Surfing on snow?
Hochschule Munchen self-directed project
Living in Munich with world class snow in my back yard I had to experiment with alternative forms of snowboarding. I took inspiration from Äsmo GentemStick Bataleon and Grassroots which are companies led by experienced snowboarders from Austria, Japan and America searching for a new way to ride powder. They call this new snow craft a powsurf or snowsurf, which is essentially a bindingless directional snowboard with a 3 dimensional base similar to that of a skateboard. Some of the existing boards use magnets in the grip pad and boots or ropes for stability.
The process in making my powsurf is similar to that of skateboard manufacturing with multiple layers of veneers layered in a way that gives strength and flexibility. I experimented with different core and base materials as well as a few types of grip pads.
The final prototype was made from Canadian maple, layered on top of a custom foam mold and pressed using a 5 ton vacuum press. This gives the veneers the 3d base shape you see in the photos above. It is then cut to the right shape and fiberglass is added to the base. Once sanded and polished the cork grip pad is added. Cork is naturally hydrophobic so the snow doesn’t stick.
I added a leash for safe keeping and found a ski racing wax which can be applied evenly to the 3d base.
When testing day came I ran up the hill like a kid on their first snow day to be immediately disappointed by the first board which was pretty much a snow plow. I found that a combination of size, varnish type and core material attributed to its inability to plane. The second one shot off like a rocket but turning was a bit difficult as it had a flat base. The final prototype is still yet to be tested as I only finished it a few days before coming back to New Zealand. Stay posted..
It was pretty cool to have the project published in DOC Magazine, Thanks to Christoph Julien and Ben for the photos and the write up.