Metal Coping For Skateboarding Ramp Building (Materials To Build Strong One)

On the internet, you’ll find hundreds of plans on how you can build your DIY transition ramps. But one thing that these plans lack is the metal coping and its proper installation, which is mandatory to fulfill your skating experience.

If you are planning to build a neighborhood transition halfpipe or a grinding box for your practice, I have brought you the perfect guide to install the metal coping on them.

In this article, I’ll discuss about the materials of metal coping, their optimal size, and how you can attach it and enjoy skateboard riding on ramps. So, without wasting any more time, let’s begin.

Note: You may choose any ramp or metal coping and harsh skateboarding. But keep safety measures in mind. So make sure you wear a quality protective skate shoe, a helmet to protect head, a tricks friendly skateboard, and protective pads for elbow and knee.

Metal Coping For Skateboarding
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What Does Metal Coping Mean

Metal coping, in skateboarding terms, refers to the metal tube at the edge of transition ramps, halfpipes, or in a custom grind box. These are common places where metal copings are used, but you’ll notice metal coping installed on other structures depending on a particular skate park.

In some skate parks, you’ll even notice bent and circular-shaped metal coming for bowl corners. However, it’s not mandatory that your coping will always be circular because, in some cases, rectangular coping is also used to make it sit perfectly between the top and side surfaces.

What Is Skate Coping Made Of (Meterials For Skate Coping)

Around the world, different materials are used to build metal coping for skateboarding. Though the materials can change based on your budget and design, you have to ensure certain durability to ensure that the coping works perfectly. 

According to your choice or the choice of the ramp builder, you can order and manufacture coping from various metals. However, doing that will cost you more money. Typically, a metal coping is made of steel, aluminum, or iron.

All three of these materials are pretty common with their advantages and drawbacks. In some cases, I have seen skaters using scaffolding pipes used as skate coping too. Depending on what you have available and your budget, you can use any of them.

Best Metal For Skate Coping

As I mentioned earlier, all three materials, steel, iron, and aluminum, are fairly popular for skate coping with different characteristics. Therefore, discussing them will give you a better understanding of which one will be better for skate coping.

First, let’s talk about the shiniest material of all, aluminum. As good as it’ll look, the main issue with aluminum is that it sticks too much, especially when the downwards pressure increases. Additionally, there are some complaints of bending too. For these reasons, it’s best if you can avoid aluminum for skate coping.

Now comes the steel and iron, which has a familiar characteristic set. Both these materials are easy to weld, more available, and cheap. Though they can be a little harsh on trucks initially, it should be fine after a break-in period.

Additionally, rusting can be an issue, but watching how good they grind, it’s tough to recommend aluminum over iron or steel.

What Can You Use To Cope With Skateboarding?

Two things are mostly used to cope with skateboarding. The first one is metal tubes, which I discussed above and we are more familiar with.

But there is another thing you’ll notice that is used for coping in some ramps is pool blocks. These blocks are usually made of concrete and provide an equally smoother sliding experience like metal tubes.

Ramp With Coping: How to attach metal coping

Here I have discussed the whole coping attachment process through a detailed step-by-step guide. You can easily install the metal coping on the ramp by following these easy steps.

  • Step 1: Assuming you already have a ramp or halfpipe, the first thing you need to do is decide the material, size, and type for the metal coping. For the material, check the discussion above.

As far as the size goes, get a tube with an outer diameter of 3.37” and a thickness of 0.125”. You don’t have to pick the exact size, but try to find something close to this measurement for the best result.

  • Step 2: After getting the right size and type, it’s time to attach the coping on the ramp. First, you’ll have to cut a notch onto the edge of the side planks where the metal coping will sit. Make the cut in a way that you get 3/8’’ of the coping sticking out.
  • Step 3: Once you have made the cut to make space for the coping, now you have to fasten it onto the ramp. Typically fastening the coping with bolts is the best way to get the strongest hold.

First, hold the clams onto the ramp, and drill the coping tube and the ramp at the same point. Bolts at every two or three feet should be enough for a strong hold.

  • Step 4: After the holes are drilled, put a J-bolt into the tube’s hole, align it to the ramp’s hole, and put the rest through it. Finally, use a washer and nut to fasten the bolt against the ramp. There you have the metal coping installed on the ramp.

Benefits Of Metal Coping Of Ramps

As mentioned earlier, pool blocks can also be a viable option for skateboard coping. But in comparison, metal tubing has certain benefits that have made it a favorite choice among skaters worldwide.

For starters, metal coping is a more cost-effective option that’s easier to install. If you plan to build a ramp or halfpipe with your friends in the neighborhood, that’s a clear benefit of metal coping.

Then comes the durability aspect, and again metal coping does a whole lot better at withstanding intense sliding. Lastly, metal coping tends to provide a smoother and more consistent sliding experience.

How Far Should Coping Stick Out?

It’s the nature of coping that a certain amount will stick out of the ramp to give the skateboard a space to slide. However, there is a certain range of how far the coping should stick out. Anything more or less, and it can badly affect your sliding experience.

Though it comes down to personal preference and comfort, you should maintain a distance between 3/8″ to 1/4″ for optimal performance.

Last Words

There you have a comprehensive guide of metal coping for skating. There are lots of things people often seem confused about, the size, right material, and how to install them properly.

My guide will help you get the right idea about all these factors. Now that you know how to attach the coping, the only thing left to do is enjoy the smooth grinding experience on the ramp.

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