This is it, guys, I’m converted. Longboards are out, mountainboards are in. Of course, my conversion project is ugly and uninteresting…the one that I put most of the work in is this yellow and black beauty:
UPDATE!!! This is its final form, to read more, go here
The first mountainboard I built was for my brother-in-law and the cheapo deck we used was by far the worst thing on it. He decided to try his hand at creating a mould (that honestly I didn’t think would work for maple) but…
…he definitely proved me wrong. The first board to come out of it would be for my GF, who had tried his and loved it.
The deck is a lot shorter (80cm tip to tip) than a typical mountainboard and has pretty radical curves, with the intent being 55 degrees. Even though the wood didn’t fully get them, we measured it to almost 50 degrees which I still think is pretty impressive. Makes the board a hybrid between a carver and a mountainboard, but still has enough ground clearance for offroading. We had to get the wood wet and we let it sit for a week after gluing. When we got it out of the mold, weird things started to happen:
Several layers split longitudinally, but overall it looked solid enough so we went for a jump test…aaaand it failed after 10 or so jumps. The failure, however, was not around the cracked veneers but simply several layers around the center delaminated. This event lead to my GF naming it “Pan the pita”, which is spanish for pita bread
Fortunately, separation was clean (7 layers on top, 3 on the bottom) and clearly due to lack of glue…so we reglued and again let it sit.
This time, it passed with flying colors! Time to fill cracks with epoxy, cut, and sand the hell out of it:
On to priming and painting:
Some imperfections remained, but we weren’t sure that it would stay in one piece so no more effort was put into it.
The rest of the components are a lot less interesting, being one of the goals to make it as cheap as possible:
- Flipsky trucks, mounts and and 8" wheels. Of course not the best, but at 200€ is tough to beat for a first mountainboard.
- CheapFOCers 2 (salvaged from her longboard)
- 15/72 gearing
- Turnigy 6354 SK3 motors.
- 4x 5000mAh 5S LiPos for a total of 10S 10Ah (salvaged from both our longboards)
- Flipsky VX1 remote (again, from the longboard)
- Noname aliexpress bindings
- 3D printed boxes (I’m pretty proud of the thumbscrew locking mechanism, by the way). Tomato slices for the battery box, a full kebab for the ESC enclosure. She has a weird sense of humor.
- Hella cute 3D printed motor protectors that double as spacers (the flipsky drivetrain has incredibly lose tolerances, one of the mounts required some hammer love)
The deck is unbelievable. Carvy, yet stable, takes smallish jumps like a champ and can do offroading just fine. The only thing I would change is that at 10 layers and being that short, it is very stiff. Next time we’re gonna try fiberglass and see what we can make. One problem we had was the FOCers cutting out on very steep hills at 50 motor amps, which is kinda low for offroading…so we upgraded her to a MakerX DV6 and it’s a freaking beast now (stuck with my OG focboxes again, but hey, if she’s riding with me, I’ll let her have the fancy gear).
Still some polish required on the process, but not too shabby for a prototype…more than 100km on it and doing great (I completely expected the deck to delaminate again). We are still expanding the comfort zone and pushing it to its (and our) limits, but after 15km of bike trails today I’m so stoked. Being able to just ride outside of the city adds another whole dimension to this hobby and I don’t think we’re going back!