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Snowboard Materials & Construction | Fiber Glass | Foam Core

This article will give you general ideas of how Snowboards are Constructed and what they are made of. Although every Snowboard manufacturer has their own special trick when it comes to making their Snowboards, this section will discuss the basic formula on How to Make a Snowboard.

Snowboard Construction


What's in a Board? There are some Basic Components that go into the Construction of every Snowboard. Each Snowboard has a base, an outer edge, a core, and a topsheet. A good quality Snowboard will be constructed like a Ski - it has metal edges and a P-tex base. There are generally Two Types of Snowboard Construction: the Capped Snowboards and the Traditional Sandwich Construction.

In Capped Snowboards, the top sheet (outer skin) is pinched over the sides of the snowboard meeting the steel edge. On the other hand, the top sheet on Traditional Sandwich Construction is flat, with the armor plating on the sides provided by separate sidewalls.

Each Type of Snowboard is similarly constructed with exception to some tooling modifications. Some designers say that Cap Construction enhances edge hold on hard snow and generally improves board responsiveness. Others claim that caps are harder to repair if you damage the sidewall. Both types have their merits, keep in mind though that what really matters is the materials under the skin.

Snowshack: Ski & Snowboard Accessories
What's in a Board?


The eight main materials in a snowboard are the:
  • Topsheet with printed graphic
  • Fiber glass or epoxy
  • Wood or foam core
  • Steel inserts
  • Plastic base, (p-tex)
  • Metal edges
  • Resin System (glue)
  • Rubber Foil
Carbon fiber can be added along with other performance enhancing materials.

Layers of a Snowboard


A Snowboard is similar to a sandwich that is made up of many layers. What follows are the components of a snowboard from top to bottom:
  1. The top layer of a Snowboard is a protective plastic layer called a "topsheet." The topsheet does not only protect the insides of the Snowboard from damage and exposure to ultra-violet rays, it also provides a good surface for graphics. Although the material used for the topsheet can vary, there are basically two types of topsheets - the glossy and matte. Glossy topsheets usually come with sublimated graphics. On the other hand, matte topsheets in general have screened-on graphics.

  2. Inside the topsheet is a layer of "fiberglass". This fiberglass lies on top of the core.

  3. The Snowboard's "core", which lies beneath the fiberglass, is what the rest of the board is wrapped around with. The core makes up most of the thickness of the Snowboard. This is usually made of wood foam, honeycomb panels, or a combination of wood and other composite materials, with sets of metal inserts needed to mount bindings.

    Cores made from honeycomb are lightweight and are surprisingly strong. With a wood core, you can be assured of a smooth response and lively flex from the board. A foam core, in contrast, can sometimes loose its flex.

  4. Next is another layer of fiberglass, "fiberglass reinforced plastic" in particular. This provides stiffness and strength to the Snowboard.

  5. Following the fiberglass are steel edges. These edges surround the P-tex of the Snowboard, allowing the board to dig into the snow while turning. There are actually Two Kinds of Edges: partial steel edges that run only along the sides of the board, ending at the nose and tail, and edges that wrap all the way around both ends of the board.

  6. On the bottom is a layer of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene material commonly called "P-Tex." This is a dense, abrasion resistant plastic with low friction properties which provides the slippery surface that makes the Snowboard slide on snow surface. To keep your Snowboard running fast throughout the winter, you need to add wax to this base layer.

There are basically three different types of Snowboard bases - extruded, sintered, and graphite. Extruded bases are long lasting and easy to repair. However, they are the slowest type of base, and they hold less wax than the other types of bases. A sintered base is superior to the extruded base since it's more durable, faster, and can hold wax better. Then again, it's more expensive and difficult to repair. The graphite base, on the other hand, is the fastest type of Snowboard base and has a higher capacity to hold Wax. This type of Snowboard bases are always deep black and are mostly found on fast racing boards.

If you're looking for high performance, opt for a Snowboard with a sintered base. Then again, if you're on a tight budget, an extruded model will do.



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Article Comments
guarda
Thursday 2nd December 2004 at 11:40:34 AM  

I would like to know if it's possible to paint my board. What should I do to do it?
Thanks.

Joshua Wentz
Thursday 11th December 2008 at 10:04:43 PM  

The answer is yes! I just buit a split board, but before I did that, I sanded down the top and painted the board. It looks so professional... I couldn''t believe I found out how from an online site. What you need to do is go to an auto shop such as autozone, Schucks, etc... and buy what ever color you need in Dupli paint, and then buy the gloss finish. I took some pinstriping and painted the base silver with the pin stripe stickers and painted black over that and now my board is black with silver pin stripes... oh I put the gloss on after I took the pin stripe stickers off. Case and point... you can!

Kendall
Sunday 14th December 2008 at 8:13:52 PM  

looking to buy parts to assemble a snowboard, p-tex and inserts where would i buy them

john buckley
Thursday 1st January 2009 at 8:23:47 AM  

If the p-tex layer peels off can this be replaced or is it better to upgrade

kyle
Thursday 15th January 2009 at 3:16:07 PM  

where can i get these things so i could build my own board

Derek
Thursday 15th January 2009 at 5:50:09 PM  

yo kendall
how much do all the parts cost to make your own snowboard. i am doing a scool project and need to know how much all the parts cost?

marc
Tuesday 20th January 2009 at 6:36:47 AM  

hi, please could you give me details or contacts of where you buy metal edging from?? thanks, marc

Maddy
Saturday 14th February 2009 at 3:13:25 PM  

Hey, I need to make my own board for a school project too. Where can I get the materials? Thanks.

marc
Saturday 21st February 2009 at 6:07:50 AM  

hi, i would like to know where to buy metal edging from. Thanks

Braden
Monday 23rd February 2009 at 1:50:45 PM  

hey thanks for the idea. i was wandering if you would know where to get the materials i need to make one in Industrial Arts class at school thanks.

joe
Wednesday 15th April 2009 at 8:14:30 AM  

were can i get nasty bindings

John
Tuesday 28th April 2009 at 2:17:14 AM  

After the same info on where to buy materials from. Even better...- in the South Pacific?

Samuel
Sunday 20th September 2009 at 4:06:24 PM  

I want to make my own ride, but I don''t know where to buy the material I need.. could you help me with that??

Bryan
Monday 5th October 2009 at 8:49:42 PM  

Hey im doin a senior project and was just wonderin where I could get some of these materials. Thanks as soon as possible would be great

peter
Wednesday 28th October 2009 at 8:41:58 PM  

who discovered that you can go faster on soft snow?

clint
Thursday 3rd December 2009 at 5:49:02 PM  

does any one know where i can pick up the top sheets for fun boxes. i built a sick rainbow fun box frame and i need to get ahold of some lanex to put over top of it. Email me back with any info

Dylan
Thursday 10th December 2009 at 11:16:00 AM  

what are the steps to make a snowboard??? Thanks Dylan

Krompy
Thursday 14th January 2010 at 8:17:43 AM  

What website best explains the construction of the snowboard and how to build one??

bill
Thursday 21st January 2010 at 2:57:45 PM  

I am working on a project in college and i have to produce 3 products, one of my products happens to be a snow board. Luckily its my secondary product so i only have to break in down into 2 components. I chose a wood core and a fiber glass shell, i know there are more components, but DOES ANYONE KNOW AN ESTIMATE OF HOW MUCH A WOOD CORE AND THE FIBER GLASS WOULD BE TO PURCHASE???

dejan
Saturday 30th January 2010 at 5:56:15 AM  

After the same info on where to buy materials from.

wade
Tuesday 9th February 2010 at 5:26:35 PM  

how can i build a snowboard?

mdeburlet
Wednesday 17th February 2010 at 10:36:06 AM  

i want to design graphics for boards,do companies buy custom grapics?And is there a basic size for K2and freesytle boards?

shortboardroy
Tuesday 23rd February 2010 at 9:43:11 PM  

Hey guys, you all seem to be asking questions about making your own boads, i study composite engineering at uni so i thought i''d try and answer some common q''s. first off, unfortunately, in order to make a board of the same quality that you get from the leading manufacturers you need some pretty complex kit such as precision moulding tools and vacuum consolidation/ resin infusion stuff (without going into detail this is all to get stiffer/ higher performance lay-up). however i recon you could still make a half decent board the old skool way. in terms of materials your gunna need some UD glass and some ,- 90 glass matt plus a bit of surfboard (fine weave matt). You also need some polyester or epoxy resin, depending on your budget and weather you really care that much, (they actually have very similar tensile properties). As for the wood core I am not entirely sure but both hickory and maple are renowned for their flexural rigidity (hence skateboards and drum sticks) so that would be my best advice.
construction is almost explained in this article anyway and if you are not sure how to lay-up a laminate there are plenty of resorces online readily avaliable. In terms of material cost (from a bulk comsosit dealer) you are looking at a max of $40 however the steel inserts will have to be produced by hand and may take a 3-4 hours work.
following is (very basic) the lay-up schedual
p-tex
fine weave surboard glass mat
metal edges
UD glass
,-45 glass mat
wood core
,-45 glass mat
UD g;ass
fine weave surfboard glass mat
gelcoat

remember to keep your binding plates in place thoughout the lay-up process and remember to keep it quick and easy for yourself thelas thing you want is resin going off halfway through.
well this is a super rough guide and your gunna have to do some more research before you start but i hope this helps a little, cheers and keep riding guys ;)

sim
Wednesday 10th March 2010 at 9:58:18 AM  

so help full

Jenny
Monday 6th September 2010 at 11:11:17 PM  

i was just wondering, what exactly is the difference between epoxy and fiberglass in snowboards

mike
Wednesday 27th October 2010 at 7:37:07 AM  

where do you buy the metal edging

elbryceo
Wednesday 1st December 2010 at 11:33:45 AM  

id like to know how I can purchase cores and edging in bulk does anyone know?

Rudei
Thursday 23rd December 2010 at 11:53:37 AM  

If you are using a foam core you have to make sure that the polyester resin will not melt it. This is not the case with epoxy. If you want to have a glossy surface on the glassing then you will have to add wax to the polyester resin epoxy resin doesn''t need wax. Polester is cheaper but more dangerous to work with

Brad
Saturday 15th January 2011 at 11:10:43 AM  

so ive got this burton dominant that i just cant bring myself to turf. The base or the p-tex i guess would be what its called is peeling off and i want to kno if theres any way to fix it. other then that the board is in mint shape.

TIM
Thursday 24th March 2011 at 5:20:42 PM  

i''m trying to build my own board. got some material from http://www.iplasticsupply.com/ and it''s coming out great. hopefully i can finish it before the season is over!

Someone
Thursday 11th August 2011 at 12:32:22 PM  

Hey guys, if ya want to build your own snowboard... Search on google, ya''ll find all the information you''ll need. But to build your snowboard ya need a press (4000kg), and some work and patience.
-;-;> graf snowboard is a good website...

kathie
Friday 16th September 2011 at 8:57:44 PM  

what is my Rage Quantum Woodcore snow board worth? it is in good condition

Max
Wednesday 5th October 2011 at 2:46:10 PM  

I build my own snowboards, splitboards, and skis. If you have any questions feel free to email me at max@gnarworkshop.com

Check out the Gnar at www.gnarworkshop.com

Ryan
Tuesday 18th October 2011 at 2:26:30 PM  

I am very interested in learning every aspect of building snowboards from scratch. I am a hands on learner. I want to have some one show me in the flesh. Step by step. Anybody know anybody who would be interested in teaching me a course? I would pay...Email me rcpatrick0@gmail.com

Tom
Tuesday 1st November 2011 at 8:48:26 AM  

go to a site called boardcrafted.com they telll u how to do every thing. there is a software u get from it the is $15 (Au) to buy. the guy teel u how to build it from start to finish. the also supply all the stuff to make it.

jjjjvjgjvgfjfg
Tuesday 8th November 2011 at 3:26:21 PM  

kooooooooooooll

Logan
Wednesday 14th December 2011 at 8:35:40 AM  

www.grafsnowboards.com is the website you will find all your materials on. It will cost an estimate of $110.00. Click on the suppliers tab and you can order the materials from there.

BUBBA
Tuesday 3rd January 2012 at 8:29:16 AM  

DIS WEBSIT IS GUUD

bobby
Thursday 26th January 2012 at 2:11:59 PM  

i made a snowboard and for got the wooden core do i still need the wooden core

Ryan
Wednesday 15th February 2012 at 9:20:52 PM  

The ptex base is starting to peel of on the tip any way to glue it back down


 
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