PORT AU PORT, NEWFOUNDLAND (July 30, 1 p.m. ET) — Magine Snowboards and Skis has developed a biocomposite snowboard using Biotex flax fabric from Chesterfield, England-based Composites Evolution.
The novel construction includes a wooden laminate core sandwiched between two layers of Biotex, and top and bottom finishing layers, all bonded together using an epoxy resin system derived from 60 percent soy material. Composites Evolution sources its flax from France and Belgium.
Magine was looking to develop a product in keeping with its core values – freedom of expression, good times and support of the snow sports community – while differentiating the company in the marketplace.
Magine had been working towards a bio-fiber composite snowboard through a working partnership with the Composite Innovation Center in Winnipeg, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the University of Winnipeg. It was through this relationship that Magine was introduced to Composites Evolution at the end of 2011.
Steve Wheeler of Magine explains: “The snowboarding community is very conscious o sustainability issues because of the intimate connection with our environment which the sport gives us. On a larger scale, we are driven by the detrimental effect of global warming on the sport. We looked to do our bit through developing a more sustainable snowboard, while maintaining the build quality and ride characteristics we all enjoy and love.”
Prototypes were tested in house, developing a flex profile for comparison with those of current models. The snowboard was tested at a ski hill in Western Newfoundland after six months of development. Wheeler says: “The initial test was so successful that our team rider, Josh Keough, didn't want to give up the prototype.
“The bio-fiber snowboard responds, flexes and edges well,” he said. “It stands above many fiberglass and basalt fiber composite snowboards on the market as a more sustainable product.”
Magine uses a clear top sheet that “allows the natural look of the flax fiber weaves and the wood core to create a raw, earthy, aesthetic product, designed to promote sustainability and demonstrate our commitment to our customers' values. Magine expect to offer a line of bio-fiber snowboards during the 2012-2013 snowboard season.