How To Make A Snowboard
Ever wonder how a snowboard is made? This summer, we took a trip to China to visit our Manufacturers and we were able to make our own custom Snowboard Addiction Pow Boards.
(Narating: Nev Lapwood, Filmer: Jesse-Ray Townsend, Filmed at: Vision Sports)
These are currently not in production, but you never know what can happen. We made these boards on the fly, on the last day of our trip, and with only the materials available on hand. We have built up and broken down the construction of our one of a kind Snowboard Addiction Pow boards to show you how it's done.
All About That Base
For the bases of these snowboards, we used a sintered base. We also used a dye cut graphic for the bases. Meaning, that the bases are actually made from two different materials; a black base material and a white base material. The shapes of the letters and logo are cut out of both the white and black materials and then get put together like a jig saw puzzle.
This machine can precisely cut any design.
The Core Ingredients
The wood core of these snowboards were cut out by a computer controlled machine, then the sidewall material is applied. After the core has bonded with the sidewall material, the core is then put into a grinder to create the specified dimensions, thickness and taper. The wood used for the cores is Poplar, which is the most commonly used wood in snowboards and what we use in our Tramp Boards.
The core of the snowboard with the sidewall material attached.
Have you ever wondered what holds a snowboard together? Or why some snowboards have more flex than others? The flex of a snowboard can be determined by the core, but also by the amount of fibreglass that is used on either side. In between the top sheet, core, and base are layers of fibreglass and resin. The more layers of fibreglass a board has, the stiffer it will be.
The layer of fibreglass layer must be completely covered in resin.
Regardless of how many layers the board has, it still requires a decent amount of resin to glue the layers together.
When making the top sheet for these snowboards, we used a method called digital printing. Digital printing is a quick way to generate graphics with great detail. For the top sheet graphics of our snowboards, we used the graphics from our Tramp Board:
Our new Tramp Board Graphic.
and our Jib Board:
Our new Jib Board graphic.
To align with the graphics of the Jib and Tramp Boards, we made the snowboard with the Jib Board graphic stiffer than the snowboard with the Tramp Board graphic.
The Sandwich Press
This is the machine that cooks all the layers of your snowboard, and sandwiches them together. It's actually called Sandwich construction. The machine uses hot air and intense pressure to bond all the layers together. The snowboard will be in the press for roughly 15 minutes.
The snowboard sandwich press.
A Diamond In The Rough
Once the board is finished in the press and the layers are bonded, there are only a couple more steps that need to be done before you can take it to snow.
Firstly, the excess materials need to be cut off the board. This is done by hand, using a ban-saw. With the ban-saw, you use the snowboard's edge as a guideline.
Ear plugs are recommended...
Secondly, the edges will need to be sanded down. There are two types of sanding methods done on a snowboards edge, a rough sand, then finished of with a smooth sand.
This board is going to be fire.
Thirdly, a base grind is needed to smoothen out the base.
Making the base smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy.
For the swallow tail, we needed to cut out the tail with something called a CNC machine. The CNC is a precision cutter, and it was needed because the tail on these boards do not have edges.
Because there is no metal edge on the tail, we need to use a precision cutter.
Once everything has bonded, been cut and smoothed out, you end up with a snowboard ready to be ripped.
Which graphic do you like more?
And there you have it, how to make a snowboard! We hope that this sheds some light on the BTS of snowboarding and gives you a new appreciation for how much effort and manual labour goes into each snowboard.
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