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 Post subject: DIY Swallowtail Advice Needed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:27 am
Posts: 65
Location: Bham
Hey, so I have been wanting to ride a true swallowtail since I first rode my Jones Hovercraft (which I wouldn't even really consider a swallowtail), but the few that are on the market are more than I am looking to pay for another snowboard. In trolling the forums on this site and a few others, I have seen a few DIY swallowtails, but I can't really seem to find instructions on how to do it. I'm not much of a DIY guy, but I have a couple old boards to practice on, and I am thinking of either making my 168 Gyrator (rock board, but decent condition) into a swallowtail (But it may not make much of a difference with the tail rocker), or on a 160 camber Lib Snow Mullet, or possibly a 164 Ride Yukon Wide, which are both for sale in my local area.I also may do all three, depending on how well the first one turns out, advice, etc.

Anyways, I'm looking for any advice you can give me on the project, whether it be on what tools to use, what types of boards would be good to use (camber profile, length, etc.), full length instructions (or a link to a site or video with the same), how to seal the core after cutting, or anything else you can think of.

Or, if you have a cheaper board in good condition, powder oriented preferred, 160-172cm, I would probably be interested, however I need a waist width of at least 26cm as I have size 13 boots.

Thanks for any advice you can give!


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Swallowtail Advice Needed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:51 am
Posts: 687
Location: Surfing or Splitboarding Downunder
idtmcp542
Have a look here

Some pics of the way I do the conversions.

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 Post subject: Re: DIY Swallowtail Advice Needed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:10 pm
Posts: 1410
Location: UT
This is going to sound a bit contradictory in light of my recent 163cm Arbor swallowtail project... But I'm a swallowtail fanatic and I wanted a small board for speed and fitness touring... Similar mods are not going to result in a true swallowtail ride... No comparison... No way...

First of all, think about what your total cost is going to be for tools, epoxy, split kit, time, etc... and as much as it pains me to recommend this; have look at the Voile V[ag]-tail... Its a good deal and they know swallowtails... The Rome swallowtail seems like a bargain as well, but I have not ridden one...

Despite all of that, if you choose to forge ahead I wouldnt go any shorter than the 168 you currently ride. This is because a swallow tail cut will result in a shorter effective ride with less surface area and unlike a real swallowtail it still won't have a longer nose. You can overcome some of this by starting with a longer board that has considerable setback and a lot of nose, but you still won't know what a swallowtail rides like :(

Its worth pointing out that the reduced surface area is one of the things people overlook about "big" swallowtails. In reality a 195 is going to ride more like a 170-178 to anyone willing to put bias and fear aside.
Another misconception is in the tail. Not only does it sink and encourage the nose to float in pow, but having four egdes in the tail allows for some ridiculous grip at speed on groomers and hardpack... Say bye bye to tail washout...

But I digress (rant over)... :soapbox:

After I decided on my shape, I used an appropriately sized hole saw to begin the cut behind the rear inserts (leaving room for binding angle adjustment and the yin/yang hooks). Then I used a reinforced dremel cutting wheel to cut through the edges and finshed the majority of the swallow cut with a skill saw. The cut was sealed with varethane (etc) as many do with the center cut on a split.
Image

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Experts tell me I'm not a serious rider; riding boards that are too long with the incorrect boot and binding setup and I'm not having fun...


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Swallowtail Advice Needed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:15 pm
Posts: 294
Location: Washington
I'm selling a pretty sweet pow board in B'ham. The Slash has a 26.7 waist and a wide nose.http://splitboard.com/talk/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=12496

Among the boards you mentioned above, the Snow Mullet stands out. The thing is, when talking pow boards, you don't gain much by notching the tail when you consider that the tail is already tapered and the stance is set back on most pow boards. Like the Hovercraft, you have a fast, loose and short tail already. Notching it only weakens the tail and makes it prone to breakage. So you would be making a fun board for sure but it wouldn't be a true swallowtail. Another thing to consider is that swallowtails can be really hooky in windpack/crusty conditions. The uphill/inside edge will catch on windpack when turning. So if you make one, take a file and round the heck out of the inside edges of the tails.

Also consider that pintails are more versatile in the variable and sometimes warm conditions at Baker, and they accomplish nearly the same loose and slashy ride as a board with a cut tail. Cutting a swallowtail in a freeride board is kind of a bad compromise.

You mentioned you're not much of a DIY guy. In your shoes I would just save for a real swallowtail and ride a tapered pow board in the meantime. If you have your heart set on it though, you will need a sharpie, a jigsaw, some epoxy and a file or sanding block. Just draw that shit on there and cut it.


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Swallowtail Advice Needed
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:53 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:27 am
Posts: 65
Location: Bham
I was actually looking at the Nitro as well, but for a DIY project I was hoping to spend a little less. However, I think with the advice I would rather ride a board that is in my length range, as I would be looking for something in the 175-185 range if the 5% on tip and tail thing is true. So, eventually, I would like to save up and get a factory made swallowtail, and boy there are a lot of options out there. I still haven't decided if I will get it in a split or not, but a few of the most appealing ones are the Osin4807, Winterstick Swallowtail, Prior Pow Stick, or something completely custom from Donek (will they make swallowtails?). Has anybody got any suggestions on these boards or others? I know I should probably start another thread but I figured I'd start here and see what response I get. Also, with a size 13 boot, chances are I would need to get a custom waist width, considering the Winterstick, for example, has a ww of 246mm whereas I generally need something around 260mm+, my widest board being 270mm (Unity Dominion 170 Wide), but thats a little slow side to side.

Something from Donek would allow me to go completely custom, so I would be leaning towards that I think, however the Winterstick and Osin are classic designs, and even if I got a custom Donek it would probably be based off of one of those designs. I know Winterstick will do some customization, but I was also thinking I would probably want a larger sidecut radius than 6.1, like something around 10-11. Any other suggestions for a solid or split swallowtail?


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Swallowtail Advice Needed
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:45 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:10 pm
Posts: 1410
Location: UT
I would personally not get a winterstick splitty, but thats just me and my feelings about the skinning... Awesome cat, lift or heli pow board...
No go on the O-sin for a splitty and groomers as well because of the boat hulled nose...

As far as a splitty I'd go Chimera, Voile, or Prior...


All the best whatever you decide... :guinness:

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Experts tell me I'm not a serious rider; riding boards that are too long with the incorrect boot and binding setup and I'm not having fun...


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Swallowtail Advice Needed
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:27 am
Posts: 65
Location: Bham
That makes me lean a little more towards this viewtopic.php?f=4&t=10903 but I don't need the Voile stuff so I was thinking of offering ~$500 for board+skins, although I am a little hesitant because it is a little shorter than I'd prefer and there is no rockered nose but if he would go for something like that price I may have to do it.


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Swallowtail Advice Needed
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:32 am
Posts: 556
Location: Rawesome, BC
There's a 172 Rome Notch swallowtail in Reno for $250.

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=12483

I split the model year prior to that one & I'm pretty sure the specs are the same. Waist is 255mm unsplit. Solid boards, heavy duty core, can't wait to try it out!


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