Bamboo Skateboard vs Maple Skateboard, from a Point View of Manufacturer
The discussion of bamboo vs maple skateboard advantages and disadvantages have never stopped among skateboarders. Surely, each has his preference and attitude. However, as producer and manufacturer, we might suggest more efforts should be put into building bamboo skateboards.
Bamboo has much longer and stronger fiber than maple wood. It helps to build a stronger deck, not easy to break. It can also survive in dry and wet environmental condition. The bamboo material can hold or resist water more firmly.
Bamboo grows faster than maple wood and is more sustainable. Four or five years is enough for bamboo to grow up and ready for manufacturing product.
Bamboo skateboard deck manufacturing in China
Here is a brief of bamboo deck manufacturing development in China. As early as 2003, skateboard and longboard bamboo decks appeared in southeast China factories. Later on, more and more research and development has been witnessed ever since.
Originally, North America maple is regarded as best material for constructing skateboard decks. However, its 50-70-years-long growing prevent it to become an economic material source. Birch wood grows faster. While, its physical performance is rather of less quality.
Bamboo, a vastly planted and commonly used construction material in China, has drawn great attention to deck builders.
FYS Board company has worked with research organization, International Center for Bamboo and Rattan (ICBR), to promote bamboo application to skateboard industry. Full-bamboo, Bamboo-Fiberglass, and Bamboo-Wood-Carbon skateboards and longboards have been taking market share.
Different deck material properties
As we know, the vascular bundles structure provides best strength to bamboo plant. And the plasticity of parenchyma tissues makes it possible to form deck’s different concaves and curved surface. According to ICBR research, bamboo excels better than hard rock maple, in flexural strength and impact strength, 16% and 35% higher. Please refer to the following properties comparison between Hard Maple, Yellow Birch, Birch and Bamboo
And some researcher indicates that fracture properties of bamboo is 30% higher than that of normal wood material. Multi-level weak interfacial bonding, gradually reducing impact energy, preventing quick cracking in bamboo inner structure. This excellent mechanical property provides great toughness for skateboard decks.
Bamboo is usually prepared by being cut into 3-6 mm thick strips or rotary-sliced 0.3-0.8 mm thick veneers. Enforced by carbon fiber or glass fiber, bamboo veneers are glued and pressed in room temperature or hot temperature.
Bamboo skateboard deck and maple deck physical performance comparision
Researchers from ICBR institute, experiment the physical performance of three types of deck and make a meaningful comparison.
Deck A is constructed by bamboo material, Deck B is by glass fiber intensified birch wood, while Deck C is by maple wood. The main comparison indexes include density, moisture content, water absorption thickness swelling rate, flexural strength, horizontal shear strength, impact strength, drop hammer fracture.
According to Tab.2 and Fig.3, Deck B has the highest density because of laminated with glass fiber. Bamboo Deck A has higher density than maple Deck C. When absorbing moisture during hot pressing, bamboo material expanded at the least rate, making it more stable and consistent in size. Although inferior than Deck B,
Bamboo deck is better than Deck C, in respects of flexural strength, horizontal shear strength, and drop hammer fracture. Deck B stands out the best in impact strength test. To conclude that, bamboo decks exceed in structure stability, stiffness, lightness and impact strength.
Significance of research bamboo as deck material
Application of bamboo material to deck building has great significance. Compared with North American maple wood, bamboo has fast growth and brings more environmental sustainability. And it is relatively cheap in cost, than those with the same quality and size.
China has a vast plantation of bamboo, almost one quarter of world volume. As skateboarding getting more and more popularity, demands of high-quality decks rockets. To help save the maple forest, it is of great value to put more energy and resource in to bamboo deck constructing technique research and development.