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Skiboard Construction - Misc. Info

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  • Skiboard Construction - Misc. Info

    I started doing some research today into the various materials that goes into a skiboard and found a wealth of information. What started this was comparing the Summit Maurader 125 vs the Lacroix Carbon 125, with the Maurader using p-tex 4000 vs. Lacroix using p-tex 2000. Therefore, I think it could be helpful to start some threads about the materials used.

    This thread wraps up what I found about construction other than the topics already written:

    Running length/Effective edge: The total length is the tip-to-tail length, usually along the surface of the board (not the chord length). Running length is the length along the edge that will be in contact with the ground when laid flat, between the upturned nose and tail sections. Effective edge is the length of the edge in contact with the snow when the board is decambered in a turn, and is usually a bit longer than running length, since a small segment of the edge in the upturned nose and tail can be used as part of the sidecut. For carving, effective edge is the most important edge length measurement. A board with more effective edge provides more grip and therefore more stability at high speeds, but is more sensitive to chopped up terrain.

    Longer boards are also faster, because the force is spread over a greater length. Shorter boards tend to be more squirrelly at high speed, but are more maneuverable, provide better response, and are somewhat more forgiving. If you need to skid your way down a section that you can't carve, it will be more difficult on a longer board.

    The bases of boards tend to warp a little over time, usually becoming more concave (edge high), and must be flattened with a belt sander. In addition, some boards tend to warp significantly as a result of temperature changes; the base may be flat at room temperature, then warp into a concave shape when you are on the slope. For this reason, it's not too terribly important to attempt to achieve a perfectly flat base when you get a base grind.

    The camber of a board is the natural lengthwise concave curvature of the base. If you lay the board flat on the ground, the middle of the board will be elevated by 1 to 2 cm. Along with board stiffness, the camber is what gives the feeling of snap to the board. If a board loses its camber, it will feel dead. It's important to identify when your board has lost its camber, so that you can replace it before it starts to impact your carving performance. You can measure the camber by placing the board base-down on a flat surface and observing how much force is necessary to flatten it. It's a good idea to measure this camber-force when you get a new board, so that you can monitor any loss of camber.

    Torsional stiffness is the resistance to twisting along the length of the board. You can get a very rough measure of the torsional stiffness by clamping the tail of the board between your feet and trying to twist the nose with your hands. A more torsionally stiff board does two things:

    It can better transmit force to the edge, which provides better edge hold on ice and more stability at speed. If you are looking for a board that holds an edge well on groomed ice, high torsional stiffness is the most important factor.

    It can prevent the board from twisting, and therefore prevent the nose and tail of the board from trying to carve different radius arcs, which can reduce skidding or chattering on heel side.

    Soft in the nose: Some boards are soft in the nose, allowing the nose to flex more easily to provide better flotation in powder, and to absorb the shock of bumps and crud. However, if you carve aggressively with a board that is soft in the nose, you risk putting too much weight on the nose as you shift your weight forward to enter a turn, which can cause the nose to catch on the slope and "fold over", bending like a hinge. Folding the nose can launch you into a cartwheel, and possibly break the board. Some boards have a very nonlinear nose response - they seem to have a hard nose until you push them past a certain point, when the nose gives out completely.

    Width: A narrow board will allow you to change edges quickly, and will be easier to turn, especially when doing cross-under movements. But narrow boards are somewhat more difficult to balance, and don't provide as much leverage. When riding off-piste, your want a wider board, such as an all-mountain board which provides more maneuverability to help navigate around the crud.

    A lively board is more nimble, and will provide snappy tail spring at the end of each turn to launch you into the next turn so that you get a trampoline effect. You can also "pump" the board at each turn to tap into the energy. A lively board requires a little more skill to handle, since the energy can throw you if you don't handle the rebound. A lively board is ideal to have on perfect, groomed snow. However, it will not hold quite as well on ice or crud, and is slightly more susceptible to chattering and skidding, since it transmits all the energy from bumps in the terrain.

    A damp provides better edge hold on ice because it's "quieter," it can absorb bumps in the terrain, and you are less likely to experience chattering. However, damp boards generally have less tail spring to launch you into the next turn.

    You can get an indication of the tail spring by holding the tip of the board off the ground with one hand and bracing the tail on the floor with your foot. Then, with your other hand, flex the board and see how fast it springs back.

    Last edited by BrklynCarver; 02-26-2008, 08:51 PM.
    Edward in NYC

  • #2
    Good info.


    Spruce 120s(x2), ALPs(x3), Lacroix 99's, BWPs.


    Pro Prime Riser/Rossi Bindings(x2).


    • #3
      very important information and the first time I have all seen it put in one place and applied to skiboards ... Ed you have done a fabulous job and provided a most excellent resource for us all ..
      Boards :
      Blunt Xl, DLP, Spliff, Condor, Rockered Condor , Slingshot, Sherpa, Icelantic Shaman
      K2 BFC 100 Grip walk sole , Dynafit CR Radical AT boot, Ride Insano Snowboard boots
      Zero Pro Non release Binding
      Modified Receptor Backcountry Bindings (Bill Version and Slow Version)
      Spruce Riser with Attack 14 GW /AT binding
      Custom Risers with Fritschi Backcountry Bindings (Jeff Singer version 1, Bill version)
      Rocker and Sbol Soft Boot Bindings.


      • #4
        Thank you for this info, greatly appreciated!
        Revel8 Revolts 'trees' with Rocker Bindings