Introduction: LED Snowboard

About: 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, cars, trucks, tractors, anything that moves and that I can work on, modify, …

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

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)
  Wood Glue
  Fiberglass & Resin

  Soldering Iron
  Drill & Bits

Step 2: 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

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

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

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.

LED Contest with Elemental LED

Runner Up in the
LED Contest with Elemental LED