What makes a board "softer"? (Board-killer LOL)

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What makes a board "softer"? (Board-killer LOL)

Postby simima » Thursday 20 September 2007, 8:53

A question to the material tech pros here (maybe it's in the wrong forum category, but I don't know better).

What makes a board softer? I mean, does a board get softer with time (=much boarding), or does it keep the "stiffness" (flexibility) but the board gets "flat"?

What happens with much ridden SWOARDS, and what happens with other boards?

Has anybody tried to change flexibility or the shape of a board by heating (=softening the resin)? What if a board is heated to much during waxing? What if force is applied to a hot board?

-Simon
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some answers

Postby nils » Thursday 20 September 2007, 9:48

the resin used for snowboards: its epoxy, that is softening with temp above 65-70°. If you heat the board after its built, it will be able to change for example the camber, or nose height etc ( in a press). If you do this when u are waxing, there is risks that air bubbles appear between base and fiberglass, causing delamination of the base and fragility, this is why its advisable not to overheat when waxing ( as a rule i touch the opposite side, and it should be warm but never burning the hand( max of 35-40° felt on top)).

Now camber loss: it is usually due to the core materials: foam cores tend to get tired pretty fast and loose camber and juice after 3-4 weeks of continuous use. Wood cores last much longer, but again, it is so many wood qualities that it can change too...
We are using the best woodcores we found by testing: spruce and ash.. It is very resistant to use and the boards usually dont loose camber this way.
There is a few small brands that pre-bend the cores before pressing ( the wood is already cambered before press).. i am not sure if it really makes the camber stronger...

Flex is made by changing core thickness, and if a board becomes soft with time it is because the core is tired or has a defect... it is very very rare case!
I have still my first generation Swoard, and use it a few times each season to see how it behaves compare to newer gen... it has not lost a single mm of camber, and flex has not changed...:)

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Postby rilliet » Thursday 20 September 2007, 12:41

In the first Swoard prototypes, years ago, we used poplar cores (99% of the wood cores on the market).
With the ATC Matrix improvements and the resulting increase of edge grip, I started to loose camber in shorter time duration. At the end, I was able to "decamber" such a board in one day only (with strong Ec riding). That's why we had to change and found the core we use today.

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Postby Vitaly » Thursday 20 September 2007, 13:51

what camber of Swoard board is normal?
How many mm?
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depends

Postby nils » Thursday 20 September 2007, 13:57

depends on the flex, on the gen ( 1-2-3) etc.... can vary between 10mm to 18-20mm.... frankly i have tried a board with very low camber and i did not feel much difference in riding.... Gen1 had the most camber compare to now and gen2
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Postby Vitaly » Thursday 20 September 2007, 14:04

is it fix parameter for a new board or no?
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theorically yes

Postby nils » Thursday 20 September 2007, 14:39

but a board can come out of a press with a few mm less, or more than the next one... we are not replicating plastic parts, but using wood cores that is "alive" with various fibers that are always different... it means even in the same industrial heavypress, same resin quantities etc you can find small differences.... so there is no rule....
Besides i'm not sure it is that important too in a board... i think camber importance is overrated and lots of people think the more camber the better the board... We could output a board with 3cm camber and it would be so grippy in the nose that no one would be able to release from turns etc...It is nice to have...a compromise between comfort and bite...This is also the reason why the extremecarver nose is so particular :)

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Postby Vitaly » Thursday 20 September 2007, 14:55

Thnx! :)
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In my self-made board....

Postby simima » Friday 21 September 2007, 12:42

For my first and only self-made board, I used a wood core, too., but I don't remember what kind it was... (but I remember that I got a few parts from Stöckli).
The result was pretty pleasing (it was kind of a longboard, I invented everything from shape to camber myself). However, the board has a rather poor torsion stiffness (if that's the right expression), so real hard carving isn't possible (you would find that nose and tail would align with the piste :-/ ).

The board still exists, and I use it mainly for powder, off-piste....

But since then I know how difficult it is to make a board a) that works b) that lasts...

-Simon

P.S. I totally concur with your opinion that camber isn't so important. Precisely what I think.
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