By Darren Dolezel — Rattling Chains staff
It’s been a while since I got creative with disc golf. Finally, I found time to make something I had been wanting to do for a while.
With a lot of discussion about urban disc golf and where we could shoot, I started thinking about all the features in New York’s Central Park. I wanted to figure out where we might be able to put a basket.
One of the things that draws me to that magnificent park is all ponds and water. That made me wonder — how could I place a basket and get a full view of the famous boat house. Then it dawned on me — a floating basket.
After thinking about it for a week or two, I broke out some tools and went to work.
As frivolous as I can be at times, I like to create stuff out of junk as kind of a way to recycle. I took an old piece of plywood from the scrap pile and cut it to a measurement of 4 feet by 3 feet. I then drilled 16 holes around the outside edges, giving me a spot to push string through. That would give me the base and the ability to attach an inner tube.
However, I still had to find an inner tube big enough to pull this off. That turned out to be easier said than done.
I visited a recycling plant in Brooklyn. The place takes tires and I found a tube that had been for an industrial loader. It had a few holes, but with some patching, it worked just fine. Once inflated, I realized how big it was — nearly six feet in diameter.
After placing the slightly inflated tire on the board, I used a 3/8th-inch nylon rope to tie it to the plywood. After it was all tied up, I inflated the tube the rest of the way, at least until the ropes were snug.
I placed the base of the basket in the middle of the tube, connecting to the plywood with industrial zip tied. I then put the rest of the basket together.
Now came the fun part — testing it.
I needed to find a place where I could have control of it to be able to test its stability. The only spot I could find was a beach in Brooklyn.
There was some curiosity and some questions about this contraption I was looking to place in the water. Some thought I had a buoy, others thought it was some sort of a BBQ grill. When I told them it was for disc golf, most asked what the sport was all about.
The basket was placed in the water and it was a success. Well, that was until a boat went by and the wake it created flipped the basket over. When I turned it back over, the basket was gone. No worries, though, as I found it, though it was covered in seaweed and mud and had a not-so-nice smell.
With a knowledge of boats, I realized this needed ballast — used for stability. So I found some plastic bags blowing around, which seems to be common at times in Brooklyn. I filled them with sand and put them by the base of the basket, and viola, it seemed to be fixed. I waited it out a bit and, finally, another boat came by and the wake didn’t tip the basket.
In all, it seems like a success. You just have to remember to use light discs, preferably 150 grams or lighter, in hopes of having them be able to float!
Darren Dolezel is the resident creative guy at Rattling Chains. He often finds odd objects to turn into items useful for disc golf. He’ll share these items occasionally at Rattling Chains. If you have an idea you think Darren should try, e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.