What is a Quarter Pipe Ramp?
You’ll want to be comfortable skateboarding on smaller types of skateboard ramps before approaching a quarter pipe.
A quarter pipe is a structure that’s primarily used in gravity extreme sports, such as skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, freestyle BMX, skating, and scooter riding.
Quarter pipe ramps come in all different shapes and sizes, from a small backyard quarter pipe, to the mega ramps often seen at the X-Games, there are no set standards regarding the size of quarter pipes. By definition, quarter pipes approach a 90 degree angle (sometimes even meeting it). In short – by the time you reach the top of a quarter pipe ramp, the nose of your skateboard will be pointing directly towards the sky.
Quarter pipe ramps can be constructed using concrete, metal, or other building materials, although most are made of wood. Regardless of what material a quarter pipe ramp is made of, there is always one characteristic that remains constant: there will always be a metal coping which runs along the length of the top of a quarter pipe ramp.
Types of Quarter Pipe Ramps
Wooden Quarter Pipe Ramps
Most skateboarders will admit that nothing compares to a wooden quarter pipe ramp. This is because wooden half pipes flex as you ride on them, making the surface feel smoother and performing tricks a bit more forgiving. Bending with your weight, wooden half pipes have been compared to the feeling of surfing, in that skaters feel they have more control of the board, with the ramp and board coming together as one, a feeling that concrete ramps cannot offer.
Concrete Quarter Pipe Ramps
Although less common, quarter pipe ramps can be constructed using concrete or other building materials. An empty pool is often used as a skateboarding bowl, but other areas of the pool can act as a quarter pipe of sorts (depending on the overall shape of the swimming pool, of course). Due to the fact that concrete does not “give”, or bend in any way, it isn’t always the ideal choice for skateboarding ramps as it is far less forgiving.
Steel Frame Quarter Pipe Ramps
Quarter pipe ramps can be constructed with wood and a steel frame. Usually, this type of quarter pipe would be used in the X-Games or in a situation where the quarter pipe ramp would need to be put up and taken down in a fairly short amount of time, or for a temporary purpose.
Plastic Quarter Pipe Ramps
Often a good choice for homeowners who want an easier option, quarter pipe ramps made of plastic (usually ABS plastic, or similar), steel and urethane are the best bet. Because of the materials used in these types of ramps, they are very durable and weatherproof so you can leave them outside regardless of the rain or snow.
What to Look for When Buying a Quarter Pipe Ramp
First, you will want to take a few things into consideration. Such as, what age is the skateboarder who will be skating the quarter pipe ramp? What level of skater will be using it?
Another point to consider is where the quarter pipe ramp will be located. Will it be outside? Next to your home? In a garage with a high enough ceiling? Also, what is your budget for a skate ramp?
If you’ll be focusing on performance and tricks, you may want to look for a quarter pipe ramp that is wider in stature. This is because the additional width provides extra room and the ability to lay out more tricks. Turning and maneuvering are also much easier with a wider skate ramp.
Look at materials that will last, and be durable, regardless of where you plan to keep the skate ramp. Read reviews from various sources in order to educate yourself and get a better idea of which brands and types of ramps are receiving high praise from other skateboarders who have personal experience skating on them.