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Are carbon fiber decks the key to building a professional eSk8 at home


#1

When it comes to building your own electric skateboard you have the choice of basically any commercially available skateboard deck on the market. But the challenge this presents is how to mount your components on the underside of the deck & still get a quality result. The benefit with a custom built carbon fiber deck with integrated component housing is the components are built into the deck, making for a slim & professional finish.

Will carbon fiber decks dominate the DIY market in the near future?


#2

I have trouble believing carbon will be the end all of decks…cost, durability, and board life…As with the bike industry-- carbon is frequently seen as the lightest and best, but ill still kick your ass up any hill on my steel steed, and whats more my bike will be fine 10 years from now even if i put on 10 kg while yours…

We also have graphene being worked on and somewhere down the road produced in bulk and the old standard wood is most easily accessible to most DIY projects and companies. Added bonus wood can be beautiful too. Maybe I’m a retro grouch but shoot I love tech as much as the next guy- hence member of this and ES forums, anywho that’s my two cents.

Easiest way to shave 5 kg off the board is hold off on the two deserts and go for a walk or run, or pull out the non electric for a bit.


#3

I take one look at the kicktail of my first longboard, and immediately get skeptical about a carbon fiber longboard…

What happens when you use your kicktail, and the carbon fiber starts shredding off? Or when the front of the board’s hits something, and the carbon fiber starts getting damaged?

I’ve never owned a carbon fiber board so all these points may not be valid, but I just don’t think it would be a resilient to damage as wood.


#4

All the Enertion carbon fiber decks come with this kicktail guard, so you can use the kicktail for stopping or ollies!.. however I doubt many people will use it that way… I personally like the kicktail to plant my foot onto when climbing steep hills, it makes hill climbing much more comfortable because you feel more locked in.

In general carbon fiber works well because it is strong & very lightweight and can be molded into nearly any shape you desire.

However, it’s expensive!

So that’s why I’m working on a fusion of Wood & Carbon Fiber… It’s strong, cheaper & looks awesome too…


#5

Carbon bike frames tend to crack at some point and then the crack grows over time until it can’t ignored.

And this is after years and years of trying to make more durable carbon frames.

Adding a lot of resin to the fiber makes it more durable but quite heavy and it gives the frame a dead feel.

I would expect the first carbon decks have couple of year lifespan at best until there is a lot of testing and refinement.

The bike industry has made lots of refinements like directional fibers to deal with stress points. Unfortunately the IR type cameras needed to analyze stresses are really expensive.

With bike frames there are been many examples of titanium/alum/steel bonded to carbon and those bonds tend to be the first to fail over time.


#6

I think you are on the right track with the wood/carbon board onloop. The design is sick - mad props to the sexy sleek beauty, haven’t seen it’s like in the longboard world thus far (though e-skates are my first foray into the long board world as of a year ago) and it looks like you may draw the best of both worlds- new tech lovers and clean carbon design, with integrity and durability of wood. Well played sir. I imagine you will reap the time and energy, no doubt put into the board design.


#7

Come on man, Really? You’re saying that every carbon fiber bike frame ever made eventually cracks… that’s a big call…

well let’s assume what your saying is 100% proven & accurate for the next few paragraphs…

Firstly, we are talking about Carbon Fiber Skateboard Decks which in comparison to the complex shape of a bike frame are fairly simple, like a popsicle stick.

So why compare two completely different sports/objects? A world champ tennis player would not stop using a carbon fiber tennis racquet just becase someone tells her that bike frames made with the same material can crack? Of course not, because they are two different products.

Concrete also can crack if it is not engineered to support the necessary load, but it is still used extensively in construction because it can be engineered to be as strong as required.

A bike frame has multiple huge forces that go through the forks into the head tube that are unique to a bike… The head tube basically has a big lever attached to it constantly loading it & unloading it with force from the ground, whilst also dealing with the weight of the rider & whilst needing to be used for the purpose of steering…

A carbon fiber skateboard never has to deal with those complex load dynamics. There are no long tubular structures with cantilevered loads on a carbon fiber skateboard deck. Also a carbon fiber skateboard deck in comparison is just one flat & solid object, with no moving parts, that has a fairly simple job… its job; don’t bend or flex across a span, of the relatively short wheelbase between the two trucks, which in nearly all cases is about 35-40% shorter span than what a bike frame wheelbase is…

The enertion carbon fiber deck is rated to hold 200kg, its super strong.


#8

I didn’t say every carbon product fails but I have had to replace 5 frames over about 10 years so I would stick by my statement that they do tend to crack. Fortunately catastrophic failures are rare but mostly the frame starts to make noises as the crack allows movement.

Sure it’s different stresses and hopefully the carbon deck simplicity makes them much more durable.

It’s such a problem in bike frames that a whole industry has cropped up repairing them.

Carbon bike frames have come a long way from early models but they still have a huge problem with unintended stresses.

For example if an owner never crashes or lets the bike simply fall over etc then frames can last a long time.

I have seen minor events like a bike falling over causing cracks in simple parts like handle bars. In theory a tube structure should be very strong.

There are a lot more vibrations on E boards than on bikes however. For example on a mountain bike only disc brake parts and maybe the bottom bracket needs to be fastened with thread locker.

Nearly everything on an E board loosens up without thread locker due to the constant vibrations.

Nothing wrong with learning from other industries even though the design is not perfect analogy.


#9

I was in the rc car hobby before I got into eboard’s, and carbon fiber parts were really common as aftermarket upgrades. Shock towers, chassis brasis, etc could basically all be bought in carbon fiber…

And despite going 80+ miles per hour, and doing massive jumps, I never heard of anyone (including me) cracking a carbon fiber part. And I promise they were beaten alot more than a bike frame: 1/8th scale cars tend to weigh 18-25 pounds, and at those speeds, crashing is intense…


#10

Yeah but the forces on a 1/8 scale are different. Plus carbon fiber is just too expensive when you want to replace A arms and shock towers. For 1/8 scales I’ll keep using steel. Skateboards will always be wood for me.

I bought my friends brushed E-Maxx that was absolutely trashed. When I bought it from him I replaced most of the stock equipment with RPM stuff. There were RPM carbon fiber options but they cost a shitload. Now the E-Maxx is doing fine even though they are usually the least durable Traxxas product. I don’t think using carbon fiber on a 1/8 is a fair comparison to a full 40 inch long board deck.


#11

I think the feel of the board is the most critical factor. I have ridden all kinds and flex, pop, and stiffness are all important Wood has been widely developed and options are broad. I can see the combination of materials meshing more and loads of options coming marrying the two together to get the best of both worlds.


#12

I’m a huge fan of Hard Rock Maple myself.


#13

… but i’m not against the idea of an 8th layer of carbon fiber. Maybe one day i’ll get a vac bag and try it out.

man i’m hitting enter way to soon almost everywhere today. Split post city. wtf, over?


#14

lol, I like the boards I use for competitive skating. They are composed of 6 layers of Canadian Maple, and 1 layer of carbon fiber. They are stronger, pop higher, and are a little bit lighter. They’re called chocolate/girl pop secret boards. I think that’s the way of the future.


#15

The cf layer is on the bottom? @evoheyax


#16

no, its on the top of the board. 6 maple and 1 carbon fiber on top.


#17

Are you sure? Having the carbon on the top layer renders it completely useless. I may introduce carbon fiber into my builds in the future but I will definitely hide it under a layer of maple if I do. Honestly I don’t see it happening since fiberglass is more than adequate for performance skateboards with a wooden core


#18

Supposedly carbon fiber and fiberglass increases the strength the most on the outer layers (top and bottom). A lot of article say using fiberglass and carbon between layers doesn’t add much so it is more a waste of money and an increase in weight . But who knows… can’t believe everything you read till you test it yourself right? Look at some dh boards though… pure foam core with just a carbon fiber shell. So it kind of makes sense i guess.
Personally … i want a wood core, fiberglass or carbon fiber shell.


#19

If i was going to do it i would substitute the center core layer only.

face, core, cross, fiberglass/cf, cross, core, face.

but i’m ding everything in a hysdraulic press so i’m not sure what that workflow looks like. i’d have to have a not-too-slow drying epoxy, maybe West Systems 105/205 but that still has a harden time of 6-8 ours with a full cure of one to four days, so i’m not sure how long i’d need to leave my layers in the press. Maybe overnight? Then when is it safe to cut and sand?

Currently i let them sit in there for about 6 hours, then set them up to dry and wait to cut until the next day. That allows me to produce up to three blanks in a single day. cutting and sanding takes less than an hour now, staining takes maybe 20 minutes, and urethaning is a time suck because you can only do one side at a time and it takes all night to cure. An aerosol paint/clearcot and a heated, dehumidified drying space would cut that time down to a couple hours. I don’t know if it would do the same for the urethane, but probably.


#20

Yes, The reason is stress cracks from hard impacts break the top few layers. This won’t stop your board from breaking if you don’t land bolts, but it will stop your board from gaining stress cracks when you land bolts (Which I used to have an issue with sometimes). It also acts as the 7th layer, reducing the weight slightly as there’s 1 less layer of wood. Maybe its all in my head, but it feels lighter, and easier to pop higher with.