With the recent trend of sliders and kickers in wakeboarding videos, and now with the addition of these items to the Pro Tour, it seems like eveyone wants to build a slider or kicker on their home lake. The following are instructions for building a kicker with a tabletop.
1. Decide how large you want your kicker to be in size.
2. Go buy the adequate amount of lumber to fit that size:
For the surface - use treated 1/4" Plyform
For the structure - use treated 2 x 4's or 2 x 6's
3. You will want to build the table top first. Build the perimeter of the table by laying the 2 x 4's or 2 x 6's
on edge (so the board looks like "|" and not like "__") to form a square or rectangle. Hammer in 16 penny COATED nails to secure the corners. Don't use screws - they have a tendency to break when jolted or twisted. Now you will want to lay in your floor joists - 2 x 4 or 2 x 6's spaced out at 16" or 2 feet nailed on edge inside the perimeter of the square or rectangle you just made.
4. Lay your plywood on either side of the platform (only on one side please - you will have to lift it) and nail it on, the more nails the better. In this part you don't have to use the huge 16 penny nails,you can use 6 penny and save your arms, but always use a coated nail so it won't pull out when it gets wet. Just like alot of my friend's docks, you won't want nail heads sticking up.
5. Roll the whole thing over. Notice it looks like a bookshelf laying down. Well you aren't going to fill it with books, you're going to use styrofoam, buy either 16" or 2' wide (depending on your joist spacing) x however long you made it x how high you want it sticking out of the water + 8" if you used 2x4's or +9" if you used 2x6's. I know, a 2x6 is 2" taller than a 2x4, but the weight of the plywood remains the same). After placing each piece of styrofoam between the slats, caulk the edges heavily. This will help hold it in place and also will keep water from damaging your wood (make sure to get a caulk or silicone that does not disolve your brand new styrofoam). Finished?!? Go take a break and don't come back until you've thrown a new invert.
6. Now for the ramps. Determine how long and how steep of an incline you want and buy some more wood, same as before treated only!!!! If you are going to have to use more than one piece of plywood, you will want to connect the two pieces of plywood together by laying them flat with the joint lined up and tight. Lay a 2x4 flat "__" so that the plywood joint splits the 2x4 and nail it (please just tack it on first - roll it over - and nail from the top side so the nails are sticking down). You can also use liquid nails to stick the 2x4 on with before you roll it over, it's real sticky so don't get any of it on you.
7. How do you connect the two??
If you want to be able to adjust the height of it, use hinges, lots of them!!! You will want to carry some duct tape with you for the launch so you can cover the hinges after you get it adjusted. Oh yeah, I don't have to remind you to buy stainless steel hinges right?
If you want it more stable, simply nail a 2x2 or 2x4 across the top edge of the perimeter of the table top, not flush "even" to the top of the plywood but even with the top of your joists. If you built your platform out of 2x4's use a 2 x 2, and if you used 2x6's then you will need to use a 2x4. The key isn't how wide it is, but how secure it is attached. Nail another 2x2 or 2x4 onto the ramp level to the bottom of the wood of the table, now you can measure and cut a 2x4 that will fit spanning the edge on the 2x4 on the ramp and the edge of the platform. We will call this piece of wood a kicker. If you're having problems, e-mail me the dimensions and I'll send you a diagram, but only if I have to! Place the ramp sitting on the 2x2 or 2x4 that you nailed onto the outside of the table and nail it again. Now looking from the bottom up insert your kickers and nail the it again.
8. I forgot to tell you to paint all your wood before you hammer in the first nail. This will ensure long board life. Use multiple coats of an exterior grade latex paint, and bear in mind graffiti is not art, keep it clean. You will be drawing alot of attention soon.
9. If you made it this far congrats! I will be expecting an e-mail
to tell me how it went, and where I need to drive to to ride it!
10. You look a lot dumber in a coffin than with a helmet on, so don't forget to be safe.
Disclaimer: Wakeboarder.com does not guarantee the validity of these plans, and is not responsible for any injuries or problems that may occur. Use sliders and kickers at your own risk, and wear a helmet.