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Composite Decks

We have a long history of working with composites, and the current constructions in our lineup reflect many years of pressing, shaping and thrashing. It’s safe to say the our X-Flex and X-Tuff Composite constructions are among the strongest, most impact-resistant decks you can buy.

For lively, flexy, pumpy decks with a controlled spring, choose X-Flex.

For freeride-ready stiffness and strength, choose X Tuff Composite.

For the fastest boards in the world, choose Twincore.

X-Flex

Our goals when creating X-Flex were:

  • To create a lively, but controlled (damped), flex.
  • To create a layup that is strong enough to withstand the abuse of modern day riding.
  • To do both of these things at a price you can afford.

We used a mixture of Canadian Maple and 600gsm Bi-Axial fibreglass. The clever bit is how we’ve used it – to understand what we’ve done, you’ll need to understand how a regular glass layup works.

Fibreglass has exceptonal tensile strength – it’s strongest when you try to stretch it (“Extension”). It can withstand a good deal of Compression – but it’s strongest when it’s being pulled.

What this basically means is, the bottom layer of glass on a longboard layup is doing most of the work. The top layer gives something for the bottom layer to “push against.”

Here, the Outer Layers of Fibreglass are acting together with the Wood Core to create an “I Beam” structure – a very strong shape for it’s weight, and ideal for making skateboard decks.

With X-Flex, we’ve added two layers of Maple to the outside of the tried and tested “I-Beam” structure. The further away from the middle of the deck you get, the more the veneers stretch or compress as you bounce up and down on the deck.

Flexy longboard decks are essentially “Leaf spring” suspension systems. And every good suspension engineer will tell you that, whilst your main spring does the initial impact absorption, without damping to dissipate some of the shock, you will have a wild and uncontrolled ride – simply put, it’ll be too bouncy. The same applies to skateboards – you don’t want a trampoline under your feet.

We’re using the Outer Maple Veneers to change the nature of the flex that the fibreglass is giving us. As they are outside the Fibreglass, they are under more tension and stress, restricting the tension on the fibreglass, effectively acting as “Damping” layers to the fibreglass “Spring.”

The result? A fluid, controlled flex, which has a good deal of bounce and will hold it’s shape for a long time, without feeling too much like a trampoline. The Outer Maple Layers also provide a bit of ablative protection – no more fibreglass splinters every time you kerb your board.

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X-Tuff Composite

When we designed X-Tuff, we had two goals in mind:

  • Minimise torsional flex – better tracking in sweepers, more predictable slides, and increased straight-line stability
  • Extra stiffness lengthways, but with just enough flex to absorb bumps and keep a smooth ride. Controlled, directional flex is key.

Goal #1 – Minimise Torsional Flex.

On the right you can see what we mean by torsional flex in a longboard. As you turn side to side, your toes and heels “twist” the board along it’s length. Whilst this can be desirable in a cruiser deck, in a speedboard it gives sloppy cornering and unpredictable sliding. Not cool!!

You can see that the lines of force run diagonally across the deck, from shoulder to shoulder, or heel to toe.

With X-Tuff, the uppermost layer of glass in the deck runs diagonally, so that the fibres act to prevent the deck twisting as you corner and lean.

Goal #2 – Controlled, directional flex

However, we don’t just want torsional stiffness, we also want a degree of lengthways stiffening too, as speedboards need to be stiff to a predictable ride. In short, we need to control the flex according to it’s direction within the deck – we want zero twist, but a tiny bit of give along the length to absorb any bumps and shocks.

To do this, we’ve kept the bottom layer with the fibres running along the length of the deck to give us extra stiffness lengthways, and we’re using the top diagonal layer to minimise torsional flex.

So what this means is – you get your torsional stiffness from the top layer of Fibreglass, and your lengthways stiffness from the bottom layer of Fibreglass.

We’re using the same Outer Maple Veneers as X-Flex to damp things down and give a controlled ride with minimal bounce. We generally use a thicker Wood Core for X-Tuff, matching thickness with wheelbase to maintain the balance between high stiffness and light weight.

X-Tuff is proven in te toughest race and freeride conditions all over the globe. Our riders can attest that it is one of the strongest and most effective speedboard constructions available, anywhere.

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Boards with X Tuff Composite

Twincore Composite

We use Twincore Composite when we want to build a deck for speed, and nothing else.

Unlike a lot of other top-end speedboards, we opted away from foam, aluminium and other synthetic composite materials for the deck cores. That not to say we haven’t tried them! But we are all about Board Feel – and in our opinion, there’s no better core material than wood to dampen road vibration and provide a natural base for composites to enhance.

Twincore Construction uses two vertically-laminated cores pressed from Poplar (a softwood) with Ash (hardwood) stringers. You’ll find these proven materials in boardsports everywhere – they provide all the natural feedback we need.

By using two cores stacked on top of each other instead of one, we can press the layup into more complex shapes than if we only had a single core, and an extra layer of glue gives better toughness, less “springback” out of the press, and a stiffer overall construction.

The lower core has ABS bumpers laminated in, providing a little end-on impact protection. ABS is used in snowboard rails – it’s tough!

With the feel and profile provided by our wood cores, it’s time to make the whole thing super-stiff. Which is where the fibreglass comes in.

The cores are sandwiched in between two layers of top-grade fibreglass, protecting the cores from impact, and providing most of the board’s stiffness and mass. Fibreglass enhances the things we like about the wood core, adding a stiff, springy and responsive feel to the wood fibres.

A lot of high-end speedboards are very focussed on end weight. It’s well known that lighter boards aid faster acceleration off the start line and harder braking into corners. For us though, board feel is more important. A board that feels good underfoot will make you, the skater, more comfortable, and better able to reach the limits of your skill and capability.

So Twincore is not the lightest, not the most rigid composite construction out there. We tried a lot of different materials and skated a long way before we realised that for really high speeds, a bit of mass and dampening goes a long way to taking the edge off choppy road surfaces.

At this level of performance, all design is compromise and balance. For us, Twincore is the perfect balance of feedback vs dampening, weight vs comfort, flex vs rigidity, and stability vs agility. Pressed for the world’s fastest racers, with our trademark emphasis on board feel. For the fastest skateboards in the world.

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Boards with Twincore Composite