Forums DIY and Mods Spark R&D Update: One step backward, two steps forward
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  • #569213
    377 Posts

    Hey shreds,
    Things at Spark HQ are going well, busy busy busy. I was all set to drop off the first load of binding to my anodizer when I received an email from him that he was getting out of the business and that his setup was for sale. My first impression was “oh crap”, but on further review this turned out to be a good opportunity. So my friend Tyler and I partnered up and bought his setup, which we are getting situated in the shop right now. This will delay my initial production a bit, but in the long run it’s a very good thing. Bringing that in house means that I can eliminate the lead time of dealing with another vendor, and further customization is possible. And it will be cheaper too, and allow me to employ some ski bums with some easy evening work. Big thanks to Jparker, Nomad and Pip for helping with production. Here’s a pile of baseplates:

    See, I’m actually in production! I’m not full of it!

    I finally got some professional photography done, my friend Tom is the man! I’ll be featured in a magazine “Distinctly Montana” next month. It’s one of those magazines that they give away for free at the airport to people who want to relocate here. They are doing a page on winter gear manufacturers in Montana, of which there aren’t that many. I’ll be in between the guys who make the ski joring harnesses, and the guy who makes the butt flaps so you don’t get a cold butt sitting on the chairlift. So I will be keenly positioned to hit my demographic of skijoring, buttflap wearing splitboarders that are relocating to Bozeman. One of these shots will be in there:

    Being the workaholic that I’ve been lately, I’ve been ignoring the gas light in my car for the last few days. It started hesitating in the corners on the way to the shop this morning, so I’m siphoning gas out of my taken apart snowmobile so I can get the car to the gas station. This has given me time to write this post, and a good reason to laugh at myself. Livin’ large in the Bozone!

    Thanks to all of you for the supportive emails lately, and your patience.

    740 Posts

    Awesome Will! Glad things are working out for you.

    It’s more work, but you sandblast and re-anodize the “Bent Metal” name off your set-up. Unless it’s part of your deal…

    Rock on.

    455 Posts

    Hey Will, Nice work, they look sweet. Nice and light.


    Nice Shots Will!

    Congrats on the investment. Thanks for the update.

    Ha ha, I just recently ran out of gas as well (first time ever). I ended up coasting onto the side of the road right next to the conoco on 191 and Big Sky but didn’t have enough to get it up to the pumps so I still had to go in and borrow a can to fill. Montana high life.

    As soon as you have some black binders ready to sell let me know and I’ll be in to pick them up asap.

    Thanks, J


    Will, I hope you posed that shit up playgirl style. Release the hounds!

    570 Posts

    😯 😯 Oh no!!! you’re letting PIP help build these things!!!

    150 Posts

    oh man they look ever so sweet

    this is the greatest thing to happen to splitboarding
    I can definately see you making waves in bigger publicity once this stuff gets out there

    What exactly is going on with those pins? How are they locked? Are those just temporary demo “for show” pins?

    hopefully we can get the crampon system soon too!
    eager to spend my $CDN 😯 😆

    I once ran out of gas at the bottom of a major, major avy path in rogers pass, right in the middle… in late February haaha, during a snowstorm, and they closed’er down soon after

    karma surf
    191 Posts

    Who do I have to know to get a pr of these things? I was born ready… 😉

    643 Posts

    Does this mean now you can anodize them whatever color you want?

    What is anodizing anyways?

    Are you gonna start building your own bindings instead of buying them from BM?

    Can I ask more qwestions?

    377 Posts

    Mtnrider: I could strip the bent metal parts and re anodize them, but it is more work, right now I’m just trying to get them out there. I’m hoping in the future that I can get bare parts from them and then finish them how I want.

    Split.therapy: Gracias!

    DFTC: I’ll let you know bro

    Lewmt: Letting Pip run the sander is a lot less sketchy than letting you drive!

    Stomppow: Thx for the props dude. Glad you didn’t get avied in your car at Rogers, there are much better ways to go! Those pins are the real deal and I think you’ll dig ’em. There’s nothing to snag when you’re touring, easy to work with while you’re wearing gloves, and they’re pretty beefy.

    Slide ’em in:

    Rotate the angled arm behind the strap:

    Strap in and you’re rockin’

    BSOE: If I had hounds, they would be released. I’d do something more raunchy than playgirl.

    Karma: You already know me bro, so you’re all set

    Shredgnar: This does mean that I can color them however I want. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that creates an aluminum oxide layer on the surface of an aluminum part. When steel oxidizes or rusts, it turns into junk. When aluminum oxidizes it gets more corrosion, heat and wear resistant, pretty amazing. I hope to buy just the parts I need from Bent Metal next year, to bring the price down, and have more control over graphics, hopefully they will let me. You may ask more questions.

    570 Posts

    🙄 Ouch! Driving skills are highly overrated anyways 😕

    327 Posts

    Good to see they fit my boots better than my C60’s. Are there still any left?

    15 Posts

    Great work! They look very functional and light. Sign me up! Will they go to 11?

    377 Posts

    Splitfire: Yep, I haven’t sold any of this run yet. I’m not taking any formal orders until the parts are done. I don’t want to take people’s money and have there be some delay.


    These go up to 12! Pip tried them out on the carpet with his big ol’ k2 boots and thought they fit well enough.

    After working a few 15 hour days our anodizing setup is spitting out parts:


    327 Posts

    I want that

    46 Posts

    Nice work man! Great to see some innovation. My biggest problem with the voile’s is that the heel tab develops cracks. probly from too much stomping on cornices and such, but still, thats part of the game… It looks like your design is much more solid for that type of work. Thanks, let me know when they’re available- Matt

    150 Posts

    mmmm pins
    that’s ingenious, they’re so simple and I can see they’ll work so much faster and smoother and easier, and stronger than the voile ones

    any word on heel lock for the future?

    5 Posts

    So does this mean that us size 13 people are SOL for now? These look awesome.

    323 Posts

    @McLovin wrote:

    So does this mean that us size 13 people are SOL for now? These look awesome.

    dude, if you are size 13, you need to hit the b-ball court, not snowboard 😆 😆

    116 Posts

    @jack wrote:

    @McLovin wrote:

    So does this mean that us size 13 people are SOL for now? These look awesome.

    dude, if you are size 13, you need to hit the b-ball court, not snowboard 😆 😆

    The edge to edge on a board capable of housing those big dogs must be awesome. 😛 😛

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