An agility jump is probably the easiest obstacle you can make, and since they retail for several times the material cost, you can save a lot of money while you're at it. Here, I'll show two methods for creating a jump base. Ideally, you should make the jumps entirely out of 1-inch PVC to make them up to competition standard, but 3/4-inch PVC is fine for practice and will be a bit cheaper. If you don't have one already, you will also need a PVC pipe cutter (about $15) or you can use a small hacksaw. If you're planning on making multiple jumps at the same time, you can also use a miter saw with a stop block and make several very quickly.
Method One: $15
You can get all you need for this version of a jump base from your local Home Depot or Lowes, but will have a bar a few inches from the bottom of the jump and the poles don’t stand vertically on their own.
For this method, you need about 14 ft of PVC. Plumbing “Schedule 40” PVC is perfectly acceptable for jumps and will hold up excellently in just about any weather so you can keep your jumps outside.
- 4x 12 in. for the legs
- 2x 30 in. for the uprights
- 1x 50 in. for the lower cross bar
- 2x 1.5 in. for the connectors
You’ll also need the following connectors or PVC fittings. Make sure you get the same size fitting as the pipe you get.
- 6x Slip end caps
- 4x “Tee” fittings
Once you’ve got all your pipe cut, all you need to do is connect the pipe to the fittings as shown in the diagram below. For jumps, there’s no need to use any cement, as the fit will be snug enough on its own.
Method Two: $25
This method is a little easier to put together and more portable, but you need to order a special 5-way PVC fitting that I haven’t found at hardware stores, but you can get many places online for about $2.50 each (you will need two of them).
You’ll need about 10 ft of PVC to make this jump.
- 2x 30 in. for uprights
- 8x 7.5 in for legs
You’ll also need the following fittings:
- 10x Slip end caps
- 2x 5-way fittings
You can probably figure out how these pieces go together, but here’s the diagram for completeness.
Once you’ve built your jump, figure out what kind of jump cups to get (hint: just buy these). If you’re planning on building multiple jumps, do the math on materials beforehand as it can be cheaper depending on how many you make. Now that you have an awesome jump, get another piece of PVC about 48 inches long, make it colorful with some vinyl tape and have fun!