Introduction: LED Snowboard

Picture of LED Snowboard

I absolutely love snowboarding, but I'm really not very good.  I can do a few tricks, but i live next to a ski resort in Utah and most of the people who i see go are crazy good.  So i needed something to "show off" a little, and since i cant do many tricks, i figured why not build something really cool.  

I tried probably 3 or 4 other designs before i did this one, and I've still got a few others id like to try, but this design worked pretty well.

The problem i had with my first designs was the wiring.  I kept running the wiring on top of the board and covering it with silicone or metal strips but while snowboarding my feet would rip the wires off.  So i finally decided to go ahead and try to fiberglass one of them
.

Step 1: Find a Cheap Board

Picture of Find a Cheap Board

I wouldn't recommend doing this to an expensive board, at least not on your first attempt.  This mod will make the board a bit heavier, and a bit thicker, and if you mess up it could cause your board to split.  

What you need:
  A Cheap snowbaord ( I picked one up for $30)
  LED's 
  Wire
  Wood Glue
  Fiberglass & Resin

Tools:  
  Router
  Saw
  Soldering Iron
  Drill & Bits

Step 2: Drill and Router

Picture of Drill and Router

First thing you need to do is find out what kind of LED's you want to use.  I used individual LED's that I ordered on ebay, but for my next board im going to use LED strips, and that is what i would suggest you use.  

Before you start marking and drilling holes you want to sand the old fiberglass resin off the snowboard, your not trying to sand everything off the board, just enough to get it rough, and down to the paper graphics below the fiberglass resin. 

Choose how many LED's you would like to use and figure out your spacing for them.  I drew a line one inch from the edge of the board and marked 1" centers for the LED's and ran 40 down each side. Once you have all your holes marked out you can go ahead and drill the holes for the LED's.

After drilling router the top of the board just enough to have the LED's sit under the surface level of the rest of the board. BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL TOWARDS THE END OF THE BOARD IT IS REALLY THIN.  
also if you use led strips you don't have to router nearly as deep.  

I also ran a lip for a headlight and battery box, but i don't really like the way it turned out so i would probably suggest against it.  (of course it may have been because it was my first fiberglass project)

Step 3: Wiring the Board

Picture of Wiring the Board

because i used a single color LED i ran the bulbs all in Parallel,  but if you decide to use 4 pin LED's (like the colored LED strips) you may have to run your wiring differently.  i do like that with the strips you can use a remote control to switch through 7 different colors, and it only costs around $30.00 for a 16' strip.  

I also made room for headlights and a battery box.  My board runs on 4 LED's and ive been using them for about 2 seasons and I've only had to change the batteries once.  (thats 6 hour days all season long)

Step 4: Fiberglass the Board

Picture of Fiberglass the Board

now we need to cover up the exposed wiring, i used just regular fiberglass resin, it seems to flex enough without cracking or fracturing, but its still strong enough to reinforce the board.  

we want to cover the screw holes so we can still attach our bindings, what i did was coat some screws in grease so that they would screw right out when the resin dried.  

Probably the easiest way to keep the resin actually on the board is to tape the edges of the board, and just start applying resin.  If you decide to make the headlights you can use fiberglass cloth and run it from the edge of the headlight wood toward the middle of the snowboard.

Step 5: Paint

Picture of Paint

Paint your board and either clear coat it, or resin over the top of the paint again.  (if you resin you can put graphics under it and just resin over the top of them, but it will end up being a bit heavier.

You'll also need to make a plate to cover the battery box and hold the switch.  I went to home depot and bought roofing tin and cut it out to fit using tin snips.

Comments

geppert47 (author)2015-03-30

Bravo! I'd love to see the latest design with LED strips. Glowhut.com sells bright self-adhesive, waterproof LED strips in various colors. They even have a multi-color unit with remote!

akarpats (author)2012-11-06

Thats amazing!!! The bottom of the board looks very nice, i was planing to do about the same with the led strip for comming season. My main concern is that i am not sure if the holes would stuck with snow and prevent led light from comming through.

If you have been riding your board, have you noticed holes getting stuck with snow?

Also what diameter holes you drilled?

god.favored (author)akarpats2012-11-06

So i've built a couple more boards since this one. i never really had snow blocking the light even on my earlier board. on my new ones though i've actually started using LED strip lighting and when i get done i use base repair to fill the holes in. It makes the lights a little less bright, but its worth it to have a smooth base again. If you buy super bright led's it makes up for it. Ill update my instructable sometime today and show the new video and pictures.

akarpats (author)god.favored2012-11-09

I totally forgot about base repair, i think it should be perfect for covering holes, now i feel much more confident that board will look and function well, thank for adding photos and video.

tdario (author)2012-08-09

Pretty cool. I thought about doing something like this five years ago but now I am looking into useing the EL Tape(like the Tron suits). But I will have to route out a groove on the bottom side of the board for that. Your headlight idea is pretty cool. How well does it do at night? How far ahead of you can you see with it?

god.favored (author)tdario2012-08-09

Well i messed up the angle of my headlights so they shine up in the trees, but when you angle it down a bit you can see a good 25-30 feet out. but it all depends on the kind of LED's you use

dafonso (author)2012-08-05

Nice. So, does your new one uses single-LED addressable strips and drilling holes to within 2mm of the end of the P-TEX and using fiberglass resin as an ah-hoc optic medium? Because that's what I'm thinking of doing after reading this....

god.favored (author)dafonso2012-08-06

dont know if you saw my earlier reply or not but i must not have read your comment clearly haha...

I dont have addressable strips, just ones running in parallel so no individual controller, and only single color. my first board i wasn't able to get that close without drilling all the way through, and i didn't want some holes to be through and others not. but i do have a friend with a cnc drill and router so im thinking about using that for it.

dafonso (author)god.favored2012-08-06

Good plan. I'd love to see the results!

canucksgirl (author)2012-08-05

Really nice job! It looks great. :-)

god.favored (author)canucksgirl2012-08-05

Thanks:) Im about to start building another one that should turn out a lot better:)

About This Instructable

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Bio: I love designing things and then building them. For me just making a design on a CAD software is half the fun. I love motorcycles ... More »
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