Forums Splitboards Ride Splitlife UL: A DIY Highlife split with helicoil setup
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  • #578017
    Burner
    23 Posts

    Thought I’d share my DIY split of a Ride Highlife UL 164. I’m dubbing it the Splitlife!

    Long story short I’m new to splitting(though definitely no stranger to snowboarding) but I’m picky with my gear and no production split gave me that “this is the board for me” feeling. Having been a ski/snowboard tech for some time up until about 5 years ago, I decided I’d probably be happier splitting a board myself. And after finishing this project I can honestly say at the moment without having ridden the board yet, I am happier going this route than having bought any of the production splits I was considering. That being said, I did come across an issue with getting a waterjet cut. The machine’s laser alignment had not been properly calibrated and though the cut was straight, it was quite a bit off from the center-line I marked. What I did was take off a bit off the wider side with the belt sander, so it’s now currently sitting at a 25.1 waist width. Which actually works perfectly with my 9.5 boots…

    If there’s some interest I’ll post up a how-to on the helicoil inserts. And if you’re up for a short read you can read my blog post about going the DIY route here: http://kollaborativemedium.com/blog/?p=184

    Anyways, here she is…

    The Split Life:

    Not having done any major ski/snowboard repairs in 5 years, I’ll admit I was a bit nervous having the board cut and drilling into it…

    After installing all the inserts: (note: due to Ride’s thincon construction the rivets that came with the Karakoram tip/tail clips were too long, so had to order shorter rivets which are now installed nicely)

    Closeup of the helicoils: (opted for drill in multiple inserts for binding adjustability)

    Voile hardware installed:

    Spark Burner bindings in ride mode:

    Spark Burner bindings in touring mode:

    No drilling through the base means no ugly ptex discs or epoxy!

    Special thanks to everybody on the forum for all the useful info I’ve found!

    #664164
    plastafara
    56 Posts

    Very nice job dude! color of the board work well with the gear.

    #664165
    ieism
    298 Posts

    I’d be very interested in the helicoils, how did you do that and wher did you buy the helicoil or what type are they exactly.

    http://flatlandsplitfest.com/

    #664166
    BGnight
    1382 Posts

    Sick board!
    Curious what the total weight is with your bindings.

    #664167
    stein
    174 Posts

    Looks good in the living room. I am skeptical of the strength of heli coils into wood. I’ve used them lots in aluminum and they will still fail.

    #664168
    Burner
    23 Posts

    ieism, helicoils can be found at any automotive repair shop but you’ll also need to purchase a tap and helicoil installation tool. Would probably run you $30-60 for the tools and $8-15 for a dozen helicoils(I used 26 coils for my setup). The size helicoils you’ll need is M6x1 shown in the pic.



    BG, the Highlife isn’t the lightest weight solid board out there, not even close. Light weight, yes. Ultra Light like the board perceives itself to be, not so much. Ride’s Slackcountry UL with a more aggressive UL core is hands down the lightest weight board I’ve ever got my hands on. I’ll have to try to get a hold of a more accurate scale to let you know the weights. But on my bathroom scale, with bindings it weighs in at about 13lbs for a 164 and medium Spark bindings(no skins). Surprisingly, it weighs in at the exact weight as my park setup which is a Salomon Villain Classicks 158 and medium Salomon Hologram bindings…



    stein, in my 8 years of being a ski and snowboard tech I’ve done countless helicoils into wood, to top that off I’ve done quite a handful of helicoils into foam core skis. None ever came back with issues. I’m confident enough in my work to be comfortable enough to be riding with a helicoil setup and actually chose helicoils over binding freedom/quiver killer inserts because I felt they would hold better. I’ll go more into it when I post a how-to some time this week.

    But that doesn’t mean mistakes can’t be made and I’m willing to find that out and will definitely let everybody know how it holds up. Honestly I think the real test of my craftsmanship wont be until tomahawking down a steep face… yes, I’m that confident in my work.

    #664169
    B-P
    134 Posts

    Just a note on the heli coils, tried them on splits and every single one of them ripped out. There are two types of heli coils, those meant to repair metal threads (Snowboard repair ones from SVST and the ones you show in the pic from napa) and the ski insert ones for wood/foam ski binding repairs. The wood ones are much thicker and stronger, as well as have more metal biting into the wood.

    I used the ones like what you posted, they felt great under first assembly but failed miserably in the field. The touring brackets pulled out on the first tour halfway out and I would never trust them for the ride pucks. Many people have tried ski mount techniques on splits, but they just are not as trust worthy as a tnut. I hope those work for you, but everyone I installed pulled out and is now replaced with a tnut. I am also a factory certified repair tech from the Vermont ski institute for repair, tuning, and shop management with over 4years mounting skis.

    #664170
    B-P
    134 Posts

    Just a note on the heli coils, tried them on splits and every single one of them ripped out. There are two types of heli coils, those meant to repair metal threads (Snowboard repair ones from SVST and the ones you show in the pic from napa) and the ski insert ones for wood/foam ski binding repairs. The wood ones are much thicker and stronger, as well as have more metal biting into the wood.

    I used the ones like what you posted, they felt great under first assembly but failed miserably in the field. The touring brackets pulled out on the first tour halfway out and I would never trust them for the ride pucks. Many people have tried ski mount techniques on splits, but they just are not as trust worthy as a tnut. I hope those work for you, but everyone I installed pulled out and is now replaced with a tnut. I am also a factory certified repair tech from the Vermont ski institute for repair, tuning, and shop management with over 4years mounting skis.

    #664171
    mountainbikeak
    82 Posts

    In regards to the heli coils, I think most people/splitboarders forget snowboards are way thinner then skis and often use a much softer core, not to mention lots of skis have a layer of aluminum which really helps hold the inserts. I’ve been using quiver killers for the touring brackets with great success and would trust those before trusting heli coils.

    #664172
    Burner
    23 Posts

    Cheers, thanks for your insight B-P. I’ll be riding this board on-piste at least once or twice before I tour with them. If the pucks hold up, the next step would be take it out on a tour, and see how things go from there.

    The thing with helicoils, too many people end up overtightening their screws. People think they can tighten them like you would a T-Nut or snowboard insert. This causes the fibers in the wood to sort of fray a bit and you end up losing contact between the helicoil and the core, thus pulling out the insert. Same thing with overtightening ski binding mounting screws, you cause a lot of stress on the fibers of the core – which is why skis end up needing to be helicoiled or remounted.

    One additional step I do is to use a 2 part marine epoxy and apply a thin film into the exposed core right before laying in the helicoil, then allowing it to cure before mounting the pucks and bracket. This dramatically increases the bond between the helicoil and the core and as an added bonus, acts as a sealant to prevent moisture getting absorbed into the core.

    Also on the open helicoils I’m using flush grub screws to prevent water/snow getting into the helicoils. We all know when water/ice freezes/melts it expands and contracts, putting a lot of strain on the helicoils and core and you get the same effect from overtightening as I mentioned above.

    I won’t be ashamed if these don’t work out, it’s a simple fix if the coils do end up pulling.

    #664173
    Burner
    23 Posts

    @mountainbikeak wrote:

    In regards to the heli coils, I think most people/splitboarders forget snowboards are way thinner then skis and often use a much softer core, not to mention lots of skis have a layer of aluminum which really helps hold the inserts. I’ve been using quiver killers for the touring brackets with great success and would trust those before trusting heli coils.

    Very familiar with the differences with ski and board construction as I was a ski tech for 8 years. Thickness of the snowboard only matters if you’re worried about cracking the core. If a helicoils pulls its most likely because of the contact between helicoil and core weaken due to too much stress between the two(see my post above).

    As for stiffness of the core, I can argue some foam cores in skis are even softer and less dense. Also I’m taking into consideration each board’s construction. This Highlife is probably about as stiff or stiffer than say a Jones Solution. If I were to say be splitting a much softer board, I would definitely be going a t-nut route.

    I was contemplating BF/QK inserts for quite some time as well. But based off what I know as a tech, my speculation on these types of inserts are simply a screw you can screw into. So as for durability and reliability, its no different than screwing directly into your ski/snowboard. Helicoils when properly done can flex with the ski/snowboard and can freely expand/contract unlike BF/QK inserts. So in the end, opted for helicoils.

    I can go on and on and give reasons to my decisions, I did put some thought about going down every different alley and what obstacles I’d be coming across(searching this forum did really help out with that). But what I say won’t have any weight behind it until I spend some serious time on this board LOL So I’ll wait and see first hand. I won’t be one to fear the dreaded “I told you so” as I feel I’ve analyzed my options enough.

    #664174
    maniacdave
    564 Posts

    Let us know how the helicoils hold up. Was pondering something similar, but alternating ever other one with a T-nut. Then every puck is tied into at least one T-nut that shouldn’t pull out and leave you stranded several km from the car…

    That was Pontus

    #664175
    B-P
    134 Posts

    I hope they work out for ya, I loved the look of the boards when I used the helicoils, plus less holes drilled through the board should make it less prone to cracking at the touring brackets. I too used the epoxy trick, it just pulled more wood out haha all screws were also torqued with a torque limit screwdriver, the same I use when mounting skis. More mentioning this so you know it wasn’t a botched mount on my part haha

    #664176
    Burner
    23 Posts

    haha wasn’t doubting your work one bit. Was just mentioning a few points most people probably wouldn’t be aware of.

    Anyways, just got back from lapping my local mountain for about 4 hours. Really icy conditions tonight but figure all that chatter can put some good stress on the helicoils. Tried to put some good abuse on the board as well, just to test out how well the helicoils will hold. So far day 1 in icy conditions is good. Hopefully we get some snow soon so we can see how well it holds when its under a foot of the heavy snow we usually get here.

    Keep in mind I’ve got a 200-210lb frame(prob a bit on the higher end of that after the holidays haha) and using a 2 helicoil per puck universal insert setup. So I can definitely put some good abuse on this, more so than most of you. Still pretty confident it will hold in the long run.

    ps. Here’s the grub screws I mentioned which will help seal the core(along with the epoxy) and also prevent any stress that one might get from expanding/contracting snow/ice inside the helicoil inserts. Just as an added precaution to anything I can think of.



    maniacdave, I saw you post that idea in the BF/QK thread. Definitely a good idea if you want to play it safe. Luckily I set mine up as a universal mounting setup. If in the worst case 4 inserts pull, I can set it to the other 4 until i ride out to the car. Your way would definitely be more convenient.

    #664177
    Zude
    367 Posts

    Thanks for posting. I’m going the heli-coil route for tour brackets and heel lifters (but not pucks). Good to hear from everyones experiences, this is why i pay attention to these posts! Here at my local volcanoe the consequences of the touring brackets failing are relatively low (for most lines). Most of my missions have ride-out options. I might consider otherwise if long multiday or multihour flat approaches were the norm here.
    I can always repair with t-nuts if things go awry.

    #664178
    4thelove
    13 Posts

    Give us an update after you have put some days on your board. Really interested in how the hlicoils hold up.

    #664179
    Burner
    23 Posts

    Will definitely be giving updates on occasion. I won’t be able to get out on a tour with them until next weekend, then hopefully regularly on weekends after that. But until then I’ll try riding as much vert as possible via lifts during some night sessions after work as much I can.

    #664180
    4thelove
    13 Posts

    Thought some of you guys would appreciate something I found during some research about heicoils

    http://www.slidewright.com/heli-coil-snowboard-insert-kit_svhcsbk.html

    #664181
    Burner
    23 Posts

    @4thelove wrote:

    Thought some of you guys would appreciate something I found during some research about heicoils

    http://www.slidewright.com/heli-coil-snowboard-insert-kit_svhcsbk.html

    That goes to show helicoils in snowboards can be done with success 🙂

    Pretty much everything I’m using, but pieced them out at hardware stores. Came out to be cheaper. Hardest to find was the stop collar, but when I found it, it was only $1

    Be sure to tape the tap to make sure you don’t bottom out and ruin your threading.

    Stop collar(may be called a shaft collar at some hardware stores). Make sure this is on tight and make sure you don’t drill with too much pressure.

    Helicoil install tool

    If anybody is deciding to go this route, I’d highly recommend practicing at least half a dozen of them or so on a piece of 1×4, or even a spare board. Little margin for error means its not fool proof like t-nuts. Also a lot of how well a helicoil will hold up will be due to board construction.

    #664182
    Burner
    23 Posts

    Not helicoil related, but for anybody considering splitting a Ride board, you’ll need shorter rivets for the tip/tail clips. Ride’s thincon construction has really thin tips and tails, so rivets provided by Karakoram were way too long. I used 3/16″ semi-tubular rivet with a 3/8″ length. I could have probably gone with a 1/4″ or 5/16″ length. I bought a pack of 50 so have plenty of spare ones to give out.

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