Advanced splitboard science, by Peter Bauer

Advanced splitboard science, by Peter Bauer

IMG_9676-Bearbeitet-PB-Manuel-Pale

In Amplid’s 10th anniversary, three splitboards will be released for the 2015-16 season. The well-know Morning split, the new Milligram (based on the awarded LAB Carbon) and the Creamer. Amplid owner Peter Bauer answers a few questions regarding splitboarding and design.

IMG_9676-Bearbeitet-PB-Manuel-Pale

WHAT QUALIFIES YOU TO DESIGN SPLITBOARDS?

I’ve spent more time in pow than most board designers, so you can assume I know what it takes to design a board which foats. That’s the frst part. The other important part is touring up, which has more to do with an understanding of composite materials and a very personal wish not to carry useless kilos up the hill. A splitboard core is like Swiss cheese with all its many inserts, so saving a lot of weight here is diffcult. Instead, the majority of the weight savings have to be realised by the composite component – the weaving and the resin. This is where Amplid’s technologies come into play and it’s another area where I have a lot of experience. In the past 30 years I’ve learned a lot about board design which I draw-on daily to design products.

WHERE DOES THE MILLIGRAM’S SHAPE COME FROM?

The shape was taken from the B10/30, a limited edition snowboard that Amplid released last winter to mark my 30 year snowboarding anniversary and Amplid’s 10th birthday. I set myself the challenge of building the ultimate Freeride snowboard shape, perfect for whatever the mountains can throw at me. It’s really awesome.

WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT THIS NEW SHAPE?

Well for one, it took me 30 years to fnally design the B10/30! It was a self-gratifying exercise in applying everything I’ve ever learned about snowboard geometry to one outline shape, core profle and camber-line. The nose geometry is long, blunted and fuller at the sides. Combining this nose geometry with a very large, elliptical, scoop radius gives the board incredible foatation. The Milligram features the world’s lightest splitboard construction and geometry that has taken a lifetime to perfect. Peter Bauer, the Milligram’s designer, explains the technologies and shaping concepts which feature in the undisputable fagship of Amplid’s 15/16 snowboard collection.

The shape is narrowly tapered, only 4mm, and has a stumpy tail kick which improves manoeuvrability in deep snow without reducing tail hold on hard snow. The sidecut and waist width are almost identical to the UNW8 so you can rest assured that handling on hard snow is one of its competences. The side profle is predominantly camber; a mellow cavity, 5mm at its deepest, runs from 12cm in front of the front foot through to the tail. 2mm of subtle early-rise in the nose aids buoyancy and stability, but keeps the contact points close to the snow for lightning fast response.

YOU’RE NOT SOLD ON THE BENEFITS OF A LONG SIDECUT RADIUS?

Let’s put it this way: I don’t want to make huge GS-turns at 100kmh on hard pack snow. When the surface is windblown or icy, sidecut is really important for maximum control. When the snow is soft and the face big enough to make monster turns, then having sidecut doesn’t bother me

BALSA IS SOFT, HOW DO YOU KEEP THE BOARD DURABLE?

The BBP core is actually quite complex, with many different varieties of woods, but mainly Birch, Balsa and Paulownia with some strategically placed Poplar. It is important to place the harder woods where stability is a priority and where the hardware is mounted. The less dense varieties can go where physics allow weight savings, but we’re careful to use Balsa frugally. Fiberglass deck patches provide additional impact protection under weight-bearing hardware. The exact wood confguration is an ARC secret.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GOING TOPLESS?

Topless tech is simply about saving weight. You probably don’t want to deal with tourists skiing over the board’s tail in the lift line, at least not every day, but the Milligram is built for the lonesome hiker venturing deeper into the backcountry far from the maddening crowds.

HOW DOES ALL OF THIS TECHNOLOGY BENEFIT THE AVERAGE SPLITBOARDER?

Having such a light board under your feet is a real advantage. Your average splitboard might weigh 3.6Kg, which means you have to lift 1.8 kg with your thigh and shin muscles with every step, and that’s not accounting for boots and bindings! Saving 500gr. on each leg makes a big difference to endurance, speed and power levels. Most importantly, 1st tracks will be on the menu simply because you’re frst to the top.

AND FINALLY HOW DOES THE FEEL OF A CARBON FIBER SPLITBOARD DIFFER TO FIBERGLASS?

In general a carbon board will always feel snappier and more responsive than its fberglass equivalent. Every move you make on a carbon board is transmitted onto the snow, which gives it a “wired” feel. Whereas most brands make their carbon boards as stiff as a tree trunk, when I’m designing a carbon snowboard I like it to be pliable and playful to a defned level of defection, at which point the board feels stiffer. Also, carbon will absorb a lot fewer lumps and bumps than standard fbreglass, but who wants a limousine when they can own an F1 car right! Putting it simply, a carbon board will require slightly more technique and experience.

Photo by Manuel Pale
ISPO NEWS 2015

Amplid ISPO 2015 from Splitboard Magazine on Vimeo.

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