The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) is attempting to do for the snowboard industry in the ’90s what it did for the ski industry in the ’70s. On August 12 and 13 the ASTM committee F-27 on “snow skiing” met in Montreal, Canada to discuss both manufacturing and retail aspects of the snowboard industry. According to organizers, Burton, K2, and Ride were among some of the snowboard representatives in attendance at the meeting.

Dan Turner of Sports Inc. and head of the task force for ASTM committee F-27, said that the meeting focused on two topics: shop practices and snowboarding.

The shop practice discussion entailed focusing on release of liability waivers for rentals and sales, binding-to-board interface, and the inspection of rental fleets. Turner states that the “failure to warn the customer about the possibility of injury is the root cause of most liability cases.” Currently there is no standard for release of liability waivers, and some shops may not be using any form of waiver at all.

A second discussion specifically about snowboarding chaired by Andy Barrett of Alpine Tools, met to discuss industry standards in production and procedures for manufacturing. One hot topic is the proposed 6.95mm well depth as a minimum on all inserts. Standards for soft-boot/step-in binding compatibility were also covered.

Both Turner and Barrett were quick to add that meetings were only a step in the number of procedures toward standards within the snowboard industry. The development of these standards is “still in the formative stage,” stresses Turner. Their key objective right now is participation; the more people involved with the industry, the better. If you or your shop would like to be involved with ASTM or the development of standards and practices, you can fax Andy Barrett at (603) 229-0600 or call at (603) 229-1717. ¿Chris Hansen