Sunday, June 28, 2009

An equalizer side cut - Salomon

I was reading different interviews from the snowrev website and I really enjoy when product director from Snowboard companies take the time to explain the technology and the ideas behind it.

So here is a copy/paste interview with David Farcot from Salomon:

SR: Equalizer, is it basically straight edges instead of the traditional radius that has been on boards since the beginning pretty much?

DF: An equalizer side cut is made out of straight lines (3 or 5) and kinks, instead of a radial or elliptic curve. It's a patented geometry that we introduced in (07-08).

SR: What was the idea behind it and who came up with it?

DF: The idea is to equalize the pressure distribution along the edge by maximizing its contact with the snow. In a 3D world with complex terrain (snow surface), straight lines are easier to bend than complex curves. On a regular snowboard, the pressure peaks on 4 narrow spots (feet, wide points). This creates instability. When pressure is more evenly distributed, you're more stable, like running with flat soles vs. high-heels. The theory and prototypes came from our board wizards here, and surprisingly were originated to answer a random request from our former CEO. You guys should work on a technology that makes the snow softer; its getting really packed everywhere

SR: What are the benefits?

DF: More maneuverability and a smooth and constant edge contact, even on hard packed, with no hiccups. David Benedek and Bode Merrill both say it makes switch in-runs and take-offs a bit more relaxing.

SR: If it distributes the pressure farther along the edges does that mean you ride a shorter board than normal or ride your usual size and it just rides radder?

Salomon: It means that you can ride a soft board that still holds the edge when the snows not perfect and youre still charging. (Official / Drift) It means that you can ride a longer board with some pop and stay in control (Lark)

SR: Where the people at Salomon nervous the first time people rode it?

DF: Yes we were all pretty amazed by how well the theory was confirmed by riding...we were more than doubtful before.

SR: It won a "Good Wood" award for 2009 in Transworld's board test; did that seem to justify the theory of the whole Equalizer thing?

DF: The fact that our riders have adopted it is the best proof for us that this technology rides perfect. Of course, the Good Wood awards for Official and Drift have been a great help to convince kids to give them a ride.

SR: Which of the team riders ride boards with equalizer edges?

DF: David Benedek, Matt Ladley, and Sylvain Bourbousson on the Official, since the first year, Wolle Nyvelt on the Grip, Scotty Arnold on his updated pro board, Desiree Melancon on the Lark, Jed Anderson on the Drift…Even carving Josh Dirksen likes it..

SR: How has feedback been from consumers, dealers and other everyday riders that have ridden it?

DF: Really great! Kids and retailers from hard-packed areas and park-riders (East Coast, Canada, Scandinavia,) have been super stoked since the early days. Last summer we had an overwhelmingly positive response at Mt. Hood. Kids loved being able to file down their edges for rails and then still hold an edge cruising down Palmer in the morning.

SR: For 09/10 how many boards will have Equalizer?

DF: Same as last year + Grip (all mountain bamboo freestyle board) / Gypsy (park & Jib for girls) / the updated Arnie (he asked for EQ after trying the official).

SR: What other features does the Salomon Official have that make it stand out from other boards on the market (as if straight edges were not enough)?

DF: Well, it's pretty loaded with very smart and efficient tech: an alien light core (wood + low density foam) with a popster profile (increase the pop, keeps the strength) and sidewalls with rubber rails (dampening layer) are the main highlights.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tropical storm Danny

Oliver Kurtz takes full advantage of tropical storm Danny as it delivers a fun Sebastian Inlet pulse.

After living in So Cal, and after going back to Florida, I haven't been able to enjoy the mushy waves. South Floridian only hope for nice tropical storm to light up their backyard

Oliver Kurtz from Sean Benik on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Guide on how to shape a board

I have had couple of friends trying to shape was almost having two boards for the price of one because the left side didn't look the same as the right side!

When I was 20, I was an intern at a french local kitesurf shaper, I was so stocked to work fo him and learn about the process.

Here are some info from Surfline shaping post

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bond Gear 2010 preview

What is the story behind Bond ? well they claim to be 100% carbon neutral. Technically speaking that means the raw material used and the production of the gears shouldn't create any carbon emission. Do to so they have used:
-Blend of recycled PET + virgin PET (recyclable)
usually the percentage is at most 30/70 otherwise the mechanical properties are be weakened.
-Discarded plastic pellets to make the buttons, etc..
-Discarded coconut shell

I couldn't find any details about the company infrastucture because they should use solar panel, smart water treatment,etc.. in order to be as they claim 100 carbon neutral.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Salomon goes green 2.0

Couple of months ago, I wrote a blog about Salomon green iniative. Some people may argue it is partially a marketing stunt and to ride the green wagon but being a material engineer myself, I have found that we as designers have the responsability to search and provide technology that can be as good (or better) by using more carbon neutral materials. Of course Salomon is not alone in the race of the greenest company but I find it is healthy for the snowboard industry to look for alternatives.

So in this snowrev report, Rian from Salomon talk about using green materials and so on.

"wood core boards sandwiched in bamboo veneers which allows using less fiberglass and less epoxy which are the two nastiest compounds in a snowboard. This lowers the amount of materials used and the amount of carbon out put and the gas and energy burned."

"With ABC sandwich board we replace fiberglass with bamboo, which is locally sourced by our factory; reduces the phosphates and cuts down on our energy and CO2 output. With ABC wrapper it uses also cuts down on the plastic use."

"bindings are made with recycled plastic baseplates. We took parts from old bindings and stuff that was lying around the factory, reground them and turned them into new baseplates. We are using corn based plastics instead oil based plastics. In our boots we are using some recycled rubber and rice in the tread. We eliminated all PVC and we eliminated the chemical microbial lining and replaced it with a green tea treatment."

One last comment, I remember that about 10 years ago Salomon board graphic used to be very safe...they have come a long way as well.check this one out, pretty sick.