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Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       05-07-2014, 11:42 PM Reply   
I have been wanting to get something to cross train my surf muscles and balance when I'm not on the water and in the off season. I know a lot of people have used or have an indo board or similar for this purpose. I decided to build my own, here is my build thread. I'm a little light on pictures.

First off, I started with a piece of OSB because I had it on hand and wanted to make use of it. I know it is strong enough to support my weight as it's used as sub floor material and I built our prototype surf platform out of it.

I started off by deciding on the shape and size of my wakesurfer, which happens to be a 3'9" skimboard. I traced the board onto the OSB. I then cut the rough shape with a circular saw. I then refined the shape more with a sawzawl. This gave me a rough shape of my board but I wanted to smooth it out more. I took my belt sander with 80 grit sandpaper and used it to level out the edges so they were one smooth continuous curve. I then used the belt sander on both sides to smooth out the surfaces.
I know a jigsaw would have been quicker, but that is one tool I have yet to get. This method worked well though without too much hassle.
This is what I ended up with

This took me about 30 minutes start to finish.

I wasn't sure of the finish I wanted, rather it be paint or what, so I decided on staining it with some Minwax special walnut coloured stain. I started this by using the Minwax prestain on one side of the board and along one outside edge. I then stained it. I followed up by giving it 3 coats of oil based polyurethane over the next day.

It looked good, but when it dried it still had a bunch of little bumps on it and imperfections on the surface as will happen when you stain something.

I then took my orbital sander and sanded everything down with 220 grit sandpaper. This left a milky appearance all over, but it is now sanded as smooth as glass. I just now put on the 4th coat of polyurethane over this perfect surface. It is starting to look pretty

This is the last step for this side of the board. I will start the other side tomorrow when this side has dried.

For the roller I used a piece of 6" pvc pipe I had and cut it's length to the width of the board, 20". I tested it by stepping on it but I found it to be a little on the week side and I felt it wouldn't hold up to much abuse. To remedy this I took a can of expanding foam and filled the pipe up bout 3/4 of the way so it would expand fully. This gave it the strength it needed to take on it's workload. I then taped up the other side with the duct tape as well just so it isn't too slick
I plan on using this in my garage's concrete floors so I didn't want it to be too slippery.

Here is the completed roller

I will post more pictures and my progress as it comes along. I still have the other side and outside of the edge to treat. I also need to cut out some stops to put on the ends of the board so if you come off your balance, the pipe won't go shooting out and leave you on your butt.
I plan on making that out of more of the OSB treated the same way.

I am debating putting a pad on it. I don't want to do grip tape as I want to be able to use this without shoes and more closely replicating surfing as close I can. This is why I modeled the board after my own board.

If you have any questions on it, feel free to ask, if you have any input, I'm open to that as well. I will keep this updated until it's finished, which may very well be this weekend.

Overall it's not a ton of work or time, the longest part is waiting for the coats of polyurethane to dry. I know I could have painted it or even just used it as it after it got cut out, but I wanted something that would last and I really dig the wood look.

Last edited by phathom; 05-07-2014 at 11:45 PM.
Old     (TomH)      Join Date: Jan 2014       05-08-2014, 9:05 AM Reply   
I think you'll want something other than a smooth finish on top. Indo's have a rough/grippy top-side that you could achieve by mixing some fine sand or the like in with your poly. It works great for shoes, socks, or barefoot. Definitely put stops on the bottom, as they're helpful for starting as well.

I think grip tape would be fine on bare feet, so long as you get the stuff with the least amount of grip (there's usually three or four different grit sizes), but wouldn't look as nice.

If you're going to do this on your concrete, you may want to learn on carpet or grass first. Low ceilinged basements are also a good place to start initially where you can put hands on the ceiling until you get the hang of it.

They're fun. I spend a bit of time on mine when I'm just doing nothing and watching tv.
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       05-08-2014, 9:24 AM Reply   
Good advice. I have used one before and have had my shares of falls on them.
I felt the surface this morning after it dried and it is very smooth and slick. I will definitely be putting some traction on it. I'm thinking of some EVA foam like you'd have on a wakesurf. I'm thinking of replacing the foam on my board anyway, so it would be a good time to pick some up.
The stops are a must do item for sure.
Old     (fence_sence)      Join Date: Jul 2008       05-08-2014, 10:00 AM Reply   
Cool. I think I would cut the ends off in order to blunt them out. There's really no need for them. Nice work on the barrel. That's one of the better ones I've seen.

The stops are definitely a must. Concrete is a really fast surface to be running an INDO board on. It will make you better but, it's a hell of a lot easier to crash. A cheap door mat would be great for slowing it down if needed. Some Ozite would be a little faster but would also slow it down a bit from bare concrete.

All these things I think you already know but, someone else might benefit.
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       05-08-2014, 11:35 AM Reply   
At this point there isn't going to be any more cutting. More cutting would mean more sanding and some refinishing of what has already been done. I know the ends aren't really necessary, but I wanted to make it as close to my board as I could so I get used to proper foot positioning and balance on it to help me out in the water. Chances are after enough time they will blunt themselves out anyway against the floor.

Thanks for the compliment on the barrel, it was what I had on hand and what would work.
I have flatwoven anti-slip rug from ikea in the garage as well. I can use it on that if the concrete shows to be too slick. I think the duct tape should slow it down some. I can add more in the center as well too.

Because I already had everything on hand from other projects, the only thing I have had to purchase is the expanding foam. So far this entire project has cost me $5 and change. The pad on top will probably be the most expensive part. I'm thinking of finding closed cell EVA foam yoga mat or something and cutting that up to cover the top.

Everything should be done this weekend except for the pad which I will probably be finding and ordering online.
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       05-09-2014, 9:41 PM Reply   
Well the balance board is being put out by about a week. I have a more pressing project that needs my attention and I don't have a ton of workspace.
Our prototype surf platform I made last year is in pretty rough condition and we haven't got the materials yet to build the final version. The weather is supposed to be nice this week and following weekend and all the projects and dewinterizing of the boat are almost done. It would last a few more sessions, but probably die on us in maybe a months time without resealing it. I hope to have the platform refinished by midweek and get back to work on the balance board next weekend.
On the plus side, Trayson brought over some EVA foam for the top of the platform and there is going to be extra to use on the balance board once the platform is covered.
I will update when I get going on it again.
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       05-13-2014, 10:58 PM Reply   

Well I did manage to get some time in to finishing this board at the same time as resealing the platform. I decided to throw safety out the window and test the board out without the stops or the pad on top. I'm glad I tested it out before doing that because here is the result.
The board bent so much that I have both ends of the board touching the ground at the same time while on the roller. This is very disappointing. Everything was going so well too. I could have swore I tested it out before I started staining it, but I probably didn't.

Well, other than the pad and the stops that's how you build one of these. Just use thicker wood than I did and test it out first. At the moment I have an old skateboard deck I pulled the wheels off of, but left the trucks on. That's working as my balance board. I will probably try to build a version 2.0 with different wood at some point, but not now.
Also, I currently weigh in at about 240lbs, but that will be coming down once I get back out on the water. It would probably work nicely for someone half my size.

BTW: I have no idea why the images are upside down. They are right side up on the phone and the computer.
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Old     (AxisofEvil)      Join Date: Mar 2013       05-14-2014, 6:32 AM Reply   
Iíve been making balance boards for my buddies in my spare time for a while now; I always use ĹĒ Plywood and havenít had one break yet. I just sand the wood down, give it a paint job then blast it with a few coats of spray clear-coat. Most people either wear shoes or go bare foot, once your feet get a little sweaty you shouldnít have a problem sliding off the board. OSB isnít exactly the strongest stuff.

I also use sch.40 6Ē PVC as a roller and then add 2 rubber coupling (remover the pipe clamps) as a cover for the roller.

And I would definitely recommend adding the stops for safety too.

Good luck!
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Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       05-14-2014, 6:42 AM Reply   
Thanks for the tip. I have some 1/2" plywood, I'll probably make another out of that, probably a little shorter too. Good idea about the rubber couplings.
For now the skateboard deck is working pretty well until I can build another. I spent about 10 minutes on it last night. This definitely works out your surf muscles. I didn't want to over do it to the point I was too tired/sore for today. I definitely found my workout every night though.
Old     (TomH)      Join Date: Jan 2014       05-14-2014, 6:47 AM Reply   
If you've got any glass materials sitting around, that may stiffen it up to be usable if you glassed one or both sides. Otherwise, plywood would definitely be a preferable route to osb.
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       05-22-2014, 11:48 PM Reply   
Well I've been using it for about a week now for about 10-15 minutes a day. It definitely works your surf muscles.
I started hearing a cracking and realized that the pipe was developing a crack in the center going from end to end.
I plan on getting some thicker gauge PVC pipe to replace it when it goes out. In the mean time I wrapped the entire length of it with electrical tape, reinforced the ends with more duct tape and reinforced directly over the crack with duct tape. This gave it more strength and I stopped hearing it crack for now.
One key benefit of this is that it slowed down the roller quite a bit. It is now a little easier to stay on it without it trying to scoot across the floor so much. Here is what my setup currently is.
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