A skateboard quarterpipe is a curved skateboard ramp that you ride up and down. The term quarterpipe stands for half of a halfpipe or quarter of a full 360° pipe. The curve on the ramp is called a transition or tranny for short.
Skateboard quarterpipes are great for keep speed and flow in a skatepark. You can change direction and even do a trick and then go back into the park. It keeps your line going.
A quarterpipe does not need to be a full 90° steep at the top. The most common ones will be near 60°.
A 90° quarterpipe that continues vertically from 90° is called a vert ramp. If it tips passed 90° or vert, that is called oververt.
There are a lot of cases where steep advanced ramps work well. For most of us a good skateboard quarterpipe will have a mellow transition the goes to just over 60° steep.
Transition is the name for the curve on a skateboard quarterpipe or other ramp. The curve follows a consistent radius. Different sized trannies give you a different skateboarding experience.
A tranny can be:
Tight - a small radius less than 7'-0" that curves up passed 60°. This feels like it gets steep quickly. You get to the top very fast.
Mellow - a large radius greater than 7'-0" that curves up slowly and doesn’t get much steeper than 45°.
Of course it all depends on the height of the ramp. A tight tranny will go to vert faster than a mellow one. Vert ramps and mega ramps are very high and have mellow trannies to accommodate the speed needed to skate them.
Tight trannies are good for lip tricks and stuff done at the top. Mellow trannies are better for ollies, airs and flips.
A good baseline transition that is right in the middle of tight and mellow would be a 4'-0" high ramp with a 7'-0" radius transition. That brings the top of the ramp to about 65° from vertical.
This gives you plenty of "room" on the transition to do your tricks.
If the ramp goes higher and steeper than you can start doing airs more easily. The steep area gives a good area of ramp to take off and land your airs.
I like ramps that are 4'-0" and lower. I am a tall and can skate much deeper things but I would rather skate a smaller ramp. I get more tricks on a small ramp and have more fun.
I find that when the ramps is 4'-0" and lower my ability to pull off tricks goes way up. With bigger ramps they get higher and higher. I don't wear kneepads and don't feel like running out of a trick at top speed. Not my thing, might be yours though.
Unless you are pressed for space the ramp needs to be wide enough for you to carve up grind and carve back down. There needs to be some grinding space. 4'-0" in length is the absolute minimum for a little grind space. 8'-0" is much better.
Coping is the term for the top edge of the ramp. Like in a pool the coping lines the top corner. It can be made of a lot of different things. It can be big, little, deep, buried, bonked, metal, stone, waxed, lacquered, dry? Pick your poison. Each gives a different feel
Big or Little?
Typical coping on a skateboard quarterpipe is round schedule 40 pipe. It is 2 1/4" in diameter. The round shape is easily grinded on and if set well you can lock into it with your trucks.
Some larger pipes can be used but anything much bigger or smaller become easy to get caught on when doing tricks. Square coping is not a good fit at the top of the curved ramp. It becomes to catchy and makes smooth grinds a bit of a struggle.
Schd. 40 really works for ramps.
Preference plays a role in how much reveal or bonk the coping should have. The pipe should sit 4mm[1/8]" proud of the deck and 4mm[1/8]" proud of the top of the transition.
This gives a good amount of material to lock your trucks for a grind.
Most importantly you can bonk your wheels off the coping to propel into the air without having to pop an ollie.
Coping Material and Maintenance
I prefer coping that grinds easily and well. This means that smooth black steel with a little wax in my favourite. It grinds like ice.
Many like the rough loud grind the concrete pool coping provides. Good pool coping grinds rough but well. That is a rumbully grind with a lot of sound and vibration.
The way the coping is maintained affects the type of grind you get. Coping maintenance gets people fired up like no other. Do you wax or lacquer or leave things dry?
I say maintain it with wax or lacquer and grind easy. Skateboarding is way more enjoyable when you can slide more of your tricks. Some don't share that opinion (dummies). Anyway, I'll cover that fire topic on another page.
Quarterpipes, Hips, Halfpipes, Bowls and Pools there are so many combinations of the simple transition on a quarterpipe. I will eventually detail them all. Stay tuned as I build more and more on this website.