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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:38 pm 
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hey, those look nice. I appreciate the simplicity and think your going the right track. A few questions: How would you incorporate forward and rearward positioning if desired? It is hard to have a "one size fits all design" on a splitboard. I just wonder about people with different sized feet.... I guess you could have S, M, and L bindings? Also, is snow clogging more of an issue than stock sliders? It looks like your design is fully closed off where voile uses open rails.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:39 pm 
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Location: Bozeman MT
Wow, you guys are rocking my world! Thanks for all the great feedback. Here are answers to your questions:

P420: Will they be for sale?

I'm hoping to start selling sets in the springtime after some modifications and giving them a really good beating. To sell these bindings I need to obtain a license from Voile, just like Never Summer, Prior and Venture. Let Voile know that they should let Spark R&D join the club!

SRA: I was wondering about the bindings while in the board mode. From what I know of the Voile pucks, there would be a space between your bottom plate and the top of the board. Have you thought of putting a piece of UHMW to fill in this gap, or shortening the voile pucks?

There is a small gap now which you can see here (http://www.sparkrandd.com/images/height_comparison.jpg) between the bottom plate of the binding and the top of the board. The binding will not roll very far before it contacts the board, making things much stiffer. I do need to maintain a clearance between the binding and the board so it can be assembled, but I will keep this to a minimum. Eliminating the roll is one of the things I set out to do, and in doing so the ride is much more responsive. Shorter pucks or some UHMW shims are both great ways of reducing this gap even further.

Unruly Baker: The only thing I'm curious about is that it appears the pin is only held in place by UHMW PE. There is a screw in front of it but does it go all the way through the UHMW PE to the AL? I'm not sure how much abuse that would take in ski mode before the UHMW PE starts to deform and open up or crack. Do you have any plans for reinforcing that area?

I do indeed have plans to beef up this area of the binding. That screw does go between the aluminum pieces. I've been really impressed by the UHMW, which handled tele turns with a 50 lb pack, but having some more structure there would put me at ease. I'm going to have the baseplate and lower plate join there to make sure the UHMW bearings are well supported.

Killclimbz: The front of the binding does look like it could bind up in skin mode, the front of the toe mashing up to the ski itself.

My toe does contact the board at a smaller angle than my standard setup. However, this makes tele turning easier as I can put more pressure on the inside ski. I will have to supply some spacers so people can raise the touring bracket off of the ski and have their toe contact the board just how they want it.

Affix Snow: Is that the hot water music logo?

Nope, here's hot water's and the spark logo next to each other. Image
My logo comes from an industrial fire hazard sign.

Affix Snow: Could you lose the bottom plate?

The bottom plate is what engages the pucks, just like the bent under tabs on the slider track, so it's pretty important. There's nothing that says it couldn't be shaped differently to save some more weight. I'm really more concerned with the binding being super bomber than I am making it super light.

BCRider: What's up with those cotter pins?

That's what I was able to whip up in the shop. I would like to use a pin like the Voile ones, I think they do a good job and are easier to use with gloves on than cotter pins. Pin manufacturers are happy to make custom models but they usually have minimum order amounts. This is one of the things I have to get figured out here in the near future along with sourcing straps and highbacks.

Endo: How would you incorporate forward and rearward positioning if desired?

The heelcup can be moved forward and backward to get your foot centered. I ride a size 9 boot, this model would accommodate a size or two above and below that. I do plan on developing a number of sizes so the munchkins and the sasquatches can have bindings that fit their boots.

Endo: Is snow clogging more of an issue than stock sliders?

There is a vent on the rear of the binding which can be seen here

Image

Also there are two thin blades of aluminum that contact the heelside puck shown here:

Image

These blades cut through snow and ice that might collect on the pucks, rather than the wide tab on the slider track which can trap snow against the puck.

Keep the questions coming guys, I appreciate all of the suggestions. Powderjunkie, I don't think I could ask for any better feedback!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 3:08 pm 
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Location: Denver
Toe cap straps would be a sweet matchup with binding but not necessary.

Overall it's a very cool design.

Hopefully Voile won't kill ya on the license. I know it's pricey and rightfully so for other companies who are making splits. You are not making a splitboard but you are offering a modification that as far as I can tell Voile does not want to get into.

Of course you want to be straight with them.

Nice job, looking forward to seeing a market product.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 5:12 pm 
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Location: The land of MO (SLC)
Killclimbz wrote:
Toe cap straps would be a sweet matchup with binding but not necessary.

Overall it's a very cool design.

Hopefully Voile won't kill ya on the license. I know it's pricey and rightfully so for other companies who are making splits. You are not making a splitboard but you are offering a modification that as far as I can tell Voile does not want to get into.

Of course you want to be straight with them.

Nice job, looking forward to seeing a market product.


Actually rumor has it Voile IS working on a split specific strap binder.

karma surf wrote:
Wavy-

We're working on the split specific strap binding now. If all goes well we MAY have something for next fall, no sooner than that.

Snowfun-

We're very open to any suggestions on improving the hardware and lightening the split. Many changes have been made over the years, and you can bet that improvements to the hardware will continue as well.


Competition is good for consumers. Or maybe it's a partnership waiting to happen. :idea:

UB

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:56 am 
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Location: Mendham, NJ
Cool.

I was just ribbin' ya about the logo. 1st thing that came to mind was hotwater.... :D

What kind of Liscense do you need to get from Voile?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:12 am 
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Location: Bozeman MT
No offense taken Affix.

Voile has their board and interface system patented. Selling other stuff that is compatible with their system requires getting a license from them to use the patent. Without that selling the bindings would be patent infringement, and if they wanted to they could sue me for 2.5 times the money I made selling the infringing item.

I've been in touch with Wally from Voile and he's a very cool guy. He's been checking out the design and thinking it over while on vacation. I don't want people to think that I've been heckling them for a license and they won't give me one, we've really just started talking. I am trying to gauge public interest and see if people want more players in the game producing equipment. Seems like you do.

So, I have some questions for you. Who makes the best straps? The set I have on the proto right now are really comfy, but I don't have any long term experience in terms of their durability.

Also, if you had the option, how many people would like to be able to lock their heel down? I'm thinking of something that would add just a little weight to the system, but if you were a true free heeler you could take it off the board and have zero weight penalty.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:37 am 
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Cool. Whats a liscense run $$$?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:54 am 
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Quote:
Who makes the best straps


I've never had any trouble with the better Rides - comfy too.

Quote:
how many people would like to be able to lock their heel down?

I would - I never teleskiied & I've been on enough weird tours where there was up/down situations or narrow > flat trails that just didn't merit doing the put-together/take-apart and the ATers & teletubbies were just dusting me. A simple, light snap-in heel lock down would be a huge help to me. Definitely not for actual skiing a true downhill circumstance tho.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:01 am 
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I suck at skiing my sticks so I guess I'd try the lock down device. Definitely not required though.

I like the route your going...bomber first, shave weight later.

I'd prefer that you manufacture and sell the bindings but if you couldn't keep up and/or had to charge big bucks just to keep your doors open it might be better to sell your patent to Voile (or however that works). Either way, let's get these bad boys on the street.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:14 am 
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affix snow wrote:
Cool. Whats a liscense run $$$?


To be determined. Hopefully since I'm just getting in to things I'll get a discount :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:21 am 
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Will wrote:
To be determined. Hopefully since I'm just getting in to things I'll get a discount :wink:


That'd be sweet!

I will put in another vote for the Cap-strap....awesome shit dat be.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:26 am 
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How about selling just the base plate by itself? Or as an option? People could just put on what ever straps they want from other bindings. Do you think most people might end up switching straps anyway, since straps are a personal thing? There are probably too many differences in high back design to allow switching.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:30 am 
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I'd like to do direct marketing to start off, so we'd have plenty of flexibility with what's included. Highbacks vary quite a bit, but some might be interchangeable, it just depends on geometry.


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