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How to make a skateboard ramp waterproof

Updated July 20, 2017

Skateboard ramps come in all shapes and sizes and include half pipes, quarter pipes, launch ramps, boxes, table tops and others. Ramps make skateboarding possible in remote areas, fun in urban areas and add depth and dimension to the sport. Ramps can also be very costly to maintain depending on the size of the ramp and whether the ramp is kept indoors or outdoors. Waterproofing a ramp can add years to its life and save money in costly repairs.

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  1. Add a layer of tar paper underneath the top layer of the ramp. Tar paper can be an effective way of keeping moisture from seeping into deeper layers of your ramp. Remove the outermost layer of Masonite or Skatelite on your ramp. Add a layer of tar paper. Resurface the ramp with a fresh layer of Masonite or Skatelite.

  2. Add a layer of Skatelite surfacing to the ramp. Skatelite is highly durable, waterproof and is the industry standard material for surfacing ramps. Skatelite can be purchased at special retailers or online. Skatelite comes in a variety of types, including their eco-friendly hemplite, and in sizes including the standard 1.2 m by 2.4 m (4 foot by 8 foot) sheets of plywood.

  3. Paint the surface of the ramp with waterproof outdoor paint. The most effective paint to use is a spar urethane paint. But this can be costly at around £22 for a 4.5 litre (1 gallon) tin. A less expensive paint that will still do the job is a polyurethane paint. That costs around £16 per 4.5 littre (1 gallon) tin. That tin of paint of paint will cover around 46.5 square metres (500 square feet) of surface, so budget and buy accordingly.

  4. Throw a tarpaulin or other waterproof cover over the ramp when it's not in use. A good tarpaulin can add years to your ramp.

  5. Tip

    If you're using a ramp or grind box, pull it inside when not in use. Always remove water from the ramp quickly.


    Always use proper safety gear when skateboarding.

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Things You'll Need

  • Skatelite, 1.2 m by 2.4 m (4 foot by 8 foot) sheets
  • Roll of tar paper
  • 907 g to 1.36 kg (2 to 3 lb) of 6.2 cm (2.5 inch) wood screws
  • Spar urethane or polyurethane paint
  • Tarpaulin
  • Power drill and screwdriver bit
  • Saw
  • Paint brush, rollers or sprayer

About the Author

Evan Town has been a professional writer and consultant in Los Angeles, California for over 5 years. His writing has been featured on HGTV's hit show, "House Hunters" and ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." Towne holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts and is an active member of the Writers Guild of America, West.

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