You’ve Gotta See This Glass Snowboard Shred

See and slide. Photo: Signal

There are many reasons why a glass snowboard is a bad idea. And yet everything about Signal Snowboards’ glass Park Board, from its design and production to its execution and performance, is awesome.

Signal spent a year working with an Italian glassmaker to create the one-off board. The board itself took just 36 hours to assemble, and the finished product worked far better than expected. Until it broke. Because, you know, it’s glass.

The shape was based on Signal’s Park series board. Two pieces of glass were die-cut to the requisite shape, then heated to 585 degrees Celsius (1,085 degrees Fahrenheit) for 24 hours to curve to the tail and nose. Then the pieces were taken to yet another factory to be laminated and sealed together with Signal’s graphic between the two halves.

The board did far better than you’d think on the slopes. A typical snowboard has a metal edge that grips the snow and ice as a rider turns, keeping you from skidding down the mountain into a tree. The glass Park has no metal edge, which would make you think it’s a one-way ticket to the emergency room. In reality, though, the edges worked great. But the cold temperatures (-20 degrees Celsius) and unpredictable nature of glass on snow had the board stopping while pointed downhill or taking off at top speed. The board took a day’s abuse on the mountain before cracking beyond the point of rideability.

Because, you know, it’s glass.

Still, we have to think that if Signal had used Gorilla glass and added a translucent polyurethane base, it might have a board that survives at least a full season.

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