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Magine Snowboards and Skis and the CIC have developed a biocomposite snowboard and showcased it at the largest biotechnology convention in the world: BIO 2012. The novel construction includes a wooden laminate core, sandwiched between two layers of Biotex flax fabric, and a top and bottom plastic layer, all bonded together using an eco-epoxy resin system.
Magine, who are based in Newfoundland, Canada, were looking to develop a product in keeping with their core values – freedom of expression, good times and support of the snow sports community – whilst differentiating themselves in the market place.
Steve Wheeler of Magine explains that “Our community is very environmentally conscious where snowboarders are inherently connected with their environment through the sport. On a larger level, global warming and its detriment to the sport also drives us. Therefore, we looked to do our part through developing a more sustainable snowboard, while maintaining the same quality and ride characteristics we all love and enjoy.”
In a project co-funded by the CIC and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Magine worked with the University of Manitoba to develop the unique bio-fibre composite snowboard after extensive testing and research with the help of CIC. Prototypes were tested in house, developing a flex profile and comparing to current models and, after six months of development, the snowboard was finally tested on snow, at a local ski hill in Western Newfoundland. “The initial test was so successful that our team rider – Josh Keough – didn’t want to give up the prototype” Wheeler explained. “The bio-fibre snowboard responds, flexes and edges well. Its flex pattern and light-weight make it very comparable to freestyle snowboards for grinds and aerial maneuvers. With the incorporation of the bio-fibre composite material, it stands above many snowboards on the market as a more sustainable product compared to fibreglass and basalt composite snowboards.”
Magine uses a clear top sheet that allows the natural look of the flax fibre weaves and the wood core to create a raw, earthy, aesthetic product, designed to promote sustainability and their commitment to their customers’ values. Magine expect to offer a line of bio-fibre snowboards during the 2012-2013 snowboard season.