Posted in DIY Obstacles, Gear reviews, Training

DIY Obstacles aka creating a home made OCR rig

How I have my “Rig” attached has changed. The new configuration can be seen by clicking the picture. Everything else has stayed the same. After 1 year of use all of the attachments are still performing as good as new.


Since I’m tired of falling off rigs while Luke sails across, I figured that I needed to do something to raise my odds a little bit.  Since I don’t have a big enough bank account to buy my own rig, I decided I might as well create my own.

I thought the best way to do this is to enlist Luke to help design and build the obstacles. So that is what I did.  His thought was that we needed a combination of ball holds, pipe holds, rings and ropes and about 10-12 of them in total. Those seem to be some of the more common grips on the rigs, so I figured that this would be a pretty good start. So after a quick trip to to price out some of the items we need, I decided there has to be a better way.


The following is for information only. I can not guarantee that any of this is safe and you should only attempt creating obstacles and training on them at your own risk.


So here is our solution. A combination of trips to Home Depot, Target and Amazon.

Grip Hangars

This is a combination of rope and chain connectors. We picked a 100′ foot length at Home Depot. The rope is 1/2″ thick and has a working load of 310 lbs. That is twice our weight, so even with dynamic loading it should be plenty strong. The connectors have a working load of over 1,000 lbs so they are even safer. And Luke swears that the knots he found on the internet will not pull out. They are some super special high strength knot. I will find the details and post them.

Each of the hangars is about 8 feet long so they can be easily looped over the beams that you seen in the top photo and the videos at the bottom. The connectors ran about $5 each and the rope was about $25.

Total cost – $50 for eight hangars



The pipes also came from Home Depot. They are cut from a 4 foot length of pine dowel and are threaded with 3/8″ x 4″ long eye bolts. I drilled a small pilot hole to start the bolt and then we threaded the bolts all the way in to the dowel. These seem quite sturdy, but we will keep an eye on them as time goes on. A hardwood like oak, may have been a better choice but we will find out. The other thing that is was a bit unusual was that the eye bolts had a disclaimer on them, “Not for use in hanging a human” a weird translation to say the least. Eye bolts $2, Dowel $8

   Total cost – $16 for four pipes



What could be easier that getting some softballs, eye bolts and washers? So Luke got the drill and ran a hole right through the center of the balls (if you do this make sure the hole is smaller than the shaft of the eye bolt so you need to thread it through) and then we threaded the eye bolt straight through the ball. Once it came out the other side, he slipped on a washer and the two nuts, tightened the nuts against each other and screwed the eye bolt back until the washer was snug to the ball. Cost – Balls $11 for four, nuts and washers $5 total

Total Cost – $16 for four balls



This was the easiest of all. Buy 20 feet of the thickest manila rope at the big HD. Turned out that was 1 inch diameter. At $1.30 a foot that came to $26

Total cost – $26



The plan was to go to the kids play set section of Target and buy some rings and tie them to the ropes, but, as occasionally happens to my plans they don’t work. So the next best option is to go to Amazon and get some rings. This raised the price and now the rings bumped the chain connectors out of the “most expensive part” title. The cost of the rings came in a $25 a pair, with the hanging straps included. We wanted four rings so we ordered to pairs.

Total cost – $50


So at the end of the day we can now mix and match these grip testing obstacles

  • 4 softballs
  • 4 pipes
  • 4 rings
  • Ropes

The final cost for it all was about $160. A bit more than I had hoped to spend, but still far less than if we purchased all of it from Amazon or any  other place.

Plus if we bought it already assembled Luke and I would  have lost out on the fun of planning and building all of this.

So once we got most of it assembled (the rings were still in transit) Luke couldn’t wait to try it out.  So it took it over to what will be our normal training area for a test run and shot the videos. It should only get better once we have the rings to add.

The rig in action.

Run 1

Run 2

I am looking forward to the day I can do this!

One thought on “DIY Obstacles aka creating a home made OCR rig

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s