Every third Thursday of the month, California-based Signal Snowboards likes to experiment with unique board designs that push the boundaries of form and function. And this time around it created a snowboard with inflatable inner tubes, like a bike tyre.
While a snowboard that inflated like a balloon would certainly be easier to travel with, it definitely wouldn’t be stiff or durable enough for an adventurous run down the slopes. So Signal instead took a standard deck and used a computer-controlled router to carve out channels running along its length, which were then filled with rubber bladders that could be inflated or deflated before each run.
And based on the test runs with a professional boarder, the experiment seems like it was a complete success. With less PSI the board was more flexible and lighter, making it easier to perform tricks. But as the bladders were inflated, it became stiffer and more springlike, providing a greater launch off of jumps.
While there are no plans to put the board into production at this time, one of the testers who put it through its paces commented that it was probably one of the best snowboards he’d ever ridden. So maybe one day the pump technology that took the sneaker world by storm in the ’90s could do the same for knuckle draggers. [Signal Snowboards via Gizmag]