How to make a slide board and booties – for cheap!

Using slide boards as dryland training for ice and roller sports is not a new concept. According to an article by Lisa Mercer on livestrong.com, slide board training can improve your functional fitness, give you an aerobic workout and help strengthen the knee area – all applicable to roller derby!

When I saw this blog by Kevin Jagger, with instructions on how to build a slide board, I was quickly inspired to build a version of my own to assist in my roller derby training. Sharing the post within my league training committee, my teammate Knotty Knockher was also recently inspired by the same DIY post. Off we went to the local building supply store to scope out materials.

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My finished slide board and booties made with reusable shopping bag.

I was less interested in a rigid board for the base and more interested in keeping the unit light in weight. You may prefer a more rigid base to lean up against a wall for storage. Visit the panel and shelving section of your building supply store and look for materials which suit your needs best!

When choosing your base, be sure to test the surfaces for their slippery factor! We ran sleeved hands over each surface to give them a preliminary check. We found a slick 1/8in thick 8ft x 4 ft hardboard panel which we split the cost. After Knotty spotted damage on the panel, we received a further discount! Finding a large panel to split with a teammate will keep costs low.

The rest of the materials, the bumpers and hardware, Knotty and I had around the house. After getting our 8ft x 4ft panel cut into 8ft x 2ft sections by the lumber associate, we parted ways to work on our projects.

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Materials include a base which is slippery, wood for the ends, screws long enough to secure the ends, tape measure and tools.

Below are my instructions for the slide board, as well as the slide booties, using basic materials. Be sure to check out videos at the end of this post which show you how to use your new slide board! Have you made your own version of a slide board? I would love to hear about it in comments!

Slide board materials list:

• (1) 1/8in, 8ft x 2ft hardboard
(Cost: $4.85 split from an 8ft x 4ft panel)
(1) 8ft, 2in x 3in lumber
(Cost: less than $4)

Tools needed:

• Tape measure and pencil
• Drill
• Screws of appropriate length
• Saw

Slide board instructions (see photos for details):

  1. Cut 2 – 2ft pieces off the 2×3 lumber
  2. Flip the slippery side down of the base panel toward the floor
  3. Place the first 2×3 bumper under the base and line it up so it’s flush with the base end
    TIP: place the unused part of your 2×3 under the board to help stabilize the position
  4. Drill screws to secure
  5. Determine distance of second board bumper
    (My panel was cut to 6ft in length because it was a discounted damaged panel, so my slide board is 6ft long. You can leave your board at 8ft and start your bumper where you are most comfortable. You can always extend your board out if you sand the previous holes in)
  6. Drill screws to secure

DONE! This took me about 15 minutes to complete after I assembled all materials.

How to make booties (see photos for details):

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I found a small bag so I cut down the side panels to make two booties. If you only have a larger bag, you may use the side panels as the booties.

Materials:

• Reusable shopping bag
• Scissors
• 2 shoelaces
• Poking device (I used a pencil)

Dig out all your fabric shopping bags. Put them on your feet, step on your board and figure out which one will work best for sliding. I chose a smaller lunch-style bag which had a plastic-like surface. It fit my feet perfectly.

Cut the bag in half down the side panels. If you have to use a larger bag, you can use the side panels of the bag for the bottom of your foot and cut around.

Put on the shoes you plan on sliding in. I chose old airwalks because I was worried my gym shoes would be too grippy through the bootie.

Put the cut bags over your feet and fold it around your shoes to create a secure fit. Then poke holes and thread a shoelace to create the bootie. I double-folded around the toe area for extra reinforcement.

Tie your laces so you are comfy and secure!

Sliding on the slide board tips and first impressions

Overall I like the effect of the booties and board, especially after applying a light coating of Pledge. The slide board isn’t very heavy, but the thin base could snap if I pick it up without supporting the ends. I have the bumpers well secured, but I’m worried if I get a lot of momentum, I may pull the screws through the thin base with heavy force. I will update here if that happens! But for under $10, I’ll take what I have!

Other tips include:

  • Position the board against a wall to limit shifting during use.
  • Place weights on either side of the board to also limit shifting.
  • Socks or leg warmers also work for booties.
  • Using pledge on the board makes a HUGE difference! (See comparison videos below.)

Without pledge

With pledge

Slide board training!

Kevin Jagger – how to build a slideboard

Slide board technique

21 slide board exercises

I would love to hear about your slide board experience! Has using one made you a stronger skater? What’s your favourite exercise using the slide board?

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