What’s Inside a Snowboard?
The snowboard has quite an amazing history of development. Snowboards are much more complex than they used to be 30 years ago and they have been tailored specifically to boarding styles, the rider’s physique, and riding conditions. There are many layers within the structure of a snowboard that do unique jobs in order to hold and perform as expected.
Within a snowboard there are 8 layers pressed together. The list of materials include:
* Top sheet with graphic
* Fiber Glass
* Wood Core
* Steel Edges
* Resin System (Glue)
* Rubber Foil
Sometimes carbon fiber is added to one of these layers to enhance the board’s performance. Let’s talk about what is the job of each layer. The first layer is the graphic that boarders pick out for eye candy. This layer can be glossy or matte and depending on this it differs how the graphic is applied. For glossy tops, it is burned into the scratch resistant plastic. The top layer also protects the innards of the board from becoming damaged from the sun. The next layer in the board is the wood core. Sometimes a foam core is used, but wood is preferred because it has a better ability of holding flex. The wood core makes up the shape and thickness of the board and directly affects the weight and gliding of the board. Fiber glass is used over and under the wood core to make the board stiffer, stronger and allows the board to keep its proper shape. The stainless steel inserts are integrated directly within the wood core. The bindings on a board are mounted onto the steel inserts.
The next layer are the steel edges. These are placed either the whole way around board or only on the edges of the board. These steel edges allow the rider to have the ability to dig into the snow while turning.
The last 2 layers of glue and rubber foil go hand and hand with each other. The resin system is a 2 part epoxy mixing system. Once the resin is mixed there is only a certain amount of time until it starts to become hardened. Without the proper type of resin used the board’s integrity would degrade over time. Without the rubber foil the resin could crack near the steel edges from collisions or other impacts.
After each of these layers are cut to shape they are placed into the mold. It is heated and pressed for 15 minutes. Final finishing touches are performed on the board such as grinding the edges and cutting off excess fiberglass. The snowboard as we know it is now complete and ready for someone to ride!