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SNOWBOARDS Overview, History, and Equipment Greg Leonard Micah Emmitt
History Of Snowboarding • Pioneer of Snowboarding is unknown • Originated around the late 1950’s by a few skateboarding/surfing enthusiasts • Led to the innovation of the “Snurfer” in the 1960’s, which was a cross between a sled and a skateboarding deck • Immediately frowned upon by skiers • Led to Snurfing “Off Piste”, or off the groomed ski slopes • Started to become more popular in the 70’s and 80’s • Dimitri Milovich and Jake Burton Carpenter came up with new Snowboard designs and materials • Led to the modern Snowboard, Boots, and Bindings we are familiar with today
History of Snowboards “The Snurfer”
Snowboards vs. Skis • 1983 – Less than 10% of ski resorts allowed Snowboarding • By 1997, few resorts around the world excluded snowboarding • Since 1997, the number of skiers has declined by 25% • The percentage of people who snowboard has increased by 77% since 1997 • Snowboarding is the fastest growing winter sport in the US today • Today, approximately 3. 4 million people in the US Snowboard • The number of people that snowboard is predicted to outnumber the people that ski by 2015
Modern Day Snowboard Construction • Constructed of several layers of different materials • Bottom layer is UHMW (ultra-high molecular weight) polyethylene – commonly called P-Tex (Brand Name) • P-Tex base is surrounded by steel edges so the board will dig into the snow while turning • Next comes a fiberglass layer that provides strength and stiffness to the board • The center of the board is a wooden or foam core that makes up most of the thickness of the board. • The core contains metal inserts where the bindings will later be attached • Another layer of fiberglass sits on top of the core • The top is a protective layer of plastic called a “top sheet”
How the Layers are Put Together • Each layer is put into a mold in the shape of a Snowboard which acts like a waffle iron • Each layer is held together by an Epoxy glue • The mold is closed and the layers are cooked together for approximately 30 min. • This process cures the adhesive, causing the liquid glue to harden • The board is then removed from the mold and the excess glue and material is scraped off • A thin layer of wax is applied to the bottom of the board and it is ready to ride
3 Types of Snowboards 1. Free. Ride/All-Mountain Board 2. Freestyle/Technical Board 3. Carving/Alpine Board 1. There is no such thing as a “bad board”. Even the lowest-quality boards of today are superior to boards made 5 years ago. 2. Snowboarding mainly depends on the rider’s ability
Free. Ride/All-Mountain Board • This is the best board for beginners • Most popular type of board; accounts for over ½ of all Snowboard sales today • This is the “go anywhere, do anything” board. It is designed for people who want to enjoy all aspects of the mountain • These boards are soft and flexible so they are easy to maneuver • They are fairly light so they have good lift-off for jumping • These boards are not as stable for carving as an Alpine board
Freestyle/Technical Boards • Popular among young riders- also a good beginner board • Designed for performing tricks, spins, and jumps; everything found in the snow park • These bards are shorter, lighter, and they are the most flexible board so they are the easiest to maneuver • These boards are also the easiest to turn • They have limited edge grip and limited stability, which makes them difficult for carving or going fast • Because of their design, these boards are the most forgiving
Carving/Alpine Boards • Narrow, stiff board designed for fast direction changes • Not made for doing tricks • Usually a longer board that allows for better stability when riding in fresh powder snow • Excellent boards for quick edge changes and fast downhill speeds • Less forgiving on turns, so not good boards for beginners • Usually the most expensive boards
Snowboard Characteristics • Length- the board should come between your nose and chin when standing up on the ground • Width- usually depends on your foot size; the board should be wide enough so your toes or heels don’t dig into the snow when turning • Weight- lighter rider = lighter board, and vice versa • Price- anywhere from $99 to $700, depending on what you want to (and can) spend • Graphics- many people consider this very important because it is a personal reflection of themselves • Graphics should be considered only after all other characteristics are taken into account, but this rarely happens. Most people buy a certain board because it looks cool
Snowboard Sizing Chart
Snowboard Bindings • • The primary function of Snowboard Bindings is to transfer the movement of your body to the board in the most efficient manner There are 3 types of Snowboard Bindings: 1. Step-In Bindings 2. Strap-On Bindings 3. Flow-In Bindings
Step-In Bindings • Allow your boot to attach to your board simply by stepping down and clicking into it • Best for beginners because it is the easiest way to attach to your board • Require Step-In Boots which are harder and stiff because you don’t have support from straps • Not good for tricks or advanced riding because of lack of support • Forces a limited selection of boots
Strap-On Bindings • Original and most popular type of Snowboard Binding • This is because they are easily adjustable, more secure, and usually more comfortable • Nowadays, these bindings are being made of lighter and stronger materials • On the back there is a Highback Plate which supports the heel • On the front there are 2 or 3 straps (3 straps is uncommon) that support the toe • Less convenient for beginners because they have to sit down to strap their board on. However, once you become more experienced, you can strap in while standing • Can use softer, more comfortable boots because the straps provide all the support
Flow-In Bindings • Newer Hybrid version of Step-In and Strap-On Bindings • Have the ease of a Step-In and the support of a Strap-On Binding • Consists of a back plate lever that flips backward • You slide your foot forward into the binding and fold up the back plate • These bindings are harder to adjust than Strap-On Bindings
Snowboard Boots • Everyone has a different foot- so everyone prefers a different boot • Harder, less flexible boots are used with Step-In Bindings • Softer, flexible, and generally more comfortable boots are used with Strap-On/Flow-In Bindings • Want your boot to be warm, waterproof, and comfortable • Too small of a boot will cause your feet to hurt • Too big of a boot is a problem because you will experience heel lift- puts a gap between your foot and the board, which leads to less-responsive turning
Other Snowboard Equipment • Leash- strap that attaches your front boot directly to your board; required by most ski resorts to avoid runaway boards • Stomp-Pad- textured pad that you stand your back foot on while coming off the chairlift • Jackets/Pants/Gloves- main concerns are warmth and waterproof • Goggles- avoid glare from snow, UV protection, and keeps the wind out of your eyes
Evaluation: It is entirely up to YOU.
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