Business owner Stephen Plays and son Matthew have taken their passion for snow skating to a new level, as their Icon Snowskates business, based in Uxbridge, Mass., has gone global. As the sport has grown in popularity, the secret to success for the Plays has been in the craftsmanship of the snowskate boards, which is comprised of layered wood and Vycom’s Celtec® expanded PVC material.
This unique usage of Celtec® is a good match for this “completely different” snow sport, as described by the Plays. Snowskating has all the elements and tricks of skate boarding, but on a concave board minus the wheels. The board is propelled on snow similar to skim boards used at the water’s edge—you take a few running steps and jump on. Plays said there are no metal edges and snowskates are not meant for steep downhill slopes. “The snowskate allows the die-hard skate boarder to be able to use their favorite techniques on snow and get the same rush as they do in the warmer weather,” said Plays. They can do flips, heel flies and jumps, on steps and rails and enjoy the outdoor experience.”
Snowskating has taken off in the U.S. and Europe, including Sweden, Norway and Germany, to the delight of the father-son team. According to Plays, there are skilled woodworking and machining methods involved to get a quality board, so workability was a consideration in choosing Celtec® for the top wedge of the skate, which sits on eight layers of wood veneer.
“We needed a material that would machine cleanly and that was lightweight and aerodynamic,” said Plays. “It is also moisture resistant, so it won’t deteriorate and will keep its integrity within the board.” Plays said working with Celtec® expanded PVC saves on the production costs of having to machine-mold the wedge. In a few simple steps, Plays cuts the Celtec® wedges on a band saw, planes them smooth and attaches them to the top of the wood, below the foam grip. He then stamps it with Icon’s TruConcave patent logo.
“Celtec® is a great solution for us,” said Plays. “As the sport and our business grows, it is one more process element that allows us to hand-craft the best skate boards on the market.”
For more information about Icon Snowskates, including their online store and snow skating tips, visit www.iconsnowskates.com. To learn more about Vycom’s Celtec® expanded PVC products, visit www.vycomplastics.com.