homemade wrestling mat help

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3/1/08 11:37:04PM
me and my bro want to make a mat for home so we can wrestle with eac other. anyideea how to make it? or anything to use in place of a matt to wrestle on?
3/2/08 12:52:08AM
nothing is gonna let you slam eachother. I wouldn't even recomend trying.

If you're going to though I would throw a bunch of layers of blankets or a bunch of matresses but either way I would say go buy a used one if you can find one.
3/2/08 3:59:22AM
For cheap mats, I go with those rubber puzzle pieces you buy at Wal-mart. Depending on space, you can cover a decent sized area for $50. They're easy to store and minimally abrasive, although slamming someone on them is going to hurt.

Not much else will work, as matresses are small and move around, blankets would move and tangle you up, carpet will give you rug burns from hell, and couch cushions are way too small unless you own 25 couches, which I'm willing to bet you don't.

Once the weather is nice though, you can always go outside and roll.
3/2/08 6:37:09AM
Honestly? the best free / homemade mat is grass.

If you want to bring it indoors, I would say line your garage or whatever with a few layers of carpet (can you say rugburn?), or the lining that goes under most house carpets. It's like a foam padding, just try to get one that isn't all used and nasty smelling.

3/2/08 12:21:22PM
there are ways to make your own mat but idk if you got a space that you dont need because if you build this mat you cant move it
3/2/08 12:25:05PM
Here are my thoughts based on my own experience.

Puzzle mats - I hate them. They have too much traction for wrestling and you'll get more burns than from carpet. I also find that toes get caught between the mats. That can be fixed with some duct tape though.

You could just spend the cash and get a couple blue folding wrestling mats. I know they are pricey, but honestly I find a lot of people don't have problems dropping 50-100$ a week going to the bar, so why would it be hard to buy a couple mats?

Another option would be to go around to some YMCAs, martial arts clubs, etc and see if they have some old mats. Some places would be happy to sell you something cheap. I was given 4 used tatami mats (they sell for about 200-300$ per mat) for free from my local gym. Mind you I have been a member there for a while and know the athletics coordinator.

If you are good with your hands, you could buy some high density foam and vinyl from a local fabric store. Get some plywood from a lumber yard and make some mats. If you are interested in making them, I can give you a more detailed description. The only tool you will need will be a heavy duty staple gun.

I concur about the grass. I've wrestled a lot on the grass. It provides enough cushion if you know how to fall properly. If not, you can get hurt. Traction is a problem, even when the grass is dry and you will get very dirty. I would recommend wearing black clothing. You will certainly be limited depending on where you live and I would check the area for glass. I have done a lot of training on grass and have been cut by glass.
3/2/08 12:26:45PM

Posted by loonytnt

there are ways to make your own mat but idk if you got a space that you dont need because if you build this mat you cant move it

For the thread started, the home made mats I am thinking of can be stored, stacked and moved.
3/2/08 1:41:58PM
those jigsaw matts seem good but could we do takedowns?
3/2/08 7:19:33PM
I've been asked about making the home made mat.

Now, I have upholstered chairs, which is similar to this, but this specifically has not been tested by me. The nice thing is, all this stuff if bought in bulk so you can buy as much or little as you want. It's always best to try things out on a small scale and/or price out the materials and your time before you start this project. You might find that it costs almost as much as buying the mats.

For the large scale project

1) Find out where you want to put the mats. If it's outside, then your individual mat size will depend on what you can carry and store convieniently. If you are making them for inside, measure your area and divide it up in multiple sections (be sure to leave a little room for play)

2) Go to a local lumber yard (or even a Home Depot) and buy some bulk plywood. A good lumber yard will cut the wood for you. Keep in mind it is easier and cheaper to get plywood cut to size where there is no left over from the original piece. For example if the original piece is 12 feet x 9 feet, it would be easier to have that cut into six 6x3 foot pieces. Again, this will depend on issues talked about in 1)

3) Go to a fabric supply store and get some foam and vinyl. They will sell it off the roll so it is relatively cheap. You can buy as much as you need Talk to the people in the store about what vinyl will be durable enough for this project.

The foam should be thick enough such that when compressed it is pretty dense. You might be able to buy thinner and more dense foam so again, ask the people in the store.

4) Essentially you will use the plywood as a bas. Have the foam on the plywood and cover the foam and plywood with the vinyl, wrapping around the edges and stapling it to the back of the wood.

A lot of the old home weight or sit up benches do it this way. If you have one, take a look and see how they do it.

Now, there are a few things to keep in mind regarding this:

a) you will need to have a bigger piece of vinyl to wrap around the wood. Not only do you need enough extra to staple, but you may need to pull it tight with your fingers so you need enough extra to grab.

b) If you cannot get dense foam you may need to buy thick, less dense foam and attach it to the plywood in a compressed state. A way to do this would be getting your plywood and stapling the vinyl on one side. Put the foam on the top, gently pull the vinyl over top, get something heavy and flat to place on the compress the whole foam piece down. Now with the foam compressed, pull the vinyl tight and staple it. This is where a workbench or table will be useful as well as a partner.

c) keep in mind that vinyl must be pulled to the same extent on both sides otherwise you will have an uneven mat.

d) you will need a way to keep the edges of the mats from being lower than the middle. i.e. when you pull the vinyl tight it usually compresses the foam more at the edges of the mat. using more dense foam or method b) will minimize this. You could also build up the sides with foam so it gets even..... agian experiment on a small scale

e) Using double sided tape or contact cement can attach the foam to the plywood and prevent it from sliding around

f) It would be recommended to attach velcro to the sides of them mats to prevent them from sliding apart. Velcro can also be purchased from the fabric store.

With all that being being said, do these things first

i) find out what you want to do and determine how much material you need
ii) price out the material and your time and see what each mat will roughly cost. There is no sense in doing it if you don't save a considerable amount.
iii) if the project seems feasible, try some of the procedure on a smaller scale (like 1/10th or so) to get an idea of the problems and for practice.

All in all, I know this method will be successful in making decent mats if you have the hands to do it. However, I am not sure about the costs.

I hope this helps.

3/2/08 8:12:53PM
thanks a lot for the help rush, im definitely going to look into this. plywood's cheap. vinyl should be cheap. the only concern on $$ would be the foam. But from what I've read on other posts, you can get it for relatively cheap if you buy straight from the factory.

in addition to rush's post, I've done a little extra research:

-Plywood is cheap, shouldn't cost more than $50, or you're getting ripped off since it doesn't need to be high quality. Plywood is normally sold in sheets of 4'x8'. 1/4 inch is way to flimsy, but 1/2 inch should be perfect which costs about 15 dollars a sheet.
-PVC foam is whats used on factory made wrestling mats. Therefore if you have the money to buy that, you might as well just buy the factory mats since they are probably close in price.
-Poly-Lam foam is a feasable alternate, and very cheap. Normal pricing for a 4' x 8' x 1.5" sheet is roughly $30-40. Therefore you can get the foam for a 12x8 for roughly $100.
-Other types of foam I've heard about being usable for this project are Ethafoam, and Oletex foam.(I know nothing of either of these, just relaying from a google search. take it for what its worth)
-The vinyl is the tough part. You are going to need to find dimensions to cover the 3, 4'x8' parts shown above. The average cost for baby blue vinyl(i know, i know, baby blue? its the cheapest.) is $8.00 per yard(with a width of 54 inches). I don't know if you can buy partial yards, but i'm going to say its going to cost roughly $27 in vinyl to cover each of the parts.

That gives you a grand total of roughly $250 for supplies. It'll probably cost a little more since most likely you will mess up some part of it and have to buy extra. But still, thats about 1/2 the price of a normal 10x10.

Sorry those thoughts are jumbled together. I researched and calculated as i went. hope it helps. I haven't ever done this, but i'm gonna give it a try in a couple months when it starts to warm up.
3/3/08 8:37:09AM
craigslist.org is a good place to try and find mats.
I found 2 gym mats 4x6 for 70 bux.
3/3/08 1:17:02PM
For uk guys who for whatever reason dont want to train at a gym rent a hall at your local community centre, should only cost about £10 for an hour. They always have gym mats (the ones about an inch thick made of that high impact foam stuff, you know the ones you used at school)

Also i got to disagree with rush on this one, i make pro weight lifting equipment myself and this kind of bench style is totally inappropiate for a gym mat.

A decent slam will go straight through the foam that is used for gym benches and you will get injured. You need to use high impact foam (the stuff thats kind of rubbery with bubbles in) if you heart is set on making your own mat but it would be cheaper to just buy one.

Also using a wood base is just silly, yes it will make it easier to carry and give you a surface to staple the vinyl to but with high impact rubbr foam you dont need to cover with anything there really is no need for a base. All in all high impact rubber foam is the way to go if you have loads of dosh and you want a custom area fitted with no breaks in the mats for fingers to get stuck in.

The fact is you just cant do decent mats on a budget, its an invesment, £1000 on mats now may seem daunting but it will serve you well in the future. For stateside guys will probably even save you money in the long run taking into account the medical bills you will pay as a result of using sub standard matting.

The only advise i have for people who cant afford decent mats is go train at a gym, there all over the place now, there really is no reason not to go train, if you dont have a car, use public transport. The only reason i can think of is if your frightened to get in the lions den and put your ego at risk which if thats the case you have no place fighting at all.

Get in touch with a school supplier, they are much cheaper than the reguar suppliers. A 6" X 4" 1 inch matt will cost you about £70.

you will need roughly 10 feet square minimum so your looking at £250 at the very least.

Also as someone who makes pads for weightlifting equipment in the way rush suggests i can vouch for the fact that it is ridiculously expensive. It will cost you more to make a mat as rush suggests than to buy a decent mat new. Take ply wood for example, i bought 25m 10 foot by 4 foot piece recently to serve as a base for a olympic lifing platform, cost me £125!!! Then you have the foam and the vynil, again you would be suprised how much this stuff costs. A 6" by 4" mat as rush suggests would cost £150 easy!!
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