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Roller Dance and Session Skating Forum Discussions about roller dancing, jamskating, rexing, rink session skating, dance circle skating, and similar types of recreational indoor and outdoor skate dancing .

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Old May 31st, 2008, 05:05 AM   #1
Tuesday Girl
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Default My plywood practice "floor"!

Since I realized I WAS making slight marks on my hardwood floor finish, I got a piece of plywood from one of the kids' bunk beds in storage and dragged it up to our bedroom and put it down on the carpet in front of the mirrored armoir! I've been practicing my toe skating, spread eagles out to the side on the back wheels, little toe spins, dance steps, etc. My husband is about to go nuts with the clomping in the house, so I'm trying to get in 1/2 hour, hour here and there when he's not around!

Well, it paid off tonight at the rink! One of my buddies was skating around slowly, watching me and he said, "You've got too much time on your hands!" When I told him what I had been doing this past week he said, "I thought so...you weren't skating like that last week!"

I think I need to get a smoother type of material though...the plywood is too grainy and slower. Took me a few minutes to adjust to the slickness of the floor tonight. Now if I can just get my husband to look the other way at that ugly piece of plywood up against the wall when I'm not using it, in our pretty bedroom! You know, if it was his plywood, I'd be having a fit!
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Old May 31st, 2008, 12:21 PM   #2
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lol....just get hubby to build an addition complete with rink quality floor!
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Old June 1st, 2008, 12:43 AM   #3
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Default So it can work!

Hey Tuesday,
I've wondered if a piece of plywood would be enough area to actually do anything on.
Thanks for writing about your experience!
I can see plywood popping up in our garage, the living room, the bathroom...
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Old June 1st, 2008, 02:57 AM   #4
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I use a sheet of plexiglass in the winter time as I have nowhere to skate with the snow on the ground. You can at least work on footwork and keep from getting totally rusty in the spring.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 09:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chitown Sk8r View Post
Hey Tuesday,
I've wondered if a piece of plywood would be enough area to actually do anything on.
Thanks for writing about your experience!
I can see plywood popping up in our garage, the living room, the bathroom...
I'm so glad my story was useful! Yes, get a piece of something to skate on in the house! I am going to go check out different materials at Mennards or somewhere and see what would be a smoother surface than plywood.

My current piece is even actually a bit smaller than 4 x 8 because it was cut down to fit a twin size bunk bed! So a true 4 x 8 would be even better. It's really helped me with precision and balance since I don't have liberal room to use for balance. Obviously, you can't do all dance sequences if the steps are spread out over more space, but I'm really getting in some good practice with what I have! If you need forward space you skate the board lengthwise...if you need more space to the sides, you turn on the board and go the length that way!

This morning I was practicing the moon-walk, and another step a guy at the rink was teaching us the night before. It's enough room to practice toe shuffling, heel spread eagles, spins, some of Richard Humphrey's dance step moves, most of the moves from that Missiles French roller dance video that is on skatelog (I work on a lot of those steps) etc. I use my iPod for timing as well! If you have a mirror somewhere in the house...awesome...then you can check out your form and what needs work....something usually not available at a rink!

This has been such a good work-out for me this past week. I am wringing wet from sweat when I get finished. Try it! And you are right... it's portable.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 01:21 PM   #6
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Default lauan (pronounced "lu - awn")

Lauan plywood is smoother than regular. It's a quarter of an inch thick and expensive. It is the underlayment on tiled floors.

If you are an ecological activist, however, consider:
http://www.rainforestrelief.org/What...t/Plywood.html

Anyway, You've got me thinking of building my own outdoor skating platform: 8 foot square, two pieces of lauan, two pieces of 3/4-inch ordinary plywood underneath, two-by-fours or two-by-sixes.

But when it rains?
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Old June 1st, 2008, 01:41 PM   #7
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At first I tried finding a level spot in our back yard to put the plywood on. We have a crappy lawn that we haven't fixed up yet and would you believe there was not one level spot that I didn't roll off of?

If you built something bigger than 4 x 8 it wouldn't be very portable. You wouldn't be able to pick it up and set it upright in the garage (which we also don't have) by yourself for when it rained. I suppose you could put your 2 x 4 frame on some outdoor tiles to get it up from the ground and then cover the "floor" tightly with a tarp. But the humidity might warp it. What about waterproofing your material or using outdoor decking material? Or, if it was left outside uncovered it will get dusty and dirty and you might trash your skates. I am not familiar with what is out there for building materials, but maybe some of you that are can suggest ideas for building little outdoor "jam" rinks! This sounds like so much fun!
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Old June 1st, 2008, 02:00 PM   #8
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Default Gazebo

A neighbor of mine has a screened-in gazebo in his back yard. It was pre-fab, delivered by truck and installed. Probably a couple thousand dollars, though. I've never looked closely at its interior or floor. But in warm weather, it is meant as a place to sit outside while avoiding the mosquitoes. A multi-use space.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 05:22 PM   #9
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You could pay for a lot of skating rink admissions for a couple thousand dollars!

One more thought...when I told the rink DJ about my plywood skating floor he laughed and joked, "Hey, bring us your board and we'll "finish" it for you!" I suppose if you wanted to have a quality finish to skate on, you could get some of that roll-on that goes on the floating wood skating rink floors. Brikkee...you probably know all about this?

Hey...new business...Sporky is doing the bling plates, someone can start building mini portable skating floors for all of us skatelog nerds!
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 04:32 AM   #10
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Oh Gawd, the shipping....the shipping!

On another note...now you have me thinking of local places who's floors would be suitable.Some churches have rec. areas.....I have wood floors (old pine) and I live in a upper. So practice may be out.......BUT I can get plywood!
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 06:05 AM   #11
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Have been using a 4x8 sheet of MDO plywood with about three coats of gloss spar varnish. The TLA stands for "Medium Density Overlay"... 'means it has some sort of heavy duty paper bonded to both sides of the sheet. The bonding compound is very hard; the panels are mainly used in the concrete construction trade for building custom concrete forms. The smooth surface of the panels is to form a very smooth face on the pour. It's been about 3+ years since mine was purchased but it was ~$35 for a 5/8" sheet and that was a "blem". I haven't had to refinish it despite pretty regular practice the first year and "on'n'off since. Use was mostly Rich Humphrey's roller dance videos. I got mine at a local lumber yard (a real one, not a big box store).

'Hope this helps; Glenn
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 01:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by NWGlenn View Post
Have been using a 4x8 sheet of MDO plywood with about three coats of gloss spar varnish.
Cool! Do you have this indoors? What kind of wheels to you have on this varnished smooth plywood? Mine are Bones Elite 101A, fairly hard. I guess it doesn't really matter, it's not like you're taking sharp corners on a 4x8 !

Yeah, I checked out our newly revamped rec center that has three gyms and a new dance studio. The director thought he might let me skate somewhere there and would especially like it if I found a group of people that would do it together once a week or so. They would sit back and see if it would turn into a class they could offer. He wanted to know if I would instruct it (yeah, right!) or if I knew of an instructor. Heck, I don't even know anyone in the neighborhood who skates!

Anyway, another woman running around at the grand opening on Saturday said, "No, you won't be able to skate here....we discussed it." Since the floors are all brand new, maybe I will have to wait until the neighbor kids trash them and then go back and try again!

I was also eyeing all the open areas of that building, the little class rooms with tiled floors, craft rooms, etc. There were A LOT of areas a girl could skate in, but I doubt they would ever let me. When you live in a big city, there are often too many rules to govern the masses! You could probably get away with it in a smaller community.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 07:12 PM   #13
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Default Insurance

The objection some of the community centers might bring up is their liability if a skater were injured on their property.

30 years ago I used to skate outdoors in many parking lots, parking decks, playgrounds, etc. Later I saw signs all over prohibiting skates and skateboards. At first I thought it was anti-skating bias; upon reflection, I figured their insurance companies required them to do so.
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 01:04 AM   #14
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then I say OUT with the insurance companies!

it's time they stopped making the laws anyway
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 04:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuesday Girl View Post
Cool! Do you have this indoors?

Yes...right in the middle of my 'activity room', formerly known as the living room.

What kind of wheels to you have on this varnished smooth plywood? Mine are Bones Elite 101A, fairly hard.

Originally, I was on some old Nationals, upgraded to Bones Artistic 98a's, which were way too soft for me and then settled on the Bones Elite 103a's. Skated those for about 4 yr. and recently got a set of Bones Super Elite 103a's

I guess it doesn't really matter, it's not like you're taking sharp corners on a 4x8 !

"...sharp corners..."LOL. but in rollerdance there's a lot of side to side movement so you need lateral grip. Both vintages of my 103a's did fine. The 4x8 does condition you to keep your moves very tight.
'Hope this helps;

Glenn
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 01:06 PM   #16
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Yes, it helps a lot. Any particular kind of varnish? And why do you need varnish on it? So you don't wear out the material? I haven't seen the board you are talking about yet as I have a busy next two weeks and won't be a able to look around at the lumber yard! But I seriously want to fix myself up a new "board rink".

Yes, you are so right, working on a board does seriously make you stay tight and precise. I really notice my lower back muscles having to work much harder for the balance because you don't have room to go if you need it for natural balance.
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 04:17 PM   #17
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Why not use Roll On to coat your plywood? It isn't exactly cheap, but your house will smell like a rink with a fresh floor.

http://www.westernskate.com/skate_floor_coatings.htm
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 09:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Why not use Roll On to coat your plywood? It isn't exactly cheap, but your house will smell like a rink with a fresh floor.

http://www.westernskate.com/skate_floor_coatings.htm
1 gallon covers 500 sq. feet....maybe my rink would sell me a thimble full to paint my board! But you never know, they might have some left overs to sell!
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 09:39 PM   #19
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A friend of mine put down wood flooring in one room in their house to use it as a practice floor... and he asked the rink owner for some Roll-On for it when he knew they were coating the rink floor. She would always just give him the leftovers whenever they coated the rink and it was always enough to do that one little room. Never hurts to ask!
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Old June 4th, 2008, 04:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Yes, it helps a lot. Any particular kind of varnish?

The stuff I used I bought at the local Lowes. Brand is Minwax, Fast-Drying Polyurethane, clear gloss. I guess any good polyurethane would be okay.

And why do you need varnish on it? So you don't wear out the material?

To emulate the rink floor coating and (as you noted) to protect the surface. I haven't had to recoat mine yet so it does hold up. It probably also fills the pores in the overlay much as it would on wood. BTW I used a painting pad/applicator instead of a brush or roller. I seems to put down a smoother coat. I think that I put three coats on mine; both sides.

I haven't seen the board you are talking about yet as I have a busy next two weeks and won't be a able to look around at the lumber yard! But I seriously want to fix myself up a new "board rink".

Yes, you are so right, working on a board does seriously make you stay tight and precise. I really notice my lower back muscles having to work much harder for the balance because you don't have room to go if you need it for natural balance.
Maybe I'll see you in the center of a rink somewhere, sometime.

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