How to Build a Floating Kicker Ramp

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Before You Start Building a Floating Kicker

Estonia, Otepaa Wakepark, Young man wakeboarding

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A boat wake does a great job of booting you into the air, but sometimes you need to mix up the routine. A floating kicker is the perfect thing to add a little flair to your day on the water and may just give you the extra air you need to land… whatever it is that you’re working on. 

Before we get started though, there are a couple things to keep in mind:

Get clearance before you build. A lot of lakes and waterways will have rules in place for launching a ski jump or kicker. There may be stipulations on size, placement location, safety markings, or even permission to have one on the lake at all. Find this information out first, because it would be a shame to spend the money to build a kicker only to find that you can’t use it.

Scale it the right way. This set of instructions is designed to be easily scalable to make a larger or smaller kicker with aggressive or mellow angle. You know your ability and what you can handle, so make sure you choose a size that matches your skill set.

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Tools and Materials

Before you start the construction, it’s a great idea to calculate the cost and gather the necessary tools and materials. There’s nothing really out of the ordinary for this build. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • Hammer or Nail Gun
  • Tape Measure
  • Miter Saw
  • Drill with Phillips Head Bit

Building Materials

  • 30 - 35 ct. Pressure Treated 2x4’s (8 - 12 ft length)
  • 8 - 10 Sheets of 1/2" Plywood or Ecosheet
  • Plastic barrels or Dock Floats (More Expensive but easier to work with)
  • Galvanized Stud Sinkers (Nails)
  • Galvanized Deck Screws
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Build the Frame

The frame is very straight forward. You are basically going to build two rectangles and two triangles. First determine the height you want to make your ramp. A ramp of 6-foot height, 8-foot width, and 12-foot length works well. These dimensions will allow for a minimal amount of cutting and easier overall construction.

First, start with the front of the ramp. Cut two of the 2x4’s down to 6 foot, and then nail them together with three 8-foot studs to create a 6 x 8 rectangle. The bottom of the rectangle should have two of the studs nailed together to create a 4x4 span. This section will eventually be attached the to the floor of the ramp.

Next, take two 12-foot 2x4’s and nail them together with 2 more 8 foot 2x4’s to create an 8 x 12 rectangle. This is the floor of the ramp. Move the floor of the ramp to meet the front rectangle at the bottom.

Either have a friend help you hold the front of the ramp frame upright or lean it against an exterior wall. Then use 6 of your lag bolts, spaced evenly apart, to connect the bottom of the frame to the front.

This is where the fun math begins: it’s time to make the sidewalls. To keep this ramp pretty mellow, we'll start the first sidewall braces at 4 feet. With your tape, measure 48 inches up the front of the frame, and make a mark on both of the vertical edge posts. Then, take a 14-foot 2x4, and push it the corner of the floor frame. Lift it up to match the top edge of stud to the 4-foot mark you just made.

Nail the brace to hold it in place, and do the same on the other side. With both 14-foot 2x4’s in place, move down to the corner, and nail the stud to the corners of the floor frame. This will keep your angles in place. You should have about a foot or so of extra 2x4 jutting out from the front. Leave this overhang for now just in case you need to make corrections.