)      Join Date: Nov 2009       07-29-2011, 7:39 AM Reply   
about the cross braces--Ideally they should be rotated 90 degrees to what you have done so the skinny edge is facing up (as Trent pointed out) but I think you will be fine because you have added the vertical supports in the middle of yours. I would throw a cross brace inbetween each one you already have and do those the correct way. I think that 3.5 feet is a bit far apart, although my experience is based on rollerblade ramps where your weight is not as evenly dispersed as on a wakeboard. Still, the additional ribs would'nt hurt and will take some of the load off the plywood. I cannot speak to the thickness of your ply though.
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-29-2011, 9:29 AM Reply   
I can see that it doesn't have any lateral stability. The 2x4 going straight across the back isn't as good as an X formed by 2x4's. You should have some diagonal bracing to keep it from possibly collapsing sideways.
Old    Andy Nintzel (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004       07-29-2011, 9:32 AM Reply   
no much kick in that kicker!
Old    Steven Pederson (sppeders)      Join Date: Jul 2011       07-29-2011, 10:16 AM Reply   
when I built mine (back in 98) I made it relatively flat at the bottom, than slope up at the end to pop you. Just a suggestion.

This is a ramp, more than a kicker. Still will be fun.
Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       07-29-2011, 1:46 PM Reply   
Thanks for the input everyone. I'm going to do some work on it this weekend and see if I can get the frame a little more structurely sound.

The question still remains for the base of the ramp though. How do you support the part that extends into the water. As you can see in my picture, my ramp is sitting up on a few pieces of plywood, so the bottom of the ramp does actually extend below what would be water level. Any thoughts?

P.S. I think I'm going to name it "the crazy funhouse kicker" after John Anderson's comment. Haha, classic!

Thanks.
Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-03-2011, 3:44 PM Reply   
So I got around to doing a bit more work to this kicker this weekend. I ended up putting more joists along the top of the kicker to reduce the spaces in-between. I also ended up building support for all these additional joists. The only thing I didn't do is use cross-braces. I had about 4 or 5 of my friends sit on the frame of the kicker all at once... and it didn't budge! I think based on that, it's safe to say that it is solid. Lol. I've also started putting the plywood on. The thing is getting pretty heavy. I tihnk I'm going to try and put some wheels on the thing so I can push it around. ANyways, here's some up to date pictures. I'm hoping to have this thing done by the end of the weekend, or early next week.
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Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-03-2011, 3:52 PM Reply   
Here's a couple more....
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Old    Dave Gast (nautiquesonly)      Join Date: Sep 2007       08-03-2011, 5:01 PM Reply   
Looks like you need some poly/plastic type sheeting to go over that plywood. That plywood is not going to be slick enough. When you hit it your board may slow to a point that you go out the front. I may be wrong but I am pretty sure most kickers have a plastic top.
Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-03-2011, 6:19 PM Reply   
Oh ya I'm going to be putting some kind of material on top of the plywood. I've found some wall paneling that should work. It's $10 for a 4X8 foot section. That is definitely the cheapest way to go. To cover this thing in something like plexiglass would run about $350 or so. I've heard of a lot of other alternatives, but all of them are pretty pricy.
Old    Matt (loudsubz)      Join Date: Aug 2001       08-03-2011, 8:51 PM Reply   
Plastic sign board is cheap too. Home depot usually has it. Thats what I covered mine in.
Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-04-2011, 3:21 PM Reply   
sign board eh? can you post a link?? i cant find it!
Old    B T (POPTART)      Join Date: Jun 2010       08-04-2011, 3:29 PM Reply   
try shower wall material , that plastic is the best for sliding
Old    Trent (MBfoo)      Join Date: Jun 2011       08-05-2011, 12:13 PM Reply   
Greg i see you put more cross braces in the top spots but not at the bottom where you first hit the kicker. That is where you will get the most flex. I see you already put your plywood on but you mite what to put some braceing in that spot.
Old    Jamie Corvin (Bumpass1)      Join Date: Oct 2010       08-05-2011, 12:54 PM Reply   
I would think that cross bracing would be beneficial with side to side flex from the wake hitting it (unless you are on a cable).
Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-05-2011, 3:21 PM Reply   
Trent, I thought of that after I put the bottom piece of plywood on. So yeah, I'll be taking that bottom piece off and putting some support there. Ill put up more pictures early next week.

Jamie, I never thought about the repetitive wake hitting it. That's a good point. Maybe I will throw a cross brace in there.
Old    Jamie Corvin (Bumpass1)      Join Date: Oct 2010       08-05-2011, 4:44 PM Reply   
Think about some triangles. That is where your strength is going to come from.
Old    Kyle Mehrkens (kmehrkens)      Join Date: Sep 2010       08-09-2011, 11:53 PM Reply   
Nice work. I've made some before and you might find that the angle of your incline will get steeper when you get it in the water because of the material that hangs off the edge on the front. I think mine did that even more so because the barrels were the other direction too. You could also cut saddles for the barrels to push up on to disperse the load better. I would go double vertical supports instead of one in the middle. Plywood will add lots of twisting resistance but only on the sides you put it on. I like the 45s you put in on the corners.
Old    Keith M. (kmayotte)      Join Date: Aug 2010       08-10-2011, 6:53 AM Reply   
Pretty sweet. The problem we had when we build a kicker way back in the day was the weight. Soo heavy to transport, launch in & out and store. Especially once all the wood is soaking wet. If you put wheels on it, make sure they're the big inflatable wheel barrel type, not just casters. That would make it a lot easier to transport.
Old    kvoman (kvoman)      Join Date: Aug 2006       08-10-2011, 9:13 AM Reply   
Would it be too late to add "X" braces in each frame (in each plane)? Each box/diaphram should have at least one "X" brace to resist shear force. When out on the water, the waves will push/pull, etc. on the frame and it will experience shear/tension on different axis (different part of the frame can be push and another part can be pull), that's why you may want to consider adding "X" braces.

Did you use special nails (don't back out) or screws and did you use any brackets at any of the support joints? Those brackets are cheap and you can get them at Home Depot/Lowes/etc.
Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-10-2011, 5:38 PM Reply   
Here's some up to date pictures. The wood isn't quite as nice looking in these pictures because it had just rained but... you get the idea!

I think we are going to put one or two cross beams on it, and that's it. I could keep making modificaions to this thing until the end of time but... it's pretty solid.

I used double vertical supports for every other joist, and a single vertical support for the remaining. I'm not sure if that comes across in the pictures i posted earlier, it's hard to tell! But yeah, definitely next time I would use double vertical supports for every joist. Next time I would use a lot more cross braces as well but... doing that know would reqiure a complete re-structure of the ramp. Either that or it would add a lot more weight. This thing is starting to get a little heavy. And yeah i'm going to look at some wheels eventually. Inflatables are the way to go, I agree. They have these things call "dock wheels" which are plastic. They're pretty big and have a capacity of 700lbs. They are used for wheeling a dock in and out of the water. They would be perfect but... they're $60 each.

Anyways, the plan is to put the kicker surface on tomorrow and do some staining. I think this thing will finally be ready by the weekend (I know I've said that before). Ill post more pictures next week. Maybe some video of us hitting if all goes well.

The input is definitely appreciated!
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Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-10-2011, 5:46 PM Reply   
Here's what I did to further re-enforce the base of the kicker. If you look at earlier pictures, you can see there wasn't much support at the base (as someone pointed out). Anyways, this was the best idea I could come up with.
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Old    Keith M. (kmayotte)      Join Date: Aug 2010       08-11-2011, 7:37 AM Reply   
What's it weight about?
Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-11-2011, 4:06 PM Reply   
not really too sure.... guessing 150-200lbs
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       08-11-2011, 4:15 PM Reply   
You only need to add 1 board to cross brace. Remove the horz 2x4 on the rear and replace it with 2 2x4's at a diag. Not having any diagonals is a serious design flaw.
Old    Andy Nintzel (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004       08-12-2011, 8:41 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_smith View Post
not really too sure.... guessing 150-200lbs
Such a good point. I built a bunch of kickers and rails over the years, nothing worse that getting it built and then suddenly realizing you have to move it into the lake!
Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-17-2011, 3:45 PM Reply   
Well... I got the kicker done!! I didn't get a chance to hit it though due to family coming over, and nasty weather. I also put in a cross-brace as suggested by many. I will post some pictures/videos of us hitting it this weekend. Here are some pictures of the finished product.
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Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-17-2011, 3:53 PM Reply   
Here's some pics of the cross-brace...
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Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-23-2011, 8:21 PM Reply   
The kicker was launched on Saturday. I will post videos tomorrow of me hittin it.
Old    Seahawks #1 Fan Robert T (cwb4me)      Join Date: Apr 2010       08-23-2011, 8:44 PM Reply   
I still don't see the kick.It looks like a straight ramp.
Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-24-2011, 6:44 PM Reply   
Here it is... a few clips of the launch, and me hitting it the first couple of times. The ski-pole got in the way of a few shots, but you get the point. Hoping to try some crazier tricks this weekend.

http://vimeo.com/28128359
Old    BJ Cail (bcail)      Join Date: Aug 2007       08-25-2011, 6:33 AM Reply   
what did you use for the surface and what did you use to attach the surface to the kicker?
Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-25-2011, 1:20 PM Reply   
Actually we used a very smooth wall panel that's only 1/8 of an inch thick. It works like a charm. They are $10 for a 4X8 sheet. We screwed it to the plywood and just countersunk the screws. Yes, you can actually countersink into 1/8 inch if you used the right screw and if you are careful. I imagine this wall panel won't last the winter and the snow. But at least I know that I like the kicker, and that next year I can put the money into FRP sheeting, or HPDE sheeting, or whatever. I just didn't want to pay for the expensive sheeting and find out that I didn't like the ramp. It's pretty fun though! I'd probably make it a little bigger next time. It looks a lot bigger on my front lawn than it does in the water.
Old    Nauti 210 (brett33)      Join Date: Apr 2011       08-25-2011, 1:49 PM Reply   
sick. what are the dimensions? i'm going to build one this winter and thought yours looked pretty decent size until i saw it in the water.
Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-25-2011, 6:28 PM Reply   
It's just under 13 feet long. It's about 4 feet high and about 6 feet wide.

If I were to do it over again, I'd probably go 16-18 feet long, 5 or 5.5 feet high, and 8 feet wide... or something like that. That would give you a nice big ramp. And the bonus of having something 8 feet wide is that you wouldn't have to cut the 4X8 sheets. It would be pretty damn heavy though. It took 4 of us to move that thing. Any bigger and it would probably take 6 people to move it. Be prepared to spend $500+ though. Pressure treated ain't cheap, and neither is plastic.

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