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Slide board training

sommemi's picture

Hey anyone, I'm just curious about training on slide boards. Does anyone use these? Did you buy one, or make it yourself? Do you have any particular exercises that you do BESIDES just sliding back and forth?

I know these are a great way to practice and train when the weather outside does not permit, or when you can't make it to a rink... I used to have one long ago. My Dad made it for us to train on back when I was in junior high/high school (89, 90?). But I don't know what happened to it now that I've started skating more often, and it's just getting really too cold out to skate in the evenings. I want to build another one, but I'm wondering if there are other exercises out there that people have come up with, and if anyone has made their own and has some good suggestions on the contruction of it. (Our old one was pretty big, heavy and bulky, but worked good).

Thanks for any comments!


skatey-mark's picture

building a slideboard

I made one a couple years ago and it worked pretty well...  But I found that I didn't really like slideboarding, so it pretty much gathers dust now.  It's pretty easy to make one, but it'll be of the large bulky variety...


Home Depot sells 4'x8' sheets of "melanine" particle board.  This is a fairly slick surface, so works well for the slideboard.  The bonus is you don't have to do anything to it to make it slick.  (Other people use plywood, then put formica or something else on it to make it slick.)  Anyway, have the helpful people at Home Depot cut the board in half lengthwise, so you'll be left with two 2'x8' pieces.  If you have a friend that wants a slideboard, split the cost with them...


Get a 2x6 that's 8' long and cut it into 4 pieces that are exactly the width of your slideboard.  (Ideally, this should be 24", but it may not have been cut exactly in half at the store...)  These chunks are going to be your bumpers, 2 for each end.


Now the tricky part -- you want your foot to hit the bumpers at an angle.  So you could just attach the 2x6 chunks at an angle.  Or, what I did was cut the chunks so that the inside edge was at approximately 15-degree angle.  This lets the outside edge be flush & square with the board, but still give you the correct "strike angle" on the inside.  This is just a cosmetic thing, but I think it does look better.


Clamp the bumpers to the end of the board.  Get a long drill bit and drill through both 2x6's and the melamine.  I used carriage bolts and a nut & washer to attack everything together.  I think I used 4 bolts per side. 


Now you'll want to pad the bumpers.  Home Depot sells high-density foam rubber mats that have "jigsaw" edges.  They're usually in the flooring section I think.  They come in a pack of 4 and are multi-colored.  Take some of that and cut it so that it covers your bumpers.  Use liquid nails or some other industrial-type adhesive to glue it to the wood. 


That's pretty much it.  Get some 100% wool socks and some Pledge.  Spray the board with some pledge, put on the wool socks, and you'll be sliding away.


If anyone wants more details on any of this, let me know...  This is just what I remember off the top of my head.  Certainly the only tricky part was making the angle cuts with the table saw...


Oh - and if anyone wants a slideboard, but doesn't want to build one, I could probably be convinced to sell mine since it's just gathering dust...  :) 


- SM - 

sommemi's picture

Thanks for the slide board info!

That's exactly what I was looking for. Thanks! The old one I used to have was very similar, only we used plywood and covered it with formica. I'll have to look for melanine this time around. The bumpers we had were covered in carpet instead of foam, but ironically, I have a ton of that jigsaw foam in my basement just sitting around, and that would work even better. Thanks! I love picking other people's minds for ideas.

Just curious, any reason why you have it angled? I found that the one we had worked fine since we had so much padding around it, and those boards weren't angled. Do you angle it to compensate for the shape of your feet? (That's what I'm assuming)


I prefer the nylon booties to the wool socks, and I use them over my sneakers.  I don't have the mentioned problem with my feet, and the booties are easier to get on and off vs. wool socks.

Also, I cut my melanine board to stand up and tuck away underneath my kitchen counter, about 38".  I think I would be looking down a lot if my board were 2' wide.  I like to look up into something reflective so that I can watch my form.  Additionally, I backed it with plywood.

skatey-mark's picture

slideboard bumper angles

Yes - the bumpers were angled so that the feet took less abuse when hitting them.  It'll certainly work with the bumpers at 90-degrees.  I think for me, the balls of my feet would take too much abuse with straight bumpers though.  Or I'd have to change my slideboarding technique -- probably rotating my body such that my feet hit at a better angle.


You could always start out with straight bumpers and, if they bother you, make them angled instead.  You don't want an excessive amount of foam, since it will absorb too much of your push.  Absorbing the impact is good, but you want to be able to get a good push too.  So getting the angle right allows you to use less foam.


- SM -

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