Snowboard Science

Snowboard Cap & Sidewall Construction


The top layer of glass laminate is formed over the top of the wooden core and pinched at the edge to seal in the core. The positives of Cap for a manufacturer are that the technique is cheaper than Sidewall construction and enables the designer to customise the edge damping. Unfortunately Cap construction is less durable than Sidewall and in the event that the edge is damaged, you may as well sling the deck in the bin because it’s extremely difficult to repair Cap. Today, cap in its’ purest form is only really found on budget snowboards. However there are a number of Cap / Sidewall hybrids which take the best of both construction techniques.


After the late 90’s jib revolution, Cap construction disappeared from the majority of high-end boards, Sidewall is now the stock manufacturing technique for snowboards. Sidewall construction is much tougher than Cap, and the angle of the sidewall can be changed to increase edge pressure or in the case of rail specific boards reduce. A number of brands have ventured away from standard ABS sidewalls; Ride use urethane to create a damper ride (particularly forgiving on rails) and Volkl used Wood on their 06/07 Squad for the Skateboard look.