Trials obstacle building instructions...

I’ve just finished writing instructions on building sandwich boards and practice rails. I’m going to write some more later on and hopefully get Gary to put them up on for people to easily download. Hopefully these will help somebody. They’re not perfect as I didn’t really feel like going out and taking all the photos I’d like of the ones I’ve built but they should do fine. I’ll put the instructions in a couple of posts with photos. I’ve got them as a Word file at the moment which is set out better than I’ll manage in a post so if you want a copy please tell me your email address and I’ll gladly send you one.


Sandwich Boards

Sandwich boards are probably the most versatile trials unicycling obstacle and are also very easy to make. They are light and portable, and in my opinion one of the most important elements of a good trials course.

20mm (or more) thick sheet of wood
35x70mm (or similar) planks
50mm long screws
2 solid hinges
Solid string or thin rope
Wood glue

Building Instructions

  1. Cut the sheet of wood into two identical bits that are preferrably almost twice as wide as they are high. A standard size is about 250x400.
  2. Cut the planks to the same width as the sheets.
  3. Place one plank on the long side of the sheet (70mm face down), glue it into place, then add at least 5 screws placed diagonally. Repeat for the other sheet and plank.
  4. Lay these pieces down flat, side by side with the planks together and facing up, and separate them about 5mm (maybe less if you’re using a smaller hinge).
  5. Place the hinges slightly in from the sides and mark where each hole is.
  6. Screw the screws (usually provided with the hinge) in loosely starting with the outer ones. Check the
    alignment of the hinges and planks. Tighten each screw.
  7. Drill two holes in each sheet in the two remaining bare corners. Make the holes only slightly wider than the string you have chosen.
  8. Open the sandwich board to your desired angle (around 60 degrees) and feed the string through the holes. Tie knots on the outer side of each hole making sure that the strings are equal in length.
  9. Cut off excess string and lightly melt the strings at the cut and also at the knot to prevent it from loosening.
  10. Ride on your new sandwich board.


  • Gapping between sandwich boards at various heights and angles
  • Supports for planks and balance beams
  • A unicycle stand for running suicide mounts


Practice Rails

The handy thing about this type of practice rail is that it’s very portable. It allows you to move it around and also to change the length of the rail. This design uses the narrow face of a 35x70mm plank as the riding surface. It’s not quite as challenging as a 2cm diameter round railing, but it’s narrow enough that the rider has to focus on staying on top of the uni rather than moving the wheel side to side underneath them…more of a moving stillstand.

This particular design is for a 5mx35mm rail that’s about 20cm above the ground. These dimensions can be easily changed to suit your preferences.

35x70mm (or similar) planks, one 5m long
60mm long screws
Wood glue

Building Instructions

  1. Cut the planks into the following pieces:
  • 400mm pieces (4)
  • 300mm pieces (6)
  • 210mm pieces (10)
  • 160mm pieces (3)
  • 90mm pieces (2)
  • 5000mm plank to ride along
  1. Glue and screw together the pieces as in the diagram. Shown is the end support. For the middle supports, use the 160mm pieces in place of the 90mm pieces and have them extending all the way down. Also, attach the two 300mm pieces to the sides of the middle supports (in place of the 400mm pieces) so that they rest on the ground and face perpendicular to the 5m rail (see final assembly picture).
  2. Slightly sand or plane away the sides of the 5m rail where the supports sit if necessary.
  3. Place the two end supports and three middle supports on the ground in a line and fit the 5m rail in the slots.
  4. Give it a test ride.

Note: The rail should sit approximately 20mm above the top of each support. This allows an uninterrupted ride along the rail.

This practice rail is perfect for improving your rail riding technique. It is low to the ground so that you can build confidence in your skill level and then move on to higher rails if you choose. Once you can ride all the way along, practise riding it slower and slower. This will force you to keep your balance longer and develop your still stands.

Thanks for the instructions andrew.

I know someone will ask or need this, so here you are…
For those not familiar with metric dimensions… 25.4 mm = 1 inch. To convert andrew’s metric dimensions into inches, divide them by 25.4


That looks great, please send the word-file to me

andersrustad (at) yahoo (doot) no

I can’t wait to start building some trials structures to practise on.

My grandpa is ready to work…

Andrew, you are the man! that is so nice of you to do!:smiley:

Thanks. :slight_smile:

Hopefully that will get through to you.

It might be worth having a look over in the ‘Rail riding training…’ thread at Sofa’s excellent idea for two different width rails for this design.


Hopping post…

Hopping Posts

These are particularly challenging to use and therefore good to practise on because the landing surface is so small that the rider must concentrate strongly on his or her balance in all directions. If you land wrong on one of these (even if you don’t) it’s very easy for most of us to lose balance.

35x70mm (or similar) planks
60mm long screws
Wood glue

Building Instructions

  1. Cut the planks into the following pieces:
  • 500mm pieces (3)
  • 300mm pieces (3)
  1. At the midpoint of one of the 500mm pieces, cut out a 35mm wide section that extends only half way across (see picture).
  2. Repeat for one of the other 500mm pieces.
  3. In the final 500mm piece, mark the midpoint and offset that line 35mm in both directions. Offset these new lines another 35mm and cut out similar sections as in step 2 between the outermost lines on each side.
  4. Place the two pieces from steps 2 and 3 in the slots you’ve cut so that the two planks are perpendicular to the third one. The slots of the connecting pieces should face each other to create a flush join 70mm high when sittingo n the ground. This is just a test to see if the slots have been appropriately cut.
  5. Extend any slots that aren’t cut deep or wide enough.
  6. Glue and screw together each of the three 300mm pieces and the 500mm one as shown in the picture. Start by joining two together with one raised 70mm. Then, join this to the piece with the two slots cut out of it. Finally attach the last 300mm piece. Be careful not to place the screws too close to each other. Note the screw positioning in the pictures.
  7. Finally, glue and screw the remaining 500mm pieces onto the third as mentioned. You may also want to screw these two pieces to the middle structure.
  8. Allow the glue to dry before using the obstacle.


  • Gapping onto and off in trials lines.
  • Holding up narrow balance beams (with extra screws attached)

Sorry to everyone else…I’m just bumping this thread back up so that Sam sees it. He’s wanted some info.



Thanks Andrew.
Good luck on finding those nipples