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, 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.


• 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?


I love my GPS

Not only does my iphone has a great GPS program that allows me to track my training, it allows me to relive my not-so-great moments in skating around Lethbridge.

(The App is GPS Lite by MotionX. It’s a free one, so get it!)

Today I hit up the westside bike path loop, which runs about 4 km per round. It’s a great path with few intersections and wide enough to easily handle all sorts of pedestrian traffic.

My favourite part of the path runs parallel to Whoop-Up Drive. I really don’t know how, but there is something with this surface that creates the best-case-scenerio mixed with my particular style of bearings and wheels. One push and I speed effortlessly.

You can probably see what’s coming.

On round two of said section of path, I didn’t drop my foot evenly, caught an edge and went careening out of control. I was going really fast and knew a face-first plant would cause some pretty serious injuries. In an attempt to save my body, I tried to spin into a tomahawk stop.

It didn’t work very well.

Plan B was diving as far as I could off the path and into the grassy area.

First thought, “Did anyone see me ditch it?” Nope. Kay.

Second thought, “OMG I fell on my phone. Is it okay?” Yup. Good.

Third thought, “Anything hurting?” Only where I landed on my phone. Whew.

Getting up I admired my lovely skid marks left on the pavement and skated away. As I continued through my second round, I kicked myself for not getting pictures of my evidence of a crash.

So I went on a third round and snapped a picture. Because what’s the point of crashing if you can’t show it off a little bit. Here’s my damage…

Then when I got home I got to relive my crash on my GPS program, which shows my speed going into my crash and my slow climb back into training.

Hurray for my phone surviving so I could relive the moment!

Training stats
Distance 14.1 km
Average Speed 16.5 km
Max Speed 30.7 km/hr
Total Time 51 min.

Morning skate, bitches! Why weren’t you there?

But first, yesterday’s over-lunch skate…

Not a great distance was traveled initially since my boy took a tumble on his bike which led to an injury close to Sami Salo’s which led to a loose nut (hehe) on his wheel which led to us heading back to the van for a quick-fix-job.

Des was only able to stay for one round around the lake, but after a bribe of ice cream, my boy walked off his injury and went for round 2 with me.

Elapsed time: 39 minutes
Distance: 6.59 km
Average speed: 10 km/h
Max speed: 15.3 km/h


Elapsed time: 23 minutes
Distance: 4.96 km
Average speed: 12.7 km/h
Max speed: 19.6 km/

Followed by stairs… mmmmm delicious stairs. I kind of missed doing that. I haven’t done them since the April 22… stupid weather. But I was impressed at my stamina this time. I guess all this skating stuff is paying off a bit.

Thanks to Kran, Maude, Nixxi and Bitchcakes for joining!

So here’s the thing derby bitches; you should join us. Get over the fact that you have to get up early. I guarantee you will feel great for the rest of the day and these paths really give you the opportunity to stretch your legs and get your sweat on as opposed to circling around and around at our secret location. You want to make your 25 lap benchmark, right? This is where you’ll build your endurance for that.

For fans who aren’t in derby; you should join us. This is a low-key, do-it-at-your-own-pace workout. Run, walk, rollerblade, bike. It doesn’t matter. Just come out and let’s motivate each other.

So next Thursday, 6 a.m., Baroness picnic shelter. BE THERE!

A quick roll over lunch…

Went for 2 rounds around Henderson Lake today. Nothing too exuberant, since I had the boy in tow, but here’s the stats…

Distance: 5.83 kms
Average Speed: 11.6 km
Max Speed: 16.8 km
Total time: 30 minutes

Then I mowed the lawn for 2 Goddamn hours which gave me my upper body workout LOL

I finally loosened the trucks on my skates which has made cornering much easier, smoother and more fun. Getting cross cutting down is next on my list.

Hello skates, I’ve missed you!

So yah… it’s been snowing for the last, well forever. When it’s not snowing, it’s raining. When it’s not raining, it’s screaming wind. When it’s not windy… well, you get the point.

I missed indoor practice last week due to a spontaneous trip to Pittsburgh (Go Habs Go!) and it felt like forever I had been on my skates. Last night, in desperation, I circled on a 6 ft x 20 ft smooth piece of road in front of my house, until commuter traffic got too busy. That helped a little.

This morning I woke early and peeked out the window… no rain, no snow, no wind; there’s still snow on the ground but pavement seemed to to be generally dry. I laid back down and thought of the best route to take if I were to venture out… Riverbottom? Likely debris and sticky crap from the trees will be all over the path. Henderson? Same thing. Scenic? Gravel from road sanding. Then I remembered the path out by the northside industrial park. It’s long, straight, with few trees to create debris.

I grabbed my gear and I went for it.

I scraped the frost off my car and drove to the north side. I was very happy to find a beautiful, dry, clean path. This path is a gooder, derby girls! Super smooth and perfect for speed and endurance training. It’s great for beginner skaters too as well as those derby girls who have kids in tow. (Air quality was a little sketchy, but I’ve smelled worse. It IS the north side)

I pushed myself till I was screaming myself to stop, then I pushed myself more until I thought I was going to puke. God, I love skating!

Here’s the stats…

Time: 30 minutes
Distance: 7.67 kms
Top speed: 19.3 km NEW PERSONAL BEST YAH!
Average speed: 15.7 km

I worked on skating in half derby stance to work those muscles around my knees that cause my bad form. Desi, you’d be proud! I made those undeveloped muscles burn! Then I bent over all the way a’la Charles Hamelin and couldn’t believe the power I got. Too much fun!

April 22 Beginning of the Thursday morning workouts

Roller skaters, roller bladers, runners, walkers, even bikers… We want you there next week! Come do some kick ass conditioning with some derby girls! EVERYONE IS WELCOME; seriously!

Baroness Picnic Shelter at the riverbottom
Meet time 6 a.m. every Thursday
Hit the trails by 6:10 a.m.
Meet back at vehicles by 6:40 a.m.
Put on your sneakers to do stairs, followed by situps, pushups then back down.
Finish by 7 a.m.

Thanks to Maude LoBrowski, Kranibal Lecter and Corynn H for coming out to the first one!

With my new iPhone app, I was able to track our progress via GPS. (Go iPhone!) MotionX GPS Lite… and pretty accurate when I compared the distances to my Google Maps route. It’s a free, but there is a paid one too with more features.

The stats…
Total distance: 6.68 kms
Avg speed: 14.9 km/hr
Max speed: 16.7 km/hr
Elapsed time: 26.49 minutes

Following the skate…
Up the stairs
Situps & pushups
Down the stairs
Elapsed time: 10 minutes

You will not believe the energy you will have for the rest of the day! Come next week! Dooooooooiiiiiittttttt!

April 19 – Road Rash!

Met my derby gal pal Skunky for a quick roll at the riverbottom! (Fan her on Facebook under Skunky #42. She’d love to meet you!)

3.06 mi (4.92 km)

We rolled back to our vehicles and I decided I was still up for more so I headed back out by myself.

2.84 mi (4.56 km)

Total: 5.9 mi (9.48 km)

You know the ski saying of “accidents always happen on the last run of the day”?

Yup, totally true.

It was getting late into the evening and the paths were essentially deserted, so I decided to push my speed a bit more to find out how fast I could go.

Enter Deadman’s Curve

Maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit. This corner is at the bottom of a hill, has about an 80 degree turn with the path slanted down in the opposite direction of the corner. My kids have wiped out there on their bikes (with training wheels) and I usually approach this corner with caution, but tonight I was feeling cocky.

I take the hill at full speed… I chicken out halfway down… try and stop… start tripping over my toe stop… I launch myself into the ditch to avoid a face-meets-pavement catastrophe… I land with a resounding “oooof” with my wrists and thighs taking most of the impact. My bailing-out skills aren’t perfect so my left thigh got a nice scrape of pavement. Had I been wearing pants I likely would have come away unscathed.

I looked up to find no one had witnessed my grace… damn. It would of been neat to know how that looked.

I picked the grass out of my wrist guards and socks, dusted off my shorts and continued on my way.

Today my right wrist and right shoulder are a little achy; my left thigh is barely bruised, but all-in-all I survived the hardest fall I’ve taken to date. I’m sure there will be more of that to come.

Deadman’s Curve… it’s on.

April 11 – First Official Practice (for real this time)

No specific thoughts about this session except… awesome! Maude put us through our paces and I loved every minute!

Drills we ran…

  • Weaving
  • Weaving with shoulder check
  • Weaving with hip check
  • One knee stops, both knees
  • One knee stops with 180 turn, both knees
  • T-Stops
  • Plow Stops
  • Toe Stops
  • Double knee fall
  • Superman slide fall
  • Baseball slide fall, both sides
  • Touching one knee to floor while in motion, both knees
  • Hops
  • Squat position while coasting around 1/2 the track
  • One foot glide while coasting around 1/2 the track, both feet
  • 5 one minute speed trials
  • Running on toe stops
  • Duck walking
  • Crossover walking
  • Looking inside, outside and behind while skating in a pack

I think that’s everything.

Considering our practice space (small) I can still feel myself gaining confidence to push my speed a little bit more. I only hit the wall once (because I couldn’t corner fast enough) and tripped over my skates once during the speed trials (but fell correctly, yay!). I’m really anxious to practice speed and my maneuverability through the pack, but I’m guessing that’s going to have to wait until we all can demonstrate proper control without injuring each other.

We also gathered all the silent auction items at this meeting. There’s some pretty cool stuff up for grabs so I hope everyone remembers to squirrel away some of their drinking money for the auction. My friend Des donated a pair of Olympic mittens (thanks Desi!!!!!) and I donated 3, 8×10 framed bridge prints (shameless plug for me). But other items range from a Zombie photo session, to a skate bag, to homemade jams & wine as well as snowboard gear! Thanks to all our sponsors who graciously donated!!! The support in the community has been really great.

Things on the agenda for this week…

  • Create video to show at the DDD Fundraiser on Saturday (do you have your tickets yet? Get them at Henotic or Blueprints)
  • Change my skates back to outdoor wheels (Wishful thinking? Snow has been forecast for the week)
  • START MY TAXES (ugh)
  • Finish up some design projects
  • Get ready for Auron’s birthday party (20 kids ugh)
  • Finish marking for the semester!!!!!
  • Continue keeping my ears open for a proper indoor venue to skate at

I see I have some subscribers! Thank you for keeping tabs on me! And thank you also to my cyberfriend The Active Stick for linking me on her blog. I hope you all don’t stay quiet for too long. I love comments; even if it’s to say I suck. Hahahaha

**Edited to add
Forgot to add that this practice was the first time I’ve ever worn a mouth guard. Weird and gross all at once.

April 2

It’s been a long time since I’ve put on skates… well at least it feels like a long time (Sunday). The good new is I laced up these bad girls today…

Sexy Riedels with Radar Pure outdoor wheels

Lisa and Chelsea from are my heroes and if you desire to purchase skates, I totally recommend going through them. I had questions on the fit and between emails and phone calls, we decided these skates were the best for me. But I may have to purchase an extra insert for my left foot since it’s a half size smaller than my right. For a first run out, I’m VERY happy.

I have Red Flatouts for indoor wheels and Radar Pure for outdoor wheels. I gotta say, after skating on crappy 20-year-old bearings, these outdoor skates roll like a dream. My first outing today was with my 6-year-old and after a couple of pushes I was far ahead of him on the bike path at Henderson Lake.

Realizing I’d have to go sans children to really test these babies out, I arranged for some alone-skating-time later in the afternoon.

I REALLY like skating the paths at the riverbottom. The loops are large enough to keep the roll interesting, enough debris and cracks to help practice balance, enough people wandering around to practice control and a good variety of hills, corners and straightaways to practice a wide variety of speeds and turns.

Here’s the skating stats…
Henderson Loop – 1.76 mi (2.84 km)
5 Large Riverbottom Loops – 6.35 mi (10.2 km)
Loop to past Helen Schuler to Hwy 3 & back – 2.92 mi (4.7 km)
Total distance 11.03 mi (17.74 km)
(That’s the distance from Lethbridge to Coalhurst! I don’t think I would ever be able to do that on my old skates.)

I started timing my loops and I’m really happy with the results for my first go.

1 loop = 1.27 mi (2.04 km)
Loop 1 – warmup
Loop 2 – 9:21
Loop 3 – 8:58
Loop 4 – 8:27
Loop 5 – Cool down

Path to hwy 3 route = 2.92 mi (4.7 km)
About 13 min

Including warmup and cooldown, I’d say I skated for about 1 hour, in between water breaks. Seventeen kilometres in one hour seems like a pretty decent speed, but I have nothing to compare it to.

I’ve started a Google Map outlining my routes with distances. If anyone wants to use it for reference, feel free to click here! You’ll be able to view the bike routes and the distances are listed. If you want to add your own stuff to it, just let me know and I can add you as a collaborator.

I’ve already missed the first half of the first period of the hockey game. Gotta run!!!! Go Habs!