Slideboard

I’ve not posted anything probably since my Jan 1st post.  Since I put all of that out there, I’ve had a very good year.

I was given a challenge to challenge myself to get back into a smaller size; not because I’m fat, but because I have my own goal (as I stated in my Jan 1 post).  I’m quite healthy despite my rotund 290+ body.  My blood work is always superb.  The cardiac tests are always perfect.  Other than being 290 pounds I’m quite healthy.  So the challenge was thrown towards the mid-end of February after a local convention.  I was, of course, in.

I have always hated running though last year I found myself craving running until I got injured then 20 hour days working derailed me and I gained 20 pounds where I’d been working hard not to gain weight.  I couldn’t figure out what was going on.  I had some new running shoes (foreshadowing) that were awesome, but when I ran I got shin splints on the insides of my legs.  I went to Nashville for work and found that I was having a problem where my shoe had cushion on the outside heel where I’ve always had shoes with center heel cushion.  When I was running my foot was hitting towards my heel pushing down the heel and pulling up the toe causing an unusal (for me) rotation of my foot.  Long story short, I got new running shoes and my shin splints were gone.

I still had one problem though – snow, rain, snow, rain, snow, rain, etc.  A few weeks ago I thought about skating again, but my Rollerblades (hockeyblades) from literally 20 years ago (I bought them in San Antonio at a mall on the west side of town) were breaking apart at the heel.  20 years was brutal to the plastic.  I also had a problem where my foot has gotten fatter due to, well, fat and 290 pounds squishing them – they were painful to wear for more than a minute or two and would squish my foot into immense pain.

I went around the local area looking for skates – there were literally 6 different brands that I found and none of them felt good at all.  So, while I was in Nashville last week I decided to find a skate shop, which I did (http://asphaltbeach.com – a superb shop that knows what they’re doing).  The owner had me try on a pair of skates that was almost perfect except just below the ankle it pinched a little.  So he had me try on a second pair that was perfect.  I hadn’t skated in nearly 10 years without immense pain in my foot.  I bought the skates right there and had them shipped home… for the first time in years I was really, really excited about working out.

When I got home, still rain, possible snow, rain, it didn’t seem like the weather was going to work with me.  I remembered back in the early 90s that there were these “sliding boards” that people had that could roll up, but they slid back and forth when they couldn’t skate and they simulated skating.  So I looked some up and after a few prices shocked me I decided to build one.

I looked all over and found a few models to try.  One was whiteboard (smooth melamine) glued to plywood.  I’m not that handy with tools so I needed something simpler.  I will, oneday, try the whiteboard glued to plywood, but not until I have someone that can work with it better than I can.

Here are the different sites I found:
http://www.longtracklongshot.com/Blog.php/how-to-build-a-slideboard-for-dryland-skating-imitations-hockey-inline – this is the one I chose
http://www.todayfitness.net/budgetbody/makeslideboard.htm – I thought this one would work the best
http://www.instructables.com/id/Slide-Board/ – this one seemed ok, but when I went to Home Depot the guy didn’t know what the “deck flashing” was so I didn’t try any more

There are many other variations – one is of a smooth hardboard with a coat of wax (that seemed like it would work ok too) and others that are basically polished wood frames.

I took the melamine, cut my pieces of 2×4 and put them underneath the ends.  I measured from the end about 7.5″ and drilled three holes through the shelf and into the wood blocks.  I used 2.5″ flush wood screws (if you want to know the exact ones I can get those for you) that I purchased from a local hardware store (not Home Depot).  I did the same thing at the other end.  I flipped the board over and put the microfiber cloths down and started sliding.

It was at this point that I noticed I wasn’t sliding 7′ like the author of the post I used.  I did about 10 strides and found that I was stopping about the same place every time and it felt like the right distance.  I marked that location, removed the end board, and re-attached the end board the same way as before but in this new location.

I then did about 10 minutes of slides and I felt the inner thigh, quad, and butt soreness that I expected and remembered from all those years of skating up to 12 miles a day.

I have a few tasks to do to make the board a little better:
1) cut off the one end
2) make microfiber booties
3) figure out what makes the melamine a little more slick
4) keep the board from moving across the carpet (everytime you bump one end it slides) – I may try putting the rubber workout mats under and see if that works… if that doesn’t work then I’ll find a nonskid something to put underneath.

downsides:
1) it’s not portable.  If I go on vacation, it’s not going with me.
2) it’s heavy and 4′-5′ in length
3) it’s not like I can haul it upstairs to watch TV with my wife nightly – so I’m going to have to come up with a way to be able to watch TV with my wife and still “skate” – which probably won’t be a problem if I’m “skating” earlier in the day.

bonuses:
1) I can now “skate” even when the weather is bad so there aren’t any excuses for getting in at least a 20-30 min skate  (or “skate”) daily or a couple times a day.
2) cheap to make – 20 bucks for the board, a scrap piece of 2×4, 4-5 bucks for the screws (b/c I got a big box for other projects around the house, 3 bucks for the microfiber cloths, and 3 bucks for the “endust” — total project cost 28 bucks or so.  Total building time < 10 minutes (not including travel time to hardware stores).

The one video recommends spraying with Endust once before each use.

Enjoy!

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