Plastics News West Coast correspondent Roger Renstrom reported these items from the Action Sports Retailer trade exposition, held Sept. 10-12 in San Diego.
Wake-board surfers get Hyperlite ride
Hyperlite has cut the density of foam in its wake boards, creating lighter cores that generate ``less swing weights and a lot of performance benefits,'' without sacrificing durability and structural integrity, said Paul O'Brien, product manager.
The 41/2-pound-density core of Dow-blend polyethylene represents a decrease from 7 pounds in a previous iteration. The product is made on a Gusmer Delta reaction injection molding press.
Wake boards account for about 40 percent of Hyperlite's business, which includes snowboards and water skis. Hyperlite still makes water skis with a 61/2-71/2-pound-density material to endure faster speed and more abuse in the water, O'Brien said. A motorboat tows a wake-board rider.
For some high-end boards, Hyperlite is combining a foam core and honeycomb construction to cut weight by another 11/2 pounds and create a stronger pressure point.
For the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, Hyperlite projects sales of about $30 million.
Technique gives edge to snowboard maker
Edge Snowboards of San Diego uses a pneumatic air-bladder press in die-cutting colored bases so the red or blue or black runs all the way through the plastics.
``Every time you tune up your board, you get a brand-new-looking board,'' said Cordell Giesen, chief designer and president. Edge used to silk-screen the base graphic.
Low-volume Edge began the changeover last year. ``We were one of the first,'' but now other, larger snowboard makers are following suit, he said.
Edge employs five at its 1,500-square-foot factory. It distributes snowboards mainly in Southern California, but some product goes to Switzerland, Canada and Japan. Edge also makes skateboards.