Is it a Flying Skateboard?
Or a Stand-Up swing?
Whatever you call it, here’s a honey-do that can actually be accomplished in an afternoon.
Once your Skateboard Swing is hanging, it will take time and practice to make this surfing swing glide, which is a good thing. Not only will mastering it bring hours of fun to your backyard, but it can also aid in reaching a developmental milestone of early childhood.
Step by step:
1. Find a Skateboard
If you don’t have an old deck leftover from your agile days of youth, you can often find inexpensive used skateboards at Replay Sports in Aspen or Ragged Mountain Sports in Carbondale.
2. Prep your board
Remove wheels. Take off old stickers and the black grit tape if you wish. We kept ours as we found it for more character, less work, and the benefit of foot traction. Using the four holes where the trucks were mounted as a guide, drill 2 holes on each side of the board using a 5/8” drill bit. These should be evenly spaced, roughly 4” apart.
3. Make handles
We used a wooden closet rod to make 2 dowels the same length as the skateboard’s width. Valley Lumber in El Jebel and Builders First Source in Glenwood Springs will cut these on order with your purchase. Use a 5/8“ drill bit to make two pairs of holes on each side of both dowels.
4. Hang the rope on the tree
We used a 5/8” poly rope. You might re-purpose a retired climbing rope if it has no signs of wear or stress. Cut the rope in 30’ – 40’ lengths. The two pieces of rope run over the branch with the loose ends hanging down. Trees such as cottonwoods and elms are notoriously fragile around here, so check the integrity of the branch on all sides.
5. Thread the handles
The handles should line up evenly, positioned between the child’s waist and shoulder, allowing room for your child to grow. Thread each rope end down through one hole and up and out the other. Do this for each of the four dangling rope ends. This way it will be easy to adjust the handle height for kids and adults of all ages without untying the knots.
6. Tie solid knots and ride!
Thread the ends of the rope through the skateboard holes and tie a secure knot on the underside of the board. Take some time to level out the board and test knot stability. Give it a test run for your kid and feel the freedom of summer-time surfing.
by Lauren Surhbier, Mountain Parent publisher
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