Think about all the elements that go into a snowboard. Designers have to
determine the materials that go into each board -- fiberglass, carbon fiber,
epoxy, steel and even wood. They have to consider the shape of each board
-- its flex pattern, torque, sidecuts, waist size and binding position.
Snowboard designers have to know how to combine these elements to make
snowboards for different riders and different conditions. After all, a 180-pound
man and a 120-pound woman aren't going to ride the same board. And you're
likely to choose a different board, depending on whether you like riding the
half-pipe, jumps or boarding freestyle.
Designers have to consider all these factors when they create or modify
snowboards. They have to listen to input from testers, team riders and consumers.
"What we build is a reflection of all kinds of people. My job is to listen
to all those people and say what I think," says designer Julia Carlson. And
of course, snowboard designers should be able to ride!
Snowboard designers typically work an average workday, Monday to Friday.
But some days, instead of driving to work, they get to hit the slopes to try
out a new design. "There's always something to test," laughs Carlson.