Ever wanted to shred down the mountain atop a sheet of super smooth glass? The folks at Network_A and Signal Snowboards teamed up to make a real glass snowboard and see how it rides. This video is fun to watch — you get to see the entire build process and the exhilarating field testing afterwards. It looks like they had a blast.

Signal owner Dave Lee traveled to Brescia, Italy to have it made out of quality Italian glass. Watch as they cut the two pieces of glass, bake (melt) the tip and tail curves into them, give them a tempering salt bath, join together the two halves, vaccuum seal it, and finally bake it in a gigantic autoclave.

Once it’s finished, Signal Italian team rider Giorgio “Iannino” Morell takes it through its paces in on a Tuscany mountain. As soon as he gets his boot strapped in, Dave asks, “How does it feel?” Iannino replies, “Fast, man. So fast!”

The actual performance of the board appears to have been unpredictable. At a certain point, the board just stops out of the blue. But other times, like “when Iannino would get the board on a steep section of this hill, then it would break loose, and all of a sudden it would be the fastest board you’ve ever seen.”

After the first run, the glass had cracked, but since it’s tempered, the board was still intact, and he continued to ride. They got a couple hours of riding in, but then on the last run, everyone heard a loud crack, and it broke for real.

[via @vice]


Dave and Iannino heading towards the mountain.


Iannino strapping in to the beautiful glass board.


“On toes and heels it feels so good. You just push a little bit of pressure and it just turns.”


Cracked, but still intact.

I like Dave’s words at the end of the video: “Our day is done. And we’re not sad about it, because that’s what Every Third Thursday‘s all about. You give things a try, and sometimes they work out, and sometimes it’s back to the drawing board.”

Laura Cochrane

Laura Cochrane

I’m a DIY editor at Instructables and I used to be an editor at MAKE and CRAFT. I like hiking, biking, rock climbing, and etymology.

  • http://lrwickerdesign.net/ lrwickerdesign

    So amazing and cool. Too bad it broke so soon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.nme Jeff Nme

    Maybe the next version could be laminated, like a windscreen?

    • cliff

      It was, that’s what kept it together when it first broke. It looks like it was three layers of glass and two sheets of plastic. It was probably stronger than a windscreen since I think they are only two sheets of glass.

      • cliff

        OK I looked back and I think it was only two sheets of glass. Three thinner sheets probably would have been better.

        “After the first run, the glass had cracked, but since it’s tempered, the board was still intact” tempering makes the glass stronger and keeps it from creating big sharp nasty pieces of glass. The lamination is what kept it intact.

  • http://www.earthshineelectronics.com Mike

    It obviously has potential. You just need a manufacturing technique that ensures the glass is unbreakable and you have yourself a winning board.

  • Jason!

    This seems like a perfect application for Gorilla Glass.

    • http://twitter.com/dsghi Derek Gabriel (@dsghi)

      Totally agree!

      • Eric Chu

        This snowboard is beautiful! Maybe someone can laminate a sheet of Gorilla Glass onto a half-thick wood board to make it more durable but still have the same properties of riding on glass.

        • http://danielmcgregor.wordpress.com danielmcgregor

          Yeah. Just imagine how little to no friction that kind of board would produce. Thats definately worth exploring :D
          The only question that remains is if gorilla glass handles temperature changes well. Going from room temperature to below zero and back is where the unknown factor lies.

    • cliff

      Who is to say it wasn’t, but Gorilla glass may not be the best application here since its designed to resist scratches. A snow board has to be flexible. I’ve seen enough phones with broken screens to know its not indestructible.

      I wish I still had easy contact with an old friend. He makes windshields for PPG and would love to see this and would have some answers.

  • Goli Mohammadi

    #ifihadglass :))))

    • http://danielmcgregor.wordpress.com danielmcgregor

      Hehe nice one. But that joke made me imagine for a second. What if you you could project stuff on to the glass snowboard? Speed, surface temperature, friction, the track ahead of you etc. Yeah I know I’m going a bit off the rails here but the thought seemed awesome :D

      • Laura Cochrane

        “The day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.” -Peter Diamandis

        : )

        • http://danielmcgregor.wordpress.com danielmcgregor

          Good to know. I am full of those ;D

        • http://gravatar.com/ka1axy ka1axy

          Right you are! That was a fascinating video. I was impressed by the punishment the “board” took. Kudos for having the idea and following through with it. Perhaps we will see glass boards next year?

  • Craig

    There is (or was) a product that we used to call “Flexi-glass” in the touchscreen factory I worked at years ago. It was paper thin and able to make a 90 degree bend. It could be easily laminated to a fiberglass board.