We Live in the land of the Ice and Snow where the cold wind blows

I’ve been thinking about making an ice-board for a few years now. Back in the winter of 2013 surfspot.se had a trial day right out in the archipelago. That year it was so cold that the Baltic sea had frozen all the way out past Djurö! We tried out a couple of designs, one was a board that laid very much on to the ice, called an ice carve board. It has a single rear skate under the heel of the board that the rider places most of their weight on, this causes it to cut hard in to the ice and prevent the board spinning out. The two front edges have a sharpened metal edge that bites in to the ice when you heal it over and allow the board to carve. I have been told that they are very difficult to gybe, and have an enormous turning radius. That’s all very well and good if you want to hoon up and down a frozen lake however I would like to develop my technical sailing skills and for that the Ice surf board seems like a better fit. The board basically a skateboard with, fittingly, skates instead of wheels, they turn and carve and gybe just like a windsurfer, I looked at buying one but the cost of buying one is phenomenal, so I thought I would build myself one. It turned out i had most of what I needed laying around. The landboard I bought a few years back turned out in the end not to be very practical I couldn’t find anywhere open enough to sail it, but it’s perfect for this project!

I had to get hold of some skate from somewhere and that somewhere was from Tobias at sharp4.se it turned out that the guy who repaired my surfboard is also the guy who makes the ice surfboards for sale at surfspot.se. When I picked up my board I also managed to pick up a set of skates, he was very helpful and informative, I showed him my landboard and he supplied some nylon bushes to hold the blades in alignment, We spent a good twenty minutes discussing how to put the board together, he explained the design features of the blades, which ones go to the front, which go to the back why they’re twin tipped and what angle the blades are sharpened too.

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One of the things that Tobias pointed out with the Scrub trucks is that its only held on to the board by two screws which is a very weak arrangement, he recommended that I drill and tap a few more holes. I decided to keep the original board which maintains the 30 degree angle required to allow the trucks to steer, it also acts as a very good leaf spring suspension. Looking at the position and arrangement of mounting holes, they are placed right at the end of the board and there are a lot of holes already there! I was concerned that if I drilled any more it would weaken the ply too much and would fail when put under stress. I decided to make a clamp instead, this would remove the need to drill and also stiffen up the board improving the turning moment of the board applying more pressure to the trucks also improving the responsiveness.

I took a 35mm x 5mm mild steel bar and marked it out of for the holes, it was predrilled and tapped for another failed project so i decided to use those ends for the other side of the clamp. I marked out and drilled the counterpart holes and then cut off the ends and deburred the parts.

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The clamp had some strength and alignment problems as it was tightened it pulled the components out of alignment.

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So I made some shims out of steel pipe they hold the clamps parallel and prevent the clamp from over tightening.


On with the skates!

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The bushes I got with the skates weren’t quite enough to position the skates so I had to drill out some nylon washers.


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Perfect! No metal against metal! Tightened just enough to allow the skates to rotate.

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Now all that was needed was deck, the board as it is too narrow to stand and manoeuvre on, and also too narrow to get enough leverage on the trucks to turn. In another piece of recycling I reclaimed the deck off of one of the failed snow sailors. With a bit of sawing it was in two pieces, one piece fits on to the skate deck between the angled ends, the other part is fixed upon that to increase deck length.

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The finishes article, total build & design time 5 hours.

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