Snowboards Materials and Construction Techniques

Snowboards use alot of different materials in their construction, each with PROS and CONS for each…..Wood is used alot as a basic core material as its easy to work with and has good history and reliable qualities…Alot of the higher quality boards are being built with end grain laminated wood cores which gives you a much stronger core…

Some other core materials are honeycomb and foam cores for lighter , stiffer snowboards used for racing , high speed…Their flex is not as good and are used for their vibration damping qualities.

Fiberglass matte and cloths , carbon fibers and other high tech materials such as Kevlar and graphite may also used in conjunction with the core materials and as are usually laminated to the core on both sides or one side depending on design with laminating resin or epoxy…

The core and fibreglass sandwich are then capped with a top sheet that overlays the graphics on the top of the board…There is a whole science based around the different types of cloth and resins used for boards…You want a board that uses the best possible matte or cloth for the type of board you want to ride…

There are two basic ways to laminate a snowboard….the sidewall method or the capped method….each has its advantages for different types of design …A capped board has the top cap wrapped over the sides to the steel rails, it allows for lighter and more responsive boards..its used in lots of freestyle boards , light weight boards, inexpensive boards..

The sidewall methods use layers of fibreglass and carbon fiber that have a tough sidewall attached between the topcap and the steel rails. These boards tend to be a bit heavier but handle well at higher speeds and have less chatter… the downside is they may not initiate turns as fast due to weight…

Burton has a hybrid system that combines the best of both methods together. Burton hybrid board construction and come on back and check out a few top burton snowboards available out there.

BOARD RAILS and INSERTS…

Stainless steel is almost always used for rails and binding inserts as it resists corrosion, …Steel rails and inserts are a must have for a good board.
If a board doesn’t have steel side rails…DON’T buy it ….even for kids…see the kids boards section.

BASE MATERIALS…

The bases of a board are of 3 different snowboard types, usually p-tex extruded bases for lower priced boards, because its inexpensive and easy to fix when damaged…

The higher end base material is called sintered p-tex , it is way tougher and can take more punishment, but it is more expensive and alot more difficult to fix after you mess it up…The sintered base can also hold more wax and for much longer which is another reason it is popular…

Theres a hybrid base called sintruded which is a newer type of base that has some abilities of both the other two types in general…I have not seen it very often…

Some boards also have graphite added to the sintered base material for a very slick and fast surface. These will be found in high end and racing boards…Most snowboard review data I have read doesnt justify paying a premium price for graphite unless you are race oriented…

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