Many serious snowboarders have at least two boards: one for powder and one for the park. And it's not hard to find a surfer with an even larger quiver of surfboards. But the inquiring minds at Southern California's Signal Snowboards set their minds to build a single board for both pursuits.
It's a silly experiment, sure. Aside from the fact that it would make little business sense to produce a surf-and-snow board, each type of board has very different design fundamentals and use different materials. But this board is just one of a growing list of experiments that Signal has conducted as part of its Every Third Thursday series, in which the Signal team builds out a completely custom snowboard based on some theme or concept. There was a board with a built-in iPad, for example, and a summer-themed board with integrated putting hole and golfball tee.
The team produces a video for each board, walking viewers through the creative process and oftentimes jury-rigged engineering that goes into each finished product.
For the surf-snowboard, the team works with a surfboard shaper to embed a snowboard deck into the much wider surfboard. They use an aluminum base for the snowboard and have no idea how, or even whether, it will glide on snow.
But first, they bring the finished board to Rob Machado, one of the world's top surfers. In Machado's able hands (or rather, feet), the board seems to sing along some relatively tame waves. From there the team jets to British Columbia's Baldface Lodge, where they strap on bindings and hand the board off to snowboarder Curtis Ciszek, who manages to navigate the beast through some powder-filled glades. It's clearly not the best board ever made for either single pursuit, but it works.