customized snowboards - Paint your own
Customized snowboards can be a great way to show off your style on the slopes. If you are serious about your snowboarding then you probably bought a board with size in mind rather than design, so customizing it yourself may be worth consideration. Also painting your own snowboard makes it unique, easier to recognise and arguably less likely to be stolen.
Snowboarding is all about self-expression and having someone comment "what kind of board is that?" is just another extension of that. To customize your own snowboard doesn't need to be overly complicated or complex, just find some inspiration and give it a go.
Bear in mind that many board manfacturers may void their warranty if the original surface is painted over.
Plan your design carefully before starting to customize your board. Start with a sketch book and draw out some of your ideas. Perhaps draw a few templates to scale allowing for the bindings and curves of your board. Stomp pads don't hold paint particularly well so it may be best to design around it if you have one. It would be a good idea to try some full scale practice attempts before customizing your snowboard. This will give you the chance to try a few variations and perhaps hang them on the wall to compare and get a few different opinions.
Firstly you need to prepare the surface of the board to better hold the new paintwork. Remove the bindings and roughen the surface with a very fine sandpaper on a flexible sanding block. The flexible sanding block will help you better follow the curves of your snowboard. Remember you are only trying to roughen the surface not remove existing designs. If you are overzealous with your sanding you could irreparably damage it.
Next step in customizing your snowboard is to give it a good clean. Along with any debris from previous outings, your sanding will have left a lot of dust that you don't want to paint on. Once the snowboard is dry cover the edges and the base. The P-tex base of your board can attract debris if painted and this will slow you down on the snow.
Learn from the Pros!
You'll need to set aside a time and place for your painting. You don't want to be interrupted halfway through. Make sure the area you choose is well ventilated. the same binders that stick the paint to your snowboard will stick to the inside of your lungs. As a golden rule, if you can smell the paint, then it is getting inside you.
Choose what sort of paint you are going to use. Airbrush, spraycan or wash painting techniques with acrylic paints are best suited to customizing your snowboard. Avoid oil based or alkyd-based paints as these could chemically interact with the board.
The key to any good paint job is a decent base coat. This will cover any existing design and provide you with a blank canvass for your design. Crucial to the success of this base coat is patience. Build up layers slowly with adequate drying times. Don't get impatient, adding too much paint too soon will result in running or streaks.
Once you feel the base coat is complete, it is time to customize your snowboard with the design of your choice. Take your time and enjoy the process. After all your customized snowboard will be the envy of everyone once you hit the slopes!
Don't forget to protect the masterpiece you have created with a topcoat. Wait until your artwork is 100% dry and use a clear topcoat to finish the job. This will not only protect your artwork, but add further depth the design. Don't rush the topcoat, it is arguably the most important element.
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